Int'l visitors spend $12M in first days of Games
Visa Inc. says international visitors used their credit cards to pump more than $12-million into B.C.'s economy in the first two days of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games alone.
Spokesman Andrew Woodward told ctvbc.ca nearly $5.2-million was spent using international Visa cards on Friday, Feb. 12, the day of the Opening Ceremony, with another $7-million spent on Saturday.
"It's an increase of 46 per cent over 2009," Woodward said of Friday's numbers.
"It's something that happens with all Olympic Games. People go to the restaurants, they go to the bars, they buy their souvenirs and t-shirts and hats and caps and flags. We're seeing across the board increases in spending."
The numbers account for the entire province, Woodward said, though the bulk of spending was done between Vancouver and Whistler.
U.S. travelers spent the most, dropping $2.3-million in the province, followed by China with $395,000.
"Obviously the United States would be at the top, but to think people from the U.K. dropped $300,000 in Vancouver on Friday alone, that's a pretty remarkable statistic," Woodward said.