In Qatar’s World Cup year, Miami cruise ships as hotels?
Written by Nina Lincoff on January 15, 2014
For two days this month, Miami will host a delegation from Qatar on one stop of their tour of the US to learn about American tourism and sporting practices in preparation for the World Cup 2022, which will be held in Qatar.
The delegation will be coming from Atlanta, and has already visited cities on the West Coast. For the US Export Assistance Center, however, Miami offers an international flair that will come in handy when hosting the global futbol event.
“It’s the diversity, it’s a lot of things that make Miami a truly international city,” said Eduardo Torres, US Export Assistance Center director in South Florida, who is helping to coordinate and plan the event.
On Jan. 30 and 31, the 15 delegates will visit sporting facilities, hotels and government offices. Although the exact details of who, where and when the delegation will be meeting with is still being determined, Mr. Torres said, Marlins Stadium, Sun Life Stadium, Carnival Cruises and Miami Beach City Hall are on the preliminary agenda.
“It is a true international area with all kinds of people and languages. It’s what makes this region very attractive – everybody breathes and eats international trade,” Mr. Torres said. “It’s a place where people understand that products don’t sell products, people do. That’s why they’re coming here.”
Housing for the World Cup might be a bit unconventional. But it’s also an area where PortMiami might be able to help. The delegation is meeting with the cruise industry, and cruise ships might provide floating hotel service during the event – some might make the voyage across the Atlantic from Miami to Qatar.
“Like the World Cup in South Africa, they did that, a lot of people have done that,” Mr. Torres said.
“There are 6,000 people that can fit in a cruise ship, and this is a huge event of incredible proportions in terms of investment and preparations,” Mr. Torres said. If there’s one thing Miami can offer a master course in, it’s all things cruise related.
“They are looking at what possibilities there are to have some partnerships with the cruise industry,” he said.
2014 might continue to be the year when Miami strengthens its ties to Qatar. On June 10, Qatar Airways will begin four non-stop flights a week between Miami International Airport and Doha.