International Visa cardholders have been burning a hole in their cards in Brazil, charging $27 million USD during the first few days of the FIFA World Cup.
According to the “Visa Everywhere Travel Report,” foreigners in Brazil plonked $27 million in travel spending on their debit, credit and prepaid Visa cards between June 12 and 15, representing a 73 percent increase over the same four-day period last year.
The report reveals that visitors from the US were the top spenders over the opening games, charging $6.6 million to their cards, followed by the British ($2.3 million); French ($1.7 million); and Mexicans ($1.3 million).
On Saturday, June 14, international Visa cardholders spent more than $10.7 million — the highest tourist spend day in the country in 2014 so far.
Tourists spent the most in categories like lodging and accommodation, which accounted for $5 million, and dining, which accounted for $2.5 million.
Overall, the World Cup is projected to attract 600,000 foreign visitors over the month-long games.
Brazilian officials have also forecast that the games will generate $6 billion BRL ($3 billion USD) in spending, excluding travel expenses.
After Brazil, the top World Cup ticket buyer is the US, with Americans snatching up 198,208 tickets.
Coming in third is Argentina, with 61,477 seats; Germany (58,983 tickets); and England (58,105 tickets).
Here are the biggest Visa spenders in Brazil by country, for June 12-15:
1. United States, $6.6 million
2. United Kingdom, $2.3 million
3. France, $1.7 million
4. Mexico, $1.3 million
5. Angola, $1.2 million
6. Argentina, $1.2 million
7. Germany, $1 million
8. Australia, $969,000
9. Colombia, $858,000
10. Spain, $689,000
US and British World Cup visitors spending the most: Visa