The British public is spending twice as much money on the Internet as it did a year ago, according to new figures released by Visa.
The card organisation says total UK sales figures for the final quarter of 2003 were almost double that of the same period in 2002 – an increase of 91%. During that time, Visa cardholders in the UK spent over £1.8 billion on the Internet.
Over the year, travel and tourism were the biggest growth areas, with an annual increase in expenditure of 112%. Spending on entertainment also recorded impressive annual growth of 180% – with online bookings for cinemas and restaurants doubling over the period.
Visa says all the major European markets experienced healthy quarterly growth in the last three months of the year. Online purchases by Visa cardholders were up by 28% in the UK and Spain, 32% in Italy, and 40% in Germany and France.