Around 23,500 tickets for this year’s FIFA World Cup in Qatar were purchased by fans from India, despite the country not qualifying for the tournament.
During the first sales phases, which accounted for 1.8 million tickets, some 23,500 tickets were purchased by fans in India, meaning the country was ranked seventh for ticket sales.
According to Al Jazeera, almost 18,000 fans from India attended the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018. Across the non-competing countries, India had the third highest number of fans behind the US and China.
Being close to the Middle East is also a contributing factor to India’s high ticket sales, with the country of Qatar being home to roughly 750,000 Indians. There is a separate ticketing category for Qatari residents with prices starting as low as QAR 40 (£8/$11/ 876 INR).
Australia and New Zealand also rely heavily on tourism from India, with sporting events such as the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup aiming to draw in more tourists from the country.
More specifically, the India vs Pakistan match is expected to draw thousands of fans after it sold out in just minutes. A second wave of standing only tickets also sold out just as quickly.
According to news outlet Mint, the 2015 Men’s ICC Cricket World Cup saw 10,000 visitors travel to Australia from India. This year, the T20 World Cup is expected to draw in between 18,000-20,000 fans from India.
Mint also highlighted that sports travel firm DreamSetGo was expecting to help roughly 5,000 fans from India in travelling to Australia over the next 12 months, with 75% attending the T20 World Cup.