Skift Travel News Blog

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

Tourism

Philadelphia Attracts 34,000 Visitors During Phillies’ Run to the World Series

3 weeks ago

The Philadelphia Phillies came up short in the World Series this month against the Houston Astros, but the city’s tourism industry emerged as a big winner from the team’s unexpected postseason success.

Philadelphia attracted 34,000 overnight visitors during the Phillies’ three-week playoff run, representing 35,000 hotel room nights, according to data provider Tourism Economics. The average hotel occupancy rate in Center City Philadelphia hit 90 percent during the World Series, a number the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association said is a 20 percentage point increase from its usual figure in late October and early November.

“This was a big win for Philadelphia and its tourism and hospitality sector, especially the city’s restaurants, staff, and their staff who were positively impacted by the Phillies postseason run,” said Larry Needle, executive director of PHL Sports, a business development arm of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The organization announced on Thursday that the eight playoff games the Phillies hosted this postseason at Citizens Bank Park injected $78 million into Philadelphia’s economy, including $49 million in direct spend in the city.

Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Phillies’ unexpected run to the 2022 World Series packed Citizens Bank Park, and filled hotel rooms in the city. (hao$/Flickr)

Hotels

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

3 weeks 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.

Coronavirus

Qatar Requires World Cup Visitors to Produce Negative Covid Test Upon Arrival

2 months ago

Fans attending soccer’s World Cup in Qatar this November and December must show proof of a negative Covid test upon arriving in the country, event organizers said on Thursday.

All visitors above the age of six must produce a negative result from a PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure or a rapid antigen test taken in the 24 hours prior to their arrival, the event’s organizing committee said in a statement. Travelers older than 18 will also be required to download Qatar’s government-run contact tracing app Ehteraz. A green Etheraz status, which shows the user does not have a confirmed Covid case, is necessary for entering any closed indoor spaces available to the public.

However, fans traveling to Qatar for the World Cup aren’t required to be vaccinated. In addition, Qatar does not mandate travelers take a Covid test prior to departing the country. Roughly 1.5 million fans are expected to travel to the Gulf State for the tournament, which starts on Nov. 20.

Doha
Visitors to Qatar must produce a negative Covid test upon arrival in the country (Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons)

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