More than half of the tickets to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang have been sold with just over two months to go before the international event kicks off.
In spite of slow moving sales figures, the South Korean local organising committee (LOC) said that about 555,000 tickets, or 51.9 per cent have now been shifted.
“Sales have increased since the torch relay kicked off and offline sales became available in early November,” the committee said, according to the Chosunilbo news website. “Sales remained at around 30 per cent by October, but jumped in November, with almost 10,000 tickets sold a day.”
The Games are scheduled to take place from February 9 to 25.
The jump in ticket sales has been attributed by the LOC to the opening of the new route of the KTX high-speed train between Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province and Gangneung, which is close to the Olympic venue.
Tickets for popular disciplines such as figure skating and short-track skating events have already sold out, while those for bobsleigh, luge and skeleton have been slower, with combined sales reaching just 37 per cent so far.
Earlier this month, worries over poor international ticket sales pushed the South Korean government to allow visa-free travel to tourists from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.
The Winter Paralympic Games’ organisers opened dedicated ticket counters across the host nation in an effort to boost the sales numbers.
In the last week of October, it was reported that just 457 tickets had been sold for the Paralympics, according to a document provided by the Department for Culture, Sports and Tourism.
PyeongChang organisers denied the lowly figure, although they admitted only 9,401 – about 4.3 per cent – had been shifted.