World Cup attendance of 765,002 falls short of Qatar's projections of 1.2 million

Soccer news Dec 8, 2022

CONFERENCE CENTER, Qatar, December 8 (Reuters) - Qatar expected 1.2 million visitors throughout the month-long World Cup, but just 765,000 showed up in the first two weeks, according to a study from event organizers seen by Reuters.

With just eight teams still in Doha and only eight games remaining out of 64 in the competition that started on November 20, it seems doubtful that there will be a sudden influx of spectators.

The group stage, with 32 teams playing four matches a day, was expected to be the busiest time for foreign visitors, and thus that's why the tournament's organizers targeted the dates of November 24-28.

There were 765,859 international visitors over the first 17 days of the World Cup, but more than half of them departed, according to research issued on December 7 by the organizing Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC).

It was reported that 1.33 million people bought tickets to watch matches, while 3.09 million were sold at the eight venues in Qatar. The tournament will culminate on December 18.

The numbers were verified by a Qatari official who did not desire to be identified. In spite of Reuters' attempts to comment, the SC has remained silent.

For spectators, hotels, and the limited availability of alcoholic beverages, the Qatar event is among the most costly in its history.

Qatar, the smallest country to host the World Cup in terms of population and space, saw an unexpected excess of lodging as a result of the lower-than-expected number of foreign tourists.

The number of people living in Qatar has increased by 25% as a result of the inflow of tourists, from 3 million to 3.5 million. Only roughly 10% to 12% of the population are native Qataris.

According to a Qatari source quoted by Reuters, "with over a week of action yet to go, a tide of new guests has begun coming from the countries who made it to the quarter finals."

After relaxing its entrance requirements for citizens of neighboring Gulf nations, Qatar may anticipate an influx of tourists for its next popular matches.

According to the report, 2.65 million people attended one or more of the first 52 games played.

Stadium attendance in Qatar reportedly topped that of the 2018 World Cup in Russia within the same time period.

Hundreds of Moroccan supporters traveled into Qatar on Tuesday on chartered planes in anticipation of their team's triumph against Spain. It is anticipated that similar battles will be staged to encourage international fans to rush to the tournament's last three rounds.

During the tournament duration, visitors to Qatar are required to provide a Hayya identity card upon arrival, which also serves as a visa. In a Tuesday announcement, Qatar said it would no longer demand this of its Gulf Cooperation Council partners.

The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles are the basis of our work.

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