Seoul’s metropolitan government has purchased 42,000 tickets for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to donate to low-income families in the South Korean capital.

An additional 20,000 passes to the event, which is set to take place from February 9-25, were purchased after 25 district offices bought 22,000 tickets.

In addition, those with donated tickets will be offered free transport from Seoul via shuttle buses that will run to the Olympic venues in Pyeongchang.

The move comes as part of a series of measures from Seoul to support the Games, Mayor Park Won-soon said. In the run-up to the event, organisers have become increasingly worried about slow-moving ticket sales.

“This Olympics aims for social integration and is a means to enhance inter-Korean ties, Seoul will fully mobilise personnel and supplies to help the event,” Park said, according to the Korea Times.

“This is more than a national competition; the event provides an opportunity to enhance societal friendships with citizens from all over the globe.”

Low-income and multi-racial families would also receive free food and drink at the events, Park said.

The tickets that would be donated are likely to be for events that are expected to have low attendance figures, such as cross-country skiing and biathlon.

In an effort to boost ticket sales, the South Korean government announced it would allow visa-free travel to tourists from Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam.

A jump in ticket sales in November was 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. At the time it was reported that more than half of the tickets had been sold.

Image: Pyeongchang 2018