World Cup fuels India’s tourism boom, sparks 12.5% surge in contactless payments

World Cup fuels India’s tourism boom, sparks 12.5% surge in contactless payments

There has been a 12.5 per cent growth in contactless cross-border transactions during World Cup 2023 as compared to July 2023, before the festive season began, according to a study by Visa,   At least 36 per cent of the cross-border transactions in India were contactless, 2X of the total domestic contactless transactions.

Visa conducted a review of payment trends during the recently concluded ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. 

The lure of seeing top cricketing nations on the field during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup proved to be a powerful motivator, triggering a travel boom in India. 

The impact of major sporting and cultural events on travel demand is a global phenomenon, witnessed earlier this year in the record turnout for the UEFA Final in Istanbul.


, or the surge in room rates for Taylor Swift tours.  The return of the World Cup Cricket event to India after 12 years saw a similar surge as international travellers flocked to the country during the 46 days. 

Spanning more than a month in India, the World Cup period saw a substantial surge in international travellers from both participating and non-participating nations, with airfares to top venues like Ahmedabad (50-60%), Mumbai (40- 50%), and Kolkata (30-40%) witnessing a major surge in prices.

Data from  Skyscanner’s Travel in Focus Report, 75 per cent of respondents were willing to increase their travel budget to experience live cricket matches.

With the timeline of the World Cup falling close to Diwali,  data from Visa found that international visitors didn’t limit their journey to just match venues, extending their travel plans to include destinations like Jaipur, Agra, Goa, Varanasi, and Udaipur. 

Among the participating nations in the World Cup, England, Australia, South Africa, and Bangladesh contributed the most to the spends during WC matches in India. Clothing and accessories, restaurants, and retail goods stood out as leading merchant categories experiencing significant increases in cross-border expenditures.

The average stay of the international audience during the World Cup was 11 days whereas visitors from New Zealand stayed longer.

Hotels, guesthouses, and other accommodations in host cities witnessed a spike in bookings. Premium hotels had anear-full occupancy, especially during high-profile matches, with room rates seeing an increase of approximately 20-30% compared to non-event days. During the final against Australia, room tariffs in some five-star hotels near the stadium in Ahmedabad surged to Rs 2 lakh, while several other hotels also increased their per-night charges by five times their original listing.

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