Kids play soccer at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Cape Town - Bafana Bafana might not have qualified for the World Cup in Brazil, but that hasn’t stopped South Africans from splashing cash at the event.

According to Visa’s Everywhere Travel Report, R1.7-million was spent by South Africans with their Visa cards in Brazil during the tournament’s four-day opening period from June 12 to 15. This is 174 percent more than this time last year.

Global figures show that more than US$25m (about R265m) was spent by international visitors with their Visa cards in Brazil over the same period, which is a 74 percent increase on the same four-day period last year and 43 percent more than the first four days of the Confederations Cup, a tournament Brazil hosted in 2013.

Mandy Lamb, for Visa in South Africa, said the figures gave an idea of the impact of the World Cup.

“These numbers reflect the significant impact that mega sporting events like the World Cup can have in boosting local commerce in host market economies.

“This positive trend aligns with Brazil’s expectation that more than 600 000 international travellers may visit the country during this event – ultimately boosting the country’s economy.”

Other countries that also showed triple-digit increases include Australia (675.2 percent), Colombia (418 percent), Mexico (204.2 percent) and Britain (101.3 percent) during those four days.

The top three national spenders using Visa accounts for that period were the US with $6.6m (R70.3m), the UK with $2.3m (R24.5m) and France with $1.7m (R18.1m). - Cape Argus


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