Foreign football fans spent around $1.5 billion (more than AUS$2billion) in the European part of Russia during the 2018 FIFA Word Cup, a survey conducted by Russia's largest bank Sberbank revealed on Tuesday.
"According to Sberbank's estimates, the total spending by foreign fans in the European part of Russia amounted to around $1.5 billion. During the World Cup, foreigners' expenses increased by two times compared with the same period of the year in 2017, when the Confederations Cup was held," the survey said.
Expenses included both credit cards purchases and cash payments, with the currency conversion also taken into consideration.
The largest year-on-year increase of 18 times was recorded in the Russian city of Saransk, while the expenses in the Russian capital Moscow and in the country's second-largest city of St. Petersburg increased by two and 1.9 times respectively.
Foreign football fans spent 39 billion rubles (around AUS$850m) making purchases through Sberbank's systems with foreign credit cards, including transactions and currency exchange, the survey revealed.
Sberbank reported that foreign football fans spent most of their money on hotels and restaurants, with the largest expense surge registered in the sports goods segment.
Hotels earned 5 billion rubles (about AUS$95m) during the World Cup, with the aggregate figure for the whole country being even higher, as fans used different housing options and different paying options. Many foreign fans paid for packages or used international booking systems.
Foreign football fans spent 4.3 billion rubles (around AUS$95m) in restaurants and 1.8 billion rubles (around AUS$39m) in fast-food chains, while airlines earned around 1.4 billion rubles (about AUS$30m), which is 2.46 times more than during the 2017 Confederations Cup.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicked off on June 14 and came to a close on Monday, with France beating Croatia 4-2 in the final. The matches were played in 11 cities across Russia.