FIFA World Cup in Moscow: Qatari fans spent 8m rubles in one day, they bought only 4 items
In total, foreigners spent 39 billion rubles ($624m) during the World Cup, Sberbank states. In one of the first days of the competition, Qatari made four purchases at the cost of 8 million rubles.
The total expenditure of foreigners in the European part of Russia during the World Cup (June 14 - July 15) was about $1.5 billion, according to a study by Sberbank, which conducted an analysis of foreign card spending through its systems (ATMs and acquiring terminals) on the days of the World Cup. During the period of the championship expenses of foreigners in the territory of the European part of Russia grew by two times compared to the same period in 2017, when the 2017 Confederations Cup was hosted.
According to the Sberbank systems, foreigners spent 39 billion rubles in Russia during the World Cup, which is twice as high as in 2017. This amount includes transactions on cards issued outside of Russia, including cash withdrawals from ATMs, as well as operations for the exchange of cash currency to rubles.
The most significant increase year on year - 18 times - was recorded in Saransk, followed by Krasnodar Territory (4.9 times), Samara (4.6 times) and Nizhny Novgorod region (4.1 times). "Against the backdrop of such an outstanding growth Moscow and St. Petersburg, (2 times and 1.9 times, respectively) look modest," the report of the expenditure of foreign guests states.
For the period of the championship, Sberbank served customers from 194 countries in its acquiring network. A month earlier, the bank serviced 187 countries. New countries were Ethiopia, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Guinea-Bissau.
The number of unique foreign bank cards (cards for which at least one transaction was made during the analyzed period) serviced in the Sberbank acquiring network increased 3.5 times, to 899 thousand.
On June 16, on the third day of the World Cup, visitors from Qatar made four purchases for 8 million rubles on one of the main streets of Moscow - Nikolskaya, Sberbank stated. The study does not reveal what the Qataris purchased.
Qatar hosts the next World Cup, which will be held in 2022. In connection with this, in the days of the World Championships in the cities where the matches took place, there were organized platforms on which the history and culture of Qatar was spun in Moscow, in the Gorky Park, the Majlis Qatar pavilion dedicated to World Cup 2022, and Amir of Qatar Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani attended the final at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Turnover in the acquiring network of Sberbank on Nikolskaya increased almost 3.5 times and amounted to 220 million rubles. Cardholders from China (50 million rubles), Mexico (22 million rubles), the United States (16 million rubles), and Qatar (12 million rubles) spent the most on Nikolskaya. The spike of operations occurred on June 18, when customers made purchases for 12.5 million rubles ($200.200) for one day.
The average check on the fan street was 8800 rubles ($141) compared with 6500 rubles in the previous period.
What do foreigners purchase?
Looking at the spending of foreigners, the most significant expense is "other" (12 billion rubles). Among the other, most popular items were hotels (5 billion rubles), restaurants and fast food (6.1 billion rubles) and airlines (1.4 billion rubles). As for hotels, the aggregate figure for the country is even higher, the authors of the study note: the fans used a variety of types of housing and did not pay only by card or ruble. "Many of them pre-paid tours or used international booking systems," the authors of the study indicate. However, the growth is about 4%.
Transport spending were about 4-6% of all expenses. Air carriers received 1.377 billion rubles for their services, which exceeds the figures of the previous year by 2.46 times. Fans left 470 million rubles in pharmacies - an increase of only 5%.
The sports goods face the greatest upsurge in expenses. They were bought 9.2 times more items than in 2017: foreign guests spent more than 3.4 billion rubles on it.
Who is the most generous?
Even if you analyze the two most substantial articles, living, and food, you can highlight the vivid specificity in consumption, the study authors write. "Representatives of countries with the highest per capita income do not want to save on comfort," they note.
So, the share of expenses for hotels from guests from the USA, Great Britain, Germany, and Austria exceeded 20% of their total expenses. According to this indicator, they overtook the guests from Latvia, Belarus, Estonia, and Ukraine, who had a significant share of costs in supermarkets.
The United States accounts for the fifth part of total spending on restaurants and souvenirs - 713.76 million and 176 million rubles, respectively. The Chinese and the inhabitants of Qatar spent 26 and 45% of all expenditures on clothing, as for Europe and the United States, this figure is only 10-15%.
"Fans from China prefer buying jewelry and watches," the Sberbank study pens. Thus, the PRC representatives provided 65.1% of the cost of cosmetics (451.27 million rubles) and 38.6% of the demand for jewelry (404.2 million rubles).
Initially, the defendants in the case had been charged with embezzlement through swindling in the amount of 225 million rubles ($3.3 million). In the final version of the indictment, the article was changed to 1.5-billion-ruble ($22.45 million) embezzlement.