travel agencies they are not too optimistic ahead of the next World Cup to be played in Qatar.
“Demand is currently lukewarm”said the CEO of Toc Toc Viajes, Andrés Gil, in dialogue with Coffee & Business. Several companies in the sector indicated that, after an initial peak registered months ago, interest in traveling to the Asian country has decreasedand that today “the demand is taking place in how many drops”.
According to the general manager of Hiper Viajes, Fernando Riva, the cultural gap, the little tourist offer that Qatar offers beyond the world cup and the costs of travel and stay were the decisive factors for the demand by the Uruguayans to be below the previous World Cups.
“We hope that the sale of trips to this World Cup in Qatar is located 50% below the one registered in the last World Cupdisputed in Russia during 2018”, Riva pointed out.
“The next World Cup is going to take place in a very special date because it is close to the holidays and, in addition, it coincides with the end of the courses”, added the executive.
For Gil, these obstacles are added to the air connectivity issues, which have been dragged on since the covid-19 pandemic, when several air routes were suspended or modified due to the closure of borders. Today, to get to Qatar from Uruguay, you must make at least one stopover at Barajas Airport, in Spain.
According to the president of the Association of Travel Agencies of Uruguay (Audavi), Carlos Pera, it is very complex to determine how many Uruguayans will attend the next world cupdue to the fact that many people buy the tickets directly and will stay in nearby destinations, such as Dubai, for example, with the aim of lowering costs.
In any case, Pera estimated that between 2,000 and 2,500 Uruguayans will be present in some or all of the football matches, which will be played in the Asian country. “It is complex to elaborate approximations”, underlined the president of Audavi.
Pera further argued that travel demand may be worse than some agencies indicated. “I am more pessimistic”, she pointed out and explained that it is possible that they will go to Qatar less than 50% of the Uruguayans who were present at Russia 2018.
Ticket prices are around US$3,000, although the cost of the different packages range from US$ 8,000 to US$ 15,000.
The difference in prices has to do with the number of people who go, the length of the stay, the place of accommodation (hotel, apartment or cruise ships) and if the tourists will settle in the city of Doha or in Dubai. This city, although it has a broader menu of accommodation, is further away from the place where the matches will be played.
“This World Cup points to a public with high purchasing power and to football fans, since, unlike Russia or Brazil, Qatar does not offer other activities to enjoy with the familyRiva concluded.