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.
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.
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.