The FIFA World Cup is notorious for contributing to the host country’s tourism industry, attracting droves of people from all over the world who hope to watch the world’s best football matches. Past host countries have seen a heavy strain on their local hotel capacities but have also reaped massive rewards from the money raised by this intense jump in tourism.
In this article, we will discuss the tourism and hospitality industries in Qatar and how the FIFA World Cup has impacted them.
How the FIFA World Cup Has Impacted the Hotel Business in Qatar
The Status of Qatar’s Tourism Industry pre-World Cup
Before the football festivities, the tourism industry in Qatar was relatively stable. Having yet to return to levels of visits to Qatar before 2020, the country was already looking to enjoy an increase in tourism from easing global restrictions.
According to the Qatar Tourism Dashboard, in 2020 and 2021, there were just over 600,000 international arrivals to Qatar per year. These figures paled in comparison to the numbers of visitors in 2019 and 2018. Before the global pandemic, the number of people visiting Qatar each year topped 2 million visitors. With the FIFA World Cup’s arrival, Qatar began preparing itself for numbers that rivaled even those of 2019’s tourism.
Already, the numbers were looking good through the year 2022, before the start of the FIFA World Cup. But what were the impacts of the start of the famed football tournament?
The Hospitality Lessons Learned from the 2022 FIFA World Cup
All countries who host this monumental event expect to see effects from the number of people who flock to it. As of December 7, 2022, over 700,000 visitors came to Qatar for the World Cup – more than the total number of people who visited Qatar in 2021 – in just one month. To expect cities to host this extraordinary amount of people is astounding, and it is a feat that the hospitality in Qatar has essentially pulled off – with some adjustments.
The lessons to be learned from hosting an event such as the FIFA World Cup is that our hotels have been at capacity for nearly a month, but they won’t be forever. As the vacations revolving around the sporting event start to draw to a close, our visitors will go back home. However, we expect lasting effects from the visits to Qatar.
Those who have come to Qatar for the first time and enjoyed their stay in our hotels will arrive home with stories of the country, inspiring others to visit. You can think of the FIFA World Cup as a free marketing campaign for the hospitality and tourism industries. The country experienced a 25% boost to its population as a direct result of the World Cup’s arrival.
As a result, we expect to see continued higher levels of visits in the years after hosting the 2022 World Cup, as they inspire the friends and family of those who visited the country to come to enjoy Qatar.
In conclusion, Qatar’s hospitality and tourism industries have had much to gain from the FIFA World Cup but also much to look forward to. In the coming years, hotel owners in Qatar can expect to see the rebuilding process of the tourism industry expedite due to the World Cup and should remain prepared for increased tourism in the near future.