Lee Hee-beom, the Pyeongchang 2018 winter Olympic Games president, has blamed Authorised Ticket Resellers (ATRs) for poor international ticket sales.

Lee criticised the ATR’s, which are appointed to run Olympic ticketing operations in a particular country, during an International Olympic Committee (IOC) inspection visit, stating that the tickets were expensive and that the Games lacked promotion abroad.

A “high-level meeting” was then called with the IOC in an attempt to reach a resolution.

“As for overseas tickets sales, the ATRs sales activities seems to be neither active nor promotional with too expensive ticket prices in some countries,” Lee said.

“In this respect, I would like to propose to have a high-level meeting between IOC and Pyeongchang 2018 during the CoCom Session here in Pyeongchang.”

ATR’s have responded to Lee’s comments, stating: “It is not our job to promote the Olympic Games,” a representative from one company told insidethegames.

“It is our job to ensure the clients in our territory are able to attend the Games in affordable packages and ensure they don’t get caught purchasing tickets which are not secure.

“We also have no control over pricing, which is determined by Pyeongchang 2018 in consultation with the IOC.

“We would love to sell more but we would like to be allocated more,” the representative added.

“We also got our refunds from Rio [2016] so late, which has made a difference as to how many we are able to buy.”

The Games has struggled with low ticket sales leading up to the February 2018 event, and with only six months to go organisers are hoping that the opening of the online sales will drive the numbers up.

While there has not yet been a release of the exact number of sales so far, a total of 1.18 million tickets will be printed, with 70 per cent of them expected to be sold in the host nation.

Image: Korea.net