Flight bookings to the Gulf nation surge during the football tournament
Demand for travel to Qatar during the country’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup at the end of this year has rocketed, according to Sojern.
Analysts at the travel marketing platform, which works with OTAs and uses artificial intelligence to gauge traveller intent, said the release of more tickets and airline schedules had triggered demand for flights and accommodation in the host country and surrounding destinations.
The tournament in Qatar runs from 21 November to 18 December, 2022.
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The highest number of bookings have come from the Middle East, Europe and APAC, with volumes for the Middle East more than 4000% higher compared with January 2022 levels.
Qatar Airlines has partnered with regional airlines including Flydubai and Air Arabia to provide dozens of match day shuttle flights between Dubai and Doha, and Sharjah and Doha respectively. The partnerships aim to make it easy for travellers to watch World Cup matches without staying overnight in Qatar and allows surrounding destinations to capitalise on the influx of tourists.
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The data also shows that travellers are booking with longer lead times. In 2021, nearly two-thirds of travel to Qatar happened within two weeks of booking, with only 4% of trips booked more than three months in advance. By contrast, lead times this year have shifted substantially. Currently, 18% of trips to Qatar are booked three months ahead of travel, which aligns with the World Cup period. As people secure their World Cup tickets, they are likely to be keen to get the rest of their travel sorted, in order to secure flights and hotels.
Longer lead times present an opportunity to travel operators to reach out to customers to secure early bookings for activities and attractions on non-match days.
For more information, visit www.sojern.com