FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 is seen having impacts across three timeframes – the lead-up, the main event and post-event, according to Batu Dolay, managing director, Travelex Middle East and Turkey.
“During the lead-up, we expect business tourism to grow as regional corporates look into how they can position their offerings to support what is undoubtedly the largest sporting event in 2022.
“By November 2022, we are expecting the world to arrive in Qatar! It will not just be a positive impact for our industry, but across Qatar in general – an opportunity for all of us to showcase the country’s hospitality, vibrancy and capabilities,” Dolay said in an interview with Gulf Times.
The London-headquartered foreign exchange company, Travelex is in the midst of expanding its product offering to further digitise and streamline its FX offering for customers, making it even easier for them to explore Qatar with financial security and peace of mind.
“After the World Cup, we expect there to be lasting impacts on Qatar's investment and tourism industries. We see this as a product of the World Cup being successful, and an existing part of Qatar’s Vision 2030. After having showcased the country’s many facets on the world stage, we have no doubts about the ongoing growth of Qatar’s business and leisure tourism,” Dolay noted.
Asked about the impact on the forex market due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Dolay said, “The market naturally declined as a result of air travel coming to an abrupt halt. Similar to other industries, the retail foreign exchange industry reacted to this drop by reviewing and curtailing operating costs.
“With customer demand coming back, Travelex has built relationships with multiple partners to ensure we are able to source and supply currencies that are in line with the established travel corridors between Qatar and the world. Thanks to our international scale, we have been able to import a wide range of currencies from our vaults in London, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.”
He said, “Pre-pandemic, 2019 was a banner year for Travelex Qatar. Through investment in our people and supply chain, we were able to complement the growth strategy of both Hamad International Airport and Qatar Airways. We made sure that as the aviation sector in Qatar expanded, our offering expanded – both in terms of currencies and locations – to meet this increase in demand.
“Post-pandemic, and thanks to its strategic positioning as one of the world’s preferred travel hubs, Qatar has been one of the fastest recovering markets we operate in. The recovery we have witnessed is in no small part due to the exemplary recovery driven by both Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport, who we congratulate again on winning the World’s Best Airline and the World’s Best Airport, respectively, at the 2021 Skytrax awards.
“With the current trends in global travel, airport passengers are ensuring they make the most of any opportunity they have to go on holiday, and this in turn has led to welcome increases in travel demand compared to 2020. Additionally, Travelex was one of the first firms to take the additional security protocols of sanitising our banknotes for customers adding further levels of comfort to their travel,” Dolay said.