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Fans' spending during the FIFA World Cup has given a welcome boost to the local South African economy. But as the national teams are progressively eliminated, some of the biggest spenders are heading home. Paul Crowe takes a look.
Visitors to the World Cup have certainly shown they like to spend, spend, spend - to the tune of nearly 200 million US dollars on their VISA cards alone during the first three weeks of the tournament.
Statistics show the amount is an increase of more than 50 percent in spending in South Africa compared to the same period last year. Most of the money is from just a handful of countries.
Andrew Woodward, head off marketing, VISA said, "The majority of the spending has come from UK and USA visitors; they account for about 40 percent of all of the spending. But what we're also seeing is, you know, good chunks of money coming from Germany, France, Australia and Brazil."
In fact, just five countries account for almost half of the spending on VISA cards so far: the USA, UK, Australia, Brazil and France.
Now that four out of five of those countries have been knocked out of the World Cup, those high spending patterns are bound to decline as fans go home.
Smaller countries like Ghana, Paraguay and Uruguay remain in the tournament, but there are fewer fans from these nations in South Africa so they're spending considerably less money. But there are still positive predictions.
Andrew Woodward, head off marketing, VISA said, "But what we're hearing is that a lot of these people are touring now around the country, but also too, for the last week or two of the tournament you're going to get a new class of international visitors coming in for the quarter finals, semis and finals. So yeah, the numbers will continue to be good, perhaps not as high as what they were, but overall it's looking pretty positive for the period of the tournament."
FIFA predicted around 240-thousand extra tourists would travel to South Africa for the World Cup, based on international ticket sales, and bringing with them a significant increase in spending in the country.