Aussies 'spend millions at the Olympics'

Friday 10 August 2012

Article by Mozo

Many Aussies will be extremely disappointed with their country's performance in the Olympic Games thus far.

Australia currently sits in tenth position in the overall medals table, with just ten golds to the nation's name.

The fact that Great Britain – one of our traditional sporting rivals – is in third place with 25 golds makes it even more difficult to stomach.

However, Aussies who have made the long journey to London to cheer on the likes of Sally Pearson are among the top five when it comes to spending their overseas travel money.

Figures published by Visa have shown that Aussies have spent US$35.3 million ($33.5 million) in shops, hotels, bars and restaurants across the English capital in the second week of the Games.

This puts Australia in fifth position, behind Italy, France, Japan and the US.

In total, fans have splashed out US$716.7 million in the past week, with Aussies accounting for around five per cent of this.

Incredibly, since the opening ceremony, visitors have spent US$1.4 billion on their plastic and Visa chiefs confirmed that the services sector had been benefiting the most from the influx of tourists.

Visa representative Kevin Burke said it is encouraging to see so many people using their travel credit cards across London.

"The Olympics are a showcase for athletics and innovation and the same goes for tourism," he remarked, before adding: "It is easier than ever for international travellers safely to pay for goods and services with payment cards, contactless smart cards or mobile technology."

"Visa's spend data shows that more countries are able to take advantage of these payment innovations," Mr Burke added.

Of course, Aussie tourists have a huge advantage over many of their rival fans thanks to the strength of the country's currency.

The dollar has been gaining on the likes of the euro and the British pound this year, which means travellers are getting some of the best exchange rates seen for years.

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