Alibaba Group’s travel-services platform Fliggy launched a special travel package on Tuesday for Chinese consumers living overseas to attend the men’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar later this year.
The bundle starts at RMB19,670 ($2,722), including tickets to see one of the French national team’s games in November and a two-night hotel stay in the host city, Doha. Round-trip flights between France and Qatar are available upon request.
A former football player from the French national team will join participating travelers to watch the international soccer tournament, taking place between Nov. 1 and Dec. 23, while tour guides will show fans around the Qatari capital.
“The quadrennial World Cup is an important event and a good opportunity to help the global tourism industry recover from challenges posed by the pandemic,” said Zhao Lei, Managing Director of Fliggy’s Department of Vacation Business, in a statement in Mandarin.
Fliggy will help soccer fans navigate complex Covid travel restrictions in Qatar that require visitors to secure special permission from local authorities.
The country will close its borders during the two-month-long sporting event, allowing only football fans with a unique fan ID, dubbed the Hayya card, to visit the country during the World Cup.
The card allows FIFA ticket holders to enter Qatar multiple times over 90 days, according to Ada Xu, Director of Fliggy’s Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) Business.
This is the first time Fliggy has curated a product to target the Chinese community living overseas, but it won’t be the last.
With both next year’s Rugby World Cup and the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics taking place in France, Fliggy sees an opportunity to encourage sports tourism among Chinese users worldwide.
“Fliggy hopes to leverage the power of digital platforms to link consumers, global partners, and high-quality travel services to contribute to the industry’s recovery,” Zhao added.
Partnerships were key to developing the World Cup package, and Fliggy worked closely with French sports-focused travel agency Mycomm.
“We look forward to launching more packages of world-class sports events for Chinese sports fans to enjoy the top service and viewing experience,” said Mycomm CEO Gregory Sevault at the launch event in Paris.