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Kerala tour operators busy finalising itinerary for World Cup fans going to Qatar

Football world cup excitement is already cloud high and fans from Kerala will start flying to Qatar in the coming days to catch the matches live from stadiums in Qatar. Tour operators in Kerala are busy finalising itinerary for the football fans, who are travelling to Qatar, mainly accommodation and visit to other tourist destinations in Middle East.

As per the tour operators, fans are going in groups to Qatar and they are also utilising the opportunity to visit other tourist destinations. “We are coordinating the stay and itinerary for a batch of 20 football fans who are leaving for Qatar on November 17. Though they have booked match tickets on their own, we are arranging their flights, accommodation and visit to other tourist destinations in the region,” said Saby Jose, director of Kochi based tour operator Blu Vacations.

He added that the majority of the football lovers are using the opportunity to visit other countries in the region. “Our batch will be first visiting Almaty in Kazakhstan before proceeding to Doha to watch a match live,” Saby said, adding that as accommodation at Doha has become very expensive, people are opting for Dubai. He said the fans are opting for Azerbaijan and Georgia apart from Kazakhstan. “Many companies have come forward to sponsor match tickets as a goodwill gesture to ardent football fans. We have offered packages for the group which has been provided tickets by Greenlam Industries Ltd,” Saby added.

Kochi based businessman Mohammed Farooq said he and his friends are so excited about watching a world cup match live from a stadium. “It’s going to be our first live World Cup experience. We could get tickets only for a single match. But we are all happy about it and it’s going to be a lifetime experience,” he said.

Tour operators are finding huge demand from football lovers for accommodation facilities as all hotels in Qatar and other nearby places have already been booked and the rates have gone sky high. “Fans are willing to travel from Dubai to Doha on match days. Many airlines have put in place shuttle services between the two cities for the convenience of the fans. But looking for accommodation at the last minute will be risky as hotels in Dubai are also filling up fast,” Saby added.

Tour operators have also come out with special packages for the fans who have already booked match tickets and flight tickets. “Dubai and Kazakhstan are the best destinations for the fans to visit after watching a match. As Dubai will be crowded, we would recommend Kazakhstan as we would be able to get good offers from hotels there,” said another Kochi based tour operator.

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