Sally Minseo Kim, News writer
Hosting the Winter Olympics for the first time, South Korea put a large amount of effort in preparation and actively advertised in attempt to gain Olympic visitors However, tension on the Korean peninsula and high priced tickets and accommodation have been met with a dismal ticket sales.
It has been reported that out of 1.6 million tickets only 655,000 tickets were sold by the end of December. (Elizabeth Llorente)
Since Pyeongchang is in a rural area, the majority of people have to travel far and would most likely spend a night. While it mean more business opportunities for accommodations in Pyeongchang, it means expensive fees for guests, it means expensive fees for guests.
The hotels and resort around the Pyeongchang area are averaging $256 per night and could go up to $450 depending on the location and quality (Vora and Sablich).
Since there are not much activities to do in Pyeongchang people are not fully convinced that travelling just to attend the olympics is worth the long journey.
The tickets for sporting events ranges from $500 to $20 depending on the popularity of the sport and placement in the venue (pyeongchang2018.com). Popular sports such as figure skating and short track are set at a higher price compared to other events.
Ticket cost, when combined with the price of accommodation leads to complaints and questions about if the Olympics are actually worth attending.
From a tourists perspective, tension between North and South Korea seems to the main reason for not purchasing tickets.
The relationship between South Korea and North Korea have been dominating the headlines recently making everyone pay close attention. PyeongChang is a mere 50 miles from the DMZ and causes tourists to worry about their safety (Babe).
There’s not much activities to do other then going to the olympics or ski resorts. People are not fully convinced to go through all the far travelling just to attend the olympics.
The Winter Olympics will commence on Feb. 9 with the opening ceremony and will last until Feb. 25.
To prepare for the event, roughly $16 billion was spent on building new facilities for the sporting events and dorm for the athletes. Total of 12 venues were either renovated or newly built are already ready to. Also during this period , there will be free transport provided in the city Pyeongchang which includes, shuttle busses to the venue, KTX and free parking spots. On top of this, various parades were held on the streets to which was lead by celebrities and influential politicians to encourage participation.