Travel spend climbs to pre-recession levels: Visa

Visa Inc. has released its 2011 Travel Snapshot highlighting key spend insights from Visa account holders travelling to and from Canada, the US, Mexico and Brazil – and the results are promising. According to VisaVue Travel data, Visa account holders from these countries continued to increase spend on international travel-related purchases from 2010 to 2011, building momentum toward pre-recession levels. Travellers from Canada increased tourism spend on their Visa accounts 11%, those from the US by 7%, and Mexico by 19%. Most notably, travellers from Brazil increased international travel spend on their Visa accounts by 32% in 2011 – 43% of which was in the United States. “Visa works closely with governments and tourism entities to connect merchants to the more than 2.3 billion Visa global account holders and provides a convenient, secure and reliable payment experience for international travellers,”says Ava Kelly, head of global affluent and cross border initiatives at Visa Inc. “Tourism is a key contributor to economic growth so this upward trend in international travel expenditures can provide some welcome revenues for growing countries like Mexico and Brazil, as well as the US and Canada.”While Visa account holders from the United States ($3.5 billion), France ($351 million) and the United Kingdom ($348 million) remained the top three contributors to Canadian tourism, Visa account holders from China had one of the most significant increases with a 41% increase year over year, from $229 million in 2010 to $321 million in 2011. (