Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Hotels

Qatar’s World Cup to Benefit Hyatt and Accor Most: Analyst

3 months ago

The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 starts in five days, and Qatar is struggling to have enough lodging to house an expected 1.2 million football fans.

Qatar has only about 31,000 hotel rooms, according to benchmarking service STR, though Qatar Tourism says it has more hotels opening this month in time for the event — boosting its room count.

Many fans have looked beyond traditional hotels, booking more than 90,000 hotel rooms, tents, apartments, and temporary “portacabins” during the peak days of what’s called the biggest sporting event on Earth, Reuters reported. Three cruise ships from MSC Cruises turned into floating hotels are also welcoming visitors.

So which hotel companies stand to gain the most? Richard Clarke, the senior analyst for global catering, global hotels, and leisure at Bernstein Research, in a report on Monday, said Hyatt and Accor have the best on-the-ground positioning to take the most advantage of the top prices being charged during the event:

The Qatar World Cup has thrown up some interesting innovations for lodging, including the sustainable solution of using existing residential units rather than building new hotels, employing Accor as a manager of those residential properties to provide housekeeping and front desk services and the creation a dedicated booking platform rather than using existing OTAs [online travel agencies].

The upside for the World Cup for the hotel groups is likely 1-2 percent in the fourth quarter from the high price points (1000 percent mark ups) of their rooms during the event with Hyatt having the highest % of its estate in Qatar, but Accor likely benefits the most due to its unique deal.

The online travel agencies will likely benefit far less because of the existence of a dedicated booking agent, which has more choice for the event than the global platforms.

Richard Clarke, the senior analyst from global catering, global hotels and leisure at Bernstein Research.
Source: Global Hotels & OTAs: Who will win the World Cup? by Richard Clarke and team at Bernstein Research.

Expect some hotels in the capital city of Doha to charge entrance fees for anyone visiting its bars and lounges to watch World Cup matches, adding to hotel revenues.

Tourism

Qatar Will Allow Ticketless Fans to Enter the Country From December 2

3 months ago

Qatar will allow visitors without football World Cup tickets to enter the country from December 2 after the group stage matches end.

However, even as a match ticket will no longer be mandatory for inbound arrivals to Qatar, visitors will still need to furnish a Hayya Card before traveling, organizers said.

The Hayya Card is an ID that serves as an entry permit to Qatar and also provides stadium access along with the match tickets.

Earlier, Qatar had made Hayya Card mandatory for those wanting to enter Qatar from November 1. 

As it gets set to host the most geographically-compact football World Cup from November 20, Qatar has been easing entry restrictions into the country.

Last month, Qatar announced that it would drop the requirement of a pre-arrival negative polymerase chain reaction test from November 1.

Expecting congested roads during the World Cup, officials had earlier warned that managing four soccer games a day in Doha will be a challenge.

Tourism

David Beckham Kicks Off Qatar’s Latest Tourism Campaign

6 months ago

As the countdown begins to the Middle East’s very first Federation Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) World Cup, host country Qatar now has British soccer star David Beckham promoting the destination for a stopover break.

The campaign features Beckham on a whirlwind trip to Qatar for 48 hours indulging in a wide range of activities from exploring the spice markets of Souq Waqif, soaking up local street art, cooking tacos to camping in the desert and discovering Doha on a motorbike.

The video featuring David Beckham’s 48-hour trip to Qatar.

In 2019, Qatar’s transit traffic stood at 40 million passengers, courtesy national carrier Qatar Airways. However, the country only received 2.1 million visitors — a mere 5 percent of the number of people transiting through the country.

Through this campaign, Qatar Tourism seeks to raise awareness of what it dubs is the, “the world’s best value stopover packages.”

Passengers can book themselves at a four-star hotel for as little as $14.00 per person, per night, Philip Dickinson, vice president of international markets for Qatar Tourism had said speaking to Skift in an earlier interview.

The campaign is aimed to encourage the millions who transit through Qatar every year to follow in David’s footsteps, Akbar Al Baker, chairman of Qatar Tourism and group CEO of Qatar Airways, said in a press statement.

“We have something for everyone at incredible value, whether it’s sun, sea, sand, rich heritage and culture, or a modern and fun city break,” Baker said.

Qatar expects to bring in 1.5 million fans during the 28 days that the World Cup is scheduled to take place in the country. FIFA estimates that the Qatar World Cup returns could reach $6 billion, Nasser Al-Khater, CEO of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, said this week while speaking to Qatar News Agency

Qatar had unveiled Beckham as its global ambassador for the World Cup in a deal reportedly worth $277 million. Beckham had however come under fire for failing to speak out about human rights abuses in Qatar.

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