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Visa takes more than 2100 fans to Beijing for less


Visa takes more than 2100 fans to the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games in less than a week

Australian, New Zealand, Korean and Japanese Visa cardholders are among the first of an expected 6000 Visa guests at the Games

Beijing, CHINA, 14 August 2008 –The Beijing 2008 Olympic Games began less than one week ago, and already more than 2,100 fans from Asia Pacific countries have been brought to more than 40 Olympic events in Beijing as guests of Visa. By the end of the Games, the number will top 6,000 people.

Timothy Page, a businessman from Melbourne, Australia, and one of the Visa cardholders taken to Beijing courtesy of Visa, said, “My wife and I both love sport and we own a sports store in Melbourne. I play football and my wife just ran her first 10 km race a few weeks ago. This Olympic Games package put together by Visa has given us a wonderful opportunity to experience the world’s biggest sporting event.”

Richard Chang, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Greater China and the Philippines for Visa said, “To make the most of our sponsorship of the Olympic Games and continue helping to unite the world through sport, we wanted to give Visa cardholders a chance to see the Games in person and are making this possible for 6,000 people from around the region. We have been working hard for many months to ensure that our thousands of guests have a great time whether in the great sporting venues or seeing everything else that Beijing has to offer.”

The more than 2,100 fans from across the Asia Pacific region participated in various Visa cardholder programs linked to the Games. Visa has arranged for all of its 6,000 guests - which include Visa cardholders and their travel partners - to attend two competition events each and visit two of China’s cultural landmarks - The Great Wall and The Forbidden City.

Christopher Grant Robertson, from New Zealand said: “This is absolutely a sensational trip for me. The Chinese food is unbelievably good and so are the Chinese people. I am so happy to have climbed The Great Wall as well, since The Great Wall is on my must-go list in life.”

Mr Robertson’s views echo those of people from across Asia Pacific who voted the Great Wall of China as the number one destination for Asia Pacific travelers who plan to visit China, according to a survey carried out by Visa.1

Visa has been a proud sponsor of the Olympic Games for 22 years, and is the exclusive card of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Visa and its client financial institutions in China also have installed more than 90,000 ATMs and signed up some 216,000 merchant locations or outlets throughout China to help prepare for the expected influx of international visitors this year and beyond.

Since 2003, Visa has participated in a global alliance with China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the Beijing Tourism Administration (BTA) to promote tourism to China, improve China’s payment system and increase tourism revenues.


About Visa: Visa operates the world’s largest retail electronic payments network providing processing services and payment product platforms. This includes consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, which are offered under the Visa, Visa Electron, Interlink and PLUS brands. Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world and Visa/PLUS is one of the world's largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in more than 170 countries and territories.

For more information, visit


1 Between 17 March and 9 April 2008, Nielsen conducted 4,556 online and door-to-door interviews on behalf of Visa with people aged 18 years and above from nine countries and territories (Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and India) in an effort to measure their travel intentions in the future. For each market, quotas were set by key demographic variables to ensure the sample was representative of the general population.

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