Spending by international visitors in South Africa on Visa-branded cards soared as consumers prepared for and watched the FIFA World Cup, according to cardholder spending data released Wednesday by Visa Inc.
Spending exceeded $312 million from June 1 through Sunday's conclusion of the month-long soccer tournament, up 70% from the same period a year earlier, Visa said.
The number of transactions during the same period jumped 79%, to 2.2 million.
More than 90% of spending was in the "typical leisure and business travel categories" such as accommodations, restaurants, retail, auto rentals and air travel, Visa said.
The World Cup "has definitely been a spectacular success for the local economy and businesses," said Antonio Lucio, Visa's chief marketing officer. "The foreign visitors came in force and spent in force with their Visa cards."
Stadium attendance for the tournament surpassed the 3 million mark for only the third time, according to FIFA, the global soccer federation.