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[PyeongChang 2018] Foreigners' credit card spending in Olympic host region more than triples

The amount of credit card spending by foreigners more than tripled during the PyeongChang Winter Olympics at and around host cities of the games, data showed Thursday.

Tallies from BC Card said the amount of credit card usage by foreigners in Gangwon Province, the alpine region in South Korea's east where Olympic competitions were held, rose 215.1 percent during the Feb. 9-25 Games compared to the same period last year. In the case of Gangneung, the sub-host city, usage soared 1,325 percent, according to the data.

(Yonhap)
(Yonhap)

Spending on lodging jumped 3,763.3 percent, while credit card use at Western food restaurants increased 2,438.5 percent. Card swipes at Korean restaurants increased 521.5 percent and spending at condominiums rose 436.1 percent.

Local residents were also drawn to the Olympics in bigger numbers. Data showed that 21,700 more people from Seoul visited the province during the Games for a BC Card spending increase of 19.1 percent. Visitors from metropolitan Gyeonggi Province rose 15.9 percent, while those from the large southeastern port city of Busan increased 15.5 percent.

The same data showed food delivery businesses also profited from the games, as people watched the competitions from home.

The most delivery orders via apps were made on Feb. 23 during the South Korea-Japan women's curling semifinals, when 18,365 deliveries were made. Next was during the games opening ceremony on Feb. 9 when 18,154 deliveries were ordered. The third-highest order volume placed on Feb. 24, the day of speed skating competitions, with 17,621 food deliveries.(Yonhap)
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