A recent worldwide survey conducted by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC) showed a massive demand from the international market to come to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, SC’s transport planner Tony Sharpe has said.
“There is a strong interest in people to come and stay in Qatar,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the PTV Mobility Day event, organised by PTV Group, at W Doha Hotel on Thursday (October 17).
Sharpe said the survey, conducted this year, covered 17,000 people from around the world, where their inputs provided lots of data for the SC.
Respondents answered a series of questions about the things they want to do in Qatar, their expectations, how will they spend their time, the number of tickets they want, and accommodations they prefer, among others, he noted.
Sharpe said they found out that many of the respondents prefer to come, watch, and stay where the event is taking place than going on regional tours.
“They want football, the stadiums in Qatar, so we expect a lot of people coming and staying here for several days,” he said. “They also want to see lots of games, they like the idea of two matches in one day is a possibility, but they also love the idea of coming for a week and seeing a match everyday.”
Sharpe added that most of the respondents want to visit every stadium – an opportunity for football fans to have a unique experience of the venues, and what a major event can be.
He expressed optimism that stadiums in 2022 will attract a large number of fans for every match, noting that some 3mn tickets will be available for the entire tournament.
“The last World Cup in Russia (2018) they were able to achieve close to 99% of ticket sales, so it is achievable. There is a strong demand for football and the World Cup is different from other local events,” he said.
In his presentation, Sharpe cited reports that the country is expecting around 1.5mn visitors to come to Qatar during the games in 2022.
With classes to be suspended during the entire event, he said school children and their parents will also have the opportunity to witness the matches during the holidays.
About the preparations, he said: “I believe the stadiums will be there in advance, the road network infrastructure is progressing rapidly, you see everyday new roads are being opened, the airport is expanding.”
“Infrastructure is not going to be an issue, I think the biggest challenge that we have is the operation of the workforce, training and bringing in this enormous number of people to welcome the World Cup,” said Sharpe, who discussed ‘Demand Forecasting for Mega Sporting Events’ at the seminar on Thursday.