With just a week to go before the start of the 21st FIFA World Cup in Russia, World Cup Fever has been breaking out all over the globe and beyond.
ForwardKeys has published a ranking of the top 50 countries most gripped by World Cup Fever. The ranking is based on the uplift in visitor arrivals to Russia from 4 June to 15 July, when World Cup ticket holders do not need a visa to enter the country.
The nation at the top of the list, with the greatest number of additional visitors, is the USA. It is followed, in order, by Brazil, Spain, Argentina, South Korea, Mexico, China, the UK, Germany and Egypt. This result may seem surprising because the USA has not qualified for the finals but interest in the sport has grown strongly since the 1994 World Cup when it was the host nation. Consequently, there will be nearly twice as many Americans in Russia during the World Cup as Brazilians. ForwardKeys believes that the reasons for the USA’s high placing also include the fact that it’s the largest outbound travel market in the world and that it has a sizable Latin segment in its population.