Dec 9. Qatar received just over 765,000 visitors during the first two weeks of the World Cup, according to an organisers’ report obtained by Reuters, falling short of the country’s expectations for an influx of 1.2 million during the month-long event.
A huge surge in visitors at this stage is unlikely with only eight teams staying on in Doha, and eight games left out of the 64 in the tournament that began on Nov. 20.
Organisers had previously identified the peak period for international visitors to be Nov. 24-28 during the busy group stage, when 32 teams were playing four matches every day.
The Dec. 7 report was prepared by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SC), which organizes the tournament, and said that the first 17 days of the World Cup saw 765,859 international visitors, more than half of whom have now departed.
The report registered 1.33 million match ticketholders and 3.09 million tickets sold across the eight stadiums in Qatar for the tournament that ends on Dec. 18.
Fewer international visitors than originally forecast led to an unexpected glut of accommodation but has also averted major over-crowding or traffic headaches in Qatar, the smallest country by both population and area to host the World Cup.