2018 FIFA World Cup fans by the numbers: Which country is most excited?

2018-06-12 16:31
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fans cheer on their respective teams

World Cup fever is reaching a crescendo as the world’s biggest sporting event draws closer.

A Russian-made rocket delivered an official FIFA 2018 football to the International Space Station where two cosmonauts played a quick game in orbit.

This is just one of the events that shows just how excited football fans from all over the world are getting for the tournament.

With football teams representing the aspirations and dreams of their respective countries arriving in Russia, this begs the question, "Which country is feeling World Cup fever the most?"

SEE: From Russia With Love: 5 things Saffas heading to the 2018 World Cup should check out

With modern technology, and some choice metrics and research, it is possible to get quantifiable evidence to answer precisely that. ForwardKeys have looked at millions of booking transactions daily. ForwardKeys predicts future travel patterns using analytic services and tools.

According to ForwardKeys data, flight bookings for arrivals in Russia are currently up 50.5% ahead of the same period last year.

Equally of interest is the fact that outbound bookings from Russia are down by 12.4%, as more Russians stay home during the summer months to enjoy the World Cup.

SEE: Magical St Petersburg is Russia's wanderlust charm

Their data also shows the most substantial increase in visitors, from countries that have not qualified for the World Cup, come from the US, China, India, Israel, Paraguay, UAE, Turkey, Canada and South Africa. According to their data, the teams that have qualified for the World Cup who are seeing the greatest numbers of visitors to Russia include Brazil, Spain, South Korea, UK, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Australia and Egypt.

SEE: #FindYourEscape: The need to know on Moscow

Booking data shows that on average, people are staying for 13 nights but this number decreases after the World Cup final which would seem to prove a correlation between the increased level of visitation and the World Cup.

Bookings for stays in the country during the visa-free entry period are also up by 39.6% compared to the same period in the previous year.

 (Picture: ForwardKeys)


SEE: Holiday budgeting: What are your rands worth in Moscow, Russia

The Russian government has waived visa requirements for entry to all visitors in possession of World Cup tickets - with the visa-free entry period running from 4 June to 15 July. The number of visitors to Russia in this time period have increased substantially - with the US leading the charge as the largest number of inbound visitors for the tournament.  

The top 10 countries with the greatest amount of additional visitors to Russia are, in ascending order, Egypt, Germany, the UK, China, Mexico, South Korea, Argentina, Spain, Brazil and top of the log is the USA.

 (Picture: ForwardKeys)


The Americans, statistically, are gripped by World Cup fever to a greater extent than even Brazil as the US have nearly doubled the number of Brazil in Russia for the World Cup.  

If you're also feeling hot with fever then perhaps you should consider booking your last-minute ticket to Russia and check out some games. All you'll need is your passport, clothes and a credit card - we've done all the thinking for you. 

Check out our Quick Guide: Plan your trip to Mother Russia 

If you can't make the trip all the way to Russia, fret not as there are plenty of ways to feel the fever right here in the Mzansi. No matter which city you're in, you're never too far from a great place to view some world-class football. From Blankbar in Jozi to Eastwoods in Pretoria, Dizzy's in Camps Bay to Bridge Street Brewery in PE and more, get out and feel the World Cup fever.

Follow this link to find some places to do exactly that in your city.