In a few days, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will begin, and Qatar is trying to accommodate the anticipated 1.2 million football fans. According to the benchmarking service STR, Qatar has approximately 31,000 hotel rooms, but Qatar Tourism reports that more hotels will open this month in time for the event, thereby increasing the room count.
Many fans have booked more than 90,000 hotel rooms, tents, apartments, and temporary “portacabins” during the peak days of what is considered the world’s largest sporting event. Three cruise ships converted into hotels by MSC Cruises are also entertaining guests. Which hotel firms thus stand to benefit the most? Bernstein Research’s senior analyst for global catering, global hotels, and leisure, Richard Clarke, said in a study published on November 14 that Hyatt and Accor are best positioned on the ground to capitalize on the event’s premium pricing:
The Qatar World Cup has created several interesting lodging innovations, including the environmentally friendly solution of using existing residential units rather than building new hotels, the employment of Accor as a manager of those residential properties to provide housekeeping and front desk services, and the creation of a dedicated booking platform rather than using existing OTAs.
The upside for hotel companies during the World Cup is likely 1-2 percent in the fourth quarter owing to the high price points (1,000 percent markups) of their rooms during the tournament, with Hyatt having the biggest percentage of its estate in Qatar, but Accor benefiting the most due to its unique contract. The existence of a dedicated booking agent, who has more options for the event than the global platforms, is likely to have a negligible impact on online travel agencies.