Worldwide football fans better off if FIFA selects Belgium and the Netherlands to host World Cup 2018

Football fans worldwide are better off if FIFA, football's world governing body, decides to host the World Cup 2018 in Belgium and The Netherlands. This is the conclusion from a study conducted by Investment Consulting Associates, specialist in location and site selection services, in cooperation with Innovata llc, a leading source of airline flight schedules data, and the University of St. Gallen, a leading European business university.

With only few days left until the decisive vote of FIFA's Executive Committee on December 2, England, Russia, and joint bids by Belgium/the Netherlands and Spain/Portugal, remain as candidates to host the World Cup 2018. One of the key decisive criteria in the vote will be accessibility and ease of travel for football fans arriving from around the globe. The Accessibility Index shows that traveling fans will have the Belgian-Dutch bid (32.3) down as favorites to win the right to host the 2018 World Cup tournament, followed closely by the England bid (30.5). In terms of transportation and ease of travel, the Spanish-Portuguese (11.5) and Russian bids (1.1) are lagging well behind the two frontrunners.

Millions of Football fans, as well as tens of thousands of journalists, sponsors, and supporting staff will travel to the World Cup 2018. Adding up all the estimated numbers, about four million World Cup visitors would stand to benefit if football's world governing body FIFA selects the Belgian-Dutch bid to host the World Cup 2018 tournament.

Following recent coverage of FIFA's vote to decide the World Cup 2018 hosts, calls have been made to move away from subjective opinions, tactical voting, and political alliances influencing the decision-making process. This study aims to inspire this debate and contribute to the development of an increasingly transparent and fact based location decision.

The Accessibility Index accounts for the ease of traveling by air to the bidding host countries and arriving in the proposed host cities. To make the Accessibility Index as accurate as possible, the study incorporates air transport frequencies to international airports in the bidding countries and travel distances between international airports and the proposed host cities. The volume of incoming flights to the bidding countries has been weighted by the likelihood of countries participating in the 2018 World Cup tournament, employing two independent estimation procedures to determine the likely participating countries. For further details on the methodology, please follow this link.

About Investment Consulting Associates

Investment Consulting Associates (ICA) is an independent adviser to companies optimizing their global supply chains and location portfolios. ICA also supports governments in building and enhancing their Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and economic development strategies.

Through our global partner network and multi-disciplinary approach we can assist our clients with an integrated package of service offerings. ICA has also developed, a web based software application for companies selecting locations for their (new) business activities and governments assessing and benchmarking the competitiveness of their business environment. To better assist investors with their incentive negotiations, ICAIncentives has been launched as the first ever database tracking real time incentives being awarded across North America. For further information, please visit our websites at:

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About Innovata  

Innovata, a global leader in travel and hospitality content management and distribution solutions is now established and recognized as a major industry source for worldwide airline schedules and related data. Innovata maintains one of the world’s largest flight databases representing more than 99% of the air segment miles flown worldwide with over 900 airlines participating in the database. Approximately 90% of the database is updated and refreshed every week.

Innovata delivers accurate, reliable and up to date information to meet a wide range of data services needs for aviation related industries and has for several years been the market leader in the provision of timetable and route mapping services to airlines and airports worldwide.

Headquartered in Atlanta, USA, with regional offices in UK and Singapore, Innovata serves over 200 customers in 52 countries around the world.

About Sankt Gallen University  

The University of St. Gallen (HSG) is the leading business university in the German-speaking area. It offers degree programmes at the bachelor, master, doctoral, MBA and Executive MBA level, as well as numerous in-house custom programmes. Founded in 1898, the University of St. Gallen has pursued the goal of delivering state-of-the-art education based on internationality, practical relevance and an integrative perspective. Its holistic education has earned it the seal of approval of the EQUIS and AACSB accreditations. and

Press Release
Amsterdam, 23 November 2010
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