According to Wego, an online travel marketplace in the Middle East and North Africa, an astonishing number of football fans from across the region are flocking to the Russia 2018 World Cup finals.
In the run up to this year’s World Cup, recent research from Wego shows that such football events have grown exponentially in interest amongst the MENA region’s residents. In the last two months alone, Wego has witnessed a 1,493 per cent jump in Russian hotel search volumes from the region, compared to the same period last year. Further to this, there has been a 402 per cent spike in flight searches to major Russian cities, as shown by the new numbers.
“Football, in this region, is a celebrated pastime that binds people of different nationalities together. This is why, year-on-year, Wego has seen more Gulf travellers fly out to the host countries to watch the games live,” explained managing director, Wego MENA and India, Mamoun Hmedan.
“This year, with the unprecedented qualification of four Arab teams for the World Cup, excitement levels are higher than ever before. Wego recorded a 16-fold increase in interest for World Cup-led hotel searches, a number that appears to be growing every day,” he added.
According to Wego, the majority of airfare searches from Gulf country residents were for the Russian tournament destinations of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The company’s search data analysis further showed a maximum travel interest for World Cup 2018 coming from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE; the share of wallet for World Cup travel ranking highest in Saudi Arabia; and smartphones dominating travel planning for the major event.