Close to the end of December, some 655,000 tickets for the Winter Games in South Korea had been sold, according to the organizing committee’s official website Pyeongchang2018.com.
That is 61 percent of the 1.07 million tickets which organizers had put as a target for case, whose opening ceremony is scheduled for Feb. 9. The website acknowledged the earnings “’d been slow. ”
Speculation is that interest in attending the matches has been influenced by the pressures between South Korea and North Korea; the website of the Winter Olympics is a mere 50 miles from the demilitarized zone separating the two nations. What’s more, the distant rural town of Pyeongchang isn’t alluring enough to attract travelers, a few in the tourism industry state.
I think people are too fearful about North Korea, but to be truthful [Pyeongchang, South Korea] isn’t a great tourist destination to begin with. You’ve got to be moving as you want to find the Olympics.
“I think people are too fearful about North Korea, but to be truthful it’s not a great tourist destination to begin with,” said Brian Peters, CEO of Bucket List Events, a Texas-based travel agency that offers sports-themed packages, informed L.A. Biz. “I figure that I should be espousing the opposite viewpoint, but it’s simply not a great tourist destination. You’ve got to be moving as you want to find the Olympics. ”
International Olympic Committee member Gian-Franco Kasper told a French press outlet the tensions with North Korea are impacting interest.
“I will tell you the truth: I do not expect too many audiences at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games,” Kasper said. “The present political crisis in the area doesn’t encourage Europeans to travel to South Korea. ”
Efforts to get a comment from the Olympic committee were ineffective.
South Korea has a lot riding on the event — not the least of which is an expectation it’s going to boost its market, the fourth-largest at Asia.
Lee Hee-beom, the head of South Korea’s Winter Games organizing committee, said last year the expectation was that hosting the event will bring nearly $30 billion — during such things as construction and tourism — to the nation during the next ten years.
Pyeongchang2018.com described the Winter Games as “a fantastic opportunity to encourage the country’s beautiful mountains, scenic vistas and other tourism-related products. ”
MyBucketListEvents.com claims the entire cost of visiting the Winter Games for anywhere between 7 to 19 times is $4,895. The expense of a round trip flight to Seoul from the USA around the time of the Winter Games averages roughly $1,000, according to a number of travel sites.
A sample budget for case in Money Magazine showed a entire price tag of $4,683 that included $915 to get a trip to Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, $1,870 to get a one-week hotel stay close to the occasion, $200 to get a Pyeonchang Rail Pass from Seoul, and $1,548 for four ticket packages for alpine ski, pairs figure skating, speed skaing, a men’s hockey ski and match.
Officials say that there’s time for sales to pick up.
“All in all, they feel very confident and that I’ve always said that we have to trust the Koreans,” said Christophe Dubi, executive director of the Olympic Games, ” to USA Today. “They ’ve always said there are a boom and a last-minute surge of earnings. ”
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