NEW research by Visa into the impact ‘mega sporting events’ have on tourism spend through its credit cards throws up an interesting anomoly. The Visa figures show that spending on its cards by non-residents during the 2010 FIFA World World Cup in South Africa increased 82% while there was a 93% boost in Vancouver during the 2009 Winter Olympics. But for the 2008 Beijing Olympics the increase was just 13%. One logical explanation is that Chinese businesses want cash not credit, demonstrating once again that China marches to a different beat.

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