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World Cup Tourists to South Africa Have Already Spent Over $128 Million

July 1, 2010 at 11:40 AM | by | ()

Are you going through World Cup withdrawal? Yes, us too, and it's only yesterday and today that we have to wait until the games start up again tomorrow when the Netherlands goes up again Brazil and Uruguay faces Ghana. When the World Cup ends for real on July 11, we just don't know what we're going to do, but we do know that the tourists who have headed down to South Africa to support their teams in person will sad to see their credit card bills.

VISA has announced that visitors to South Africa for the World Cup have already spent $128 million, and that's only counting what's been charged to VISA-branded credit cards for a couple weeks. Of course almost 90% of that was on travel purchases like airfare, hotel, car rental and restaurants, but still. That's quite a money waterfall spilling into South Africa right now. Makes the country's building all those $450 million stadiums look worthwhile (ah hem Moses Mabhida Stadium).

So how much of that will stay in South Africa?

And here is why countries love to host the World Cup, despite security concerns and the major building projects that come along it: much of that money is going to stay in South Africa's economy, from tipping the maids in your hotel room to booking a flight with South African Airways. And if you consider that in all of 2009, international visitors to South Africa spent $1.79 billion and the World Cup has brought in $128 million in just a couple weeks on only VISA cards, they're doing more than pretty well at this point.

Not surprisingly the top spenders during the World Cup are the Brits, as Visa spending data indicates "that the United Kingdom, followed by the United States, Australia, France and Brazil have been the strongest contributors to tourism spending to date," accounting for 51% of all spending.

We can only imagine what South African officials pictured as the first tourists stepped off the planes weeks ago, but if this was rendered as a cartoon, you can bet that dollar signs would spring from their eyes.

[All photos: Jaunted]

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