Visa Europe predict Olympic consumer spending boom for the UK

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will deliver an £804m consumer spending injection for the UK this summer and an economic legacy worth £5.33bn by 2015, according to a new report from Visa Europe.

The study, ‘Realising a Golden Opportunity: Visa Europe’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Expenditure and Economic Impact Report’, looks at the consumer expenditure and economic output related to The Games and its distribution across the country.

It is based on spending data from previous Games and major sporting events as well as Visa’s insight into consumer spending in the UK.

The Games open on the 27th July and, according to the reports, in the seven weeks following international visitors will spend £749m, representing an 18% increase on the level of spend that would be expected if the Games were not taking place in 2012.

Spending by domestic consumers will increase by £54m during the Games, and the knock-on effect of this increased consumer spending translates into widespread economic impacts and an increase in output worth £1.21bn over the seven week Games period.

The report also calculates the legacy impacts of the Games between 2013 and 2015 and looks at the predicted increase in visitor spending and economic output attributable to the Olympic and Paralympic Games and its distribution across the country.

Dr Steve Perry, commercial director at Visa Europe said: ‘The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games represent a fantastic opportunity for the whole country. While the host city will be the centre of Olympic activity and the initial spending beneficiary, The Games are a showcase for the whole country.’

‘Visitor spending and associated economic output will rise on the back of the nation’s higher profile as a desirable destination in coming years. This economic legacy will be distributed across the country: from 2013 to 2015, 79% of the £4.12bn economic output will flow to areas outside of London and the biggest winners will be high street retailers and hotels.’

This spending and economic output will be driven by the raised international profile of the host city and country, by concentrated international media exposure and the benefit of ‘word of mouth’ recommendations from Olympic visitors returning home.

During the seven week Games period, industries most closely associated with tourism such as retail, hotels and entertainment will feel the benefit of The Games.

Overall, the principal winners from the increase in spending by sector are expected to be:

·    High Street retailers: £210 million

·    the Hotels sector: £138 million

·    Supermarkets: £88 million

·    the Entertainment, food and drink industries: £46 million

·    the Travel sector (airlines, car hire, etc.): £46m

Dr Perry added: ‘Businesses serving international visitors will capitalise on the presence of Olympics and Paralympics fans looking to make the most of their visit to the UK. Retailers will also feel the impact as UK residents celebrate their nation’s time in the spotlight with Games parties and gatherings to support the British team as they aim for gold on home turf.’

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