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.

Tourism

Qatar Drops Pre-Arrival Covid Test Requirement Right in Time for World Cup

1 month ago

Qatar will be dropping its requirement of a pre-arrival negative polymerase chain reaction test from November 1, just in time for the FIFA World Cup that kicks off from November 20.

Qatari citizens and residents coming into the country will also not be required to undergo a rapid antigen or polymerase chain reaction test within 24 hours of arrival.

Visitors entering Qatar from November 1 onwards would also not be required to pre-register on the Ehteraz health application. Registration on the Ehteraz app would only be needed to enter healthcare facilities.

The Ministry of Public Health made the announcement on Wednesday, in light of the continuing decline in the number of Covid-19 cases throughout the world and in Qatar. 

Last month, the government had said in a statement that Covid vaccination would not be mandatory football fans coming in to the country for the World Cup.

From this month onwards, masks are also not mandatory while travelling on public transport in Qatar and it was announced that masks would be optional at the eight World Cup stadiums.

However, all visitors would need a Hayya Card to enter Qatar from November 1. The Hayya Card is a mandatory document given to anyone attending the World Cup that serves as an entry permit to the Qatar and also provides stadium access along with the match tickets.

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