Overseas fans visiting Russia for the FIFA 2018 World Cup spent an estimated €1.3bn (US$1.5bn, £1.2bn) during the tournament, according to a report by Sberbank of Russia – a state-owned banking and financial services company.
Sberbank analysed usage of foreign credit cards during the World Cup, taking into consideration all credit cards purchases, cash payments and currency conversions within its network.
During the tournament, foreign citizens’ expenses in Russia doubled when compared to the same period in 2017 (between 14 June and 16 July).
According to its analysis, football fans spent most of their money on hotels and restaurants, with the largest expense surge registered in the sports goods segment.
Sberbank's report also shows that consumers have moved away from cash payments, with just 8.2 per cent of all expenses being covered by ATM cash withdrawals.
"Foreign fans were most active during the second week of the group stage," the report reads.
"In July, the level of representation of countries that had left the tournament fell as fans started leaving, but the overall volume of expenses remained at the same level as during the first two weeks of the tournament."
According to estimates, around 600,000 foreign fans arrived to Russia for the tournament, providing the country's tourism industry with a much-needed boost.
Russia spent heavily on preparations for the event – the biggest event the country’s held since the collapse of the Soviet Union – with the total cost of the tournament estimated at around US$11bn (€9.4bn, £8.4bn).
To read the Sberbank report in full, click here to download a PDF document.