Travel to Qatar Increases as World Cup Nears
Intent to Qatar rises leading up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
*THIS DATA WAS PULLED 20/07/22
In March, we saw an influx of travel intent to Qatar over the period that it is hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, 21 November to 18 December, 2022. We’ve continued to monitor our data, and as we’ve seen more tournament tickets and airline schedules released, intent to the host country and surrounding destinations continues to rise. Here are the most recent travel trends we see for the World Cup.
Since the beginning of the year, flight bookings to Qatar for November and December 2022 are increasing across the globe. There are definite spikes in intent, which roughly aligns with the waves of World Cup ticket releases.
The Middle East, Europe and APAC have the highest level of bookings to Qatar for the World Cup. Middle East volumes are over 4000% higher compared to January 2022 levels. Not only is the Middle East hosting the World Cup, but regional airlines including Flydubai and Air Arabia have opened dozens of match day shuttle flights between Dubai and Doha, and Sharjah and Doha.
Travel Marketing Tip: The launch of daily shuttle flights to Doha means that there is an easy way for travellers to watch their World Cup matches without staying overnight in the capital. Hotel marketers should use data to reach travellers who are potentially looking to visit Qatar, and highlight their offerings.
Moreover, we see that Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates are all showing significant year on year percentage increases.
Travel Marketing Tip: If you are a tourism board in the GCC region, you should be looking at the World Cup as an opportunity, not just for Qatar, but for your own destination. Travellers are coming from very long distances to be at the World Cup, and will likely want to take in more of the region during their trip. If you’re looking for ways to drive interest in your destination, here’s how Sojern drove success for DCT Abu Dhabi on a Co-op Campaign.
In 2021, nearly two-thirds of travel to Qatar happened within two weeks of booking. Only 4% of 2021 trips were booked more than three months before travel. Looking at 2022 lead times, we can see that long lead times have shifted quite 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 keen to get the rest of their travel sorted, as flights and hotels are booking up quickly.
Travel Marketing Tip: The Middle East is an incredible attractions hub, which will provide travellers with a lot to choose from on non-match days. If you are an attractions marketer in the region, don’t be afraid to reach out to those in-market travellers to secure those early bookings.
It’s not too late to activate your World Cup strategy. Talk to our team now.
Hoteliers can capitalize on new opportunities and reap huge benefits
Our latest report shares insight to help guide DMOs when planning for 2024.
Agencies exceed client goals by leveraging travel data and expertise.
“With any product and service, you have to spend time and resources to grow your customer base. Sojern provides us with an extremely effective way to increase our direct bookings and maximize guest lifetime value. The platform delivers impressive results, achieved with minimal time and resources invested by the team. It's a great product and service that I never have to sell to ownership–the results speak for themselves. Sojern seamlessly integrates into our marketing distribution, freeing us up to focus on other initiatives. When a program performs this well, I know we're making the right marketing investments.”
“Sojern is the top performing conversion partner that we've run for travel specific activities. I would definitely recommend investigating how to work with Sojern to my agency peers with travel clients. Their team is really proactive, and very quick on everything we need. We value the great quality in terms of reports and support the team provides, and on top of that, we also see activities perform incredibly well. So clearly, there's a lot going on in the back end to make sure we're hitting and meeting all of Sandals’ KPIs.”
“We were seeking a partner that could help us increase our direct booking share and reach, as well as overcome seasonality challenges. We looked at Sojern, which was very well recommended, and I can definitely say we made the right choice. Working with Sojern is so easy and reliable and the entire process is incredibly smooth and straightforward. Since joining Sojern we consistently convert new guests looking to visit the Caribbean, regardless of seasonality.”
“Working with Sojern, it’s not just a cookie-cutter solution, as Sojern listens to our needs and recommends what’s best for our hotel. We have someone to bounce ideas off of, and Sojern gives us a higher-level perspective on how we can get the best value for our investment.”
“We love the simplicity of the solution and how clearly we can see results. The technology works so well that it leaves us to do our other day-to-day jobs. We are seeing increased interest in our superior and deluxe rooms as a result, which is improving the overall average booking value. I think we will be long-time customers for as long as Sojern continues to perform the way it does today!”
We’re ready to help you take the guesswork out of your digital marketing. Contact us to tap into the travel industry’s most intelligent marketing platform.