Tickets Aren't Selling for the 2018 Winter Olympics

Issue 11-13-17   |   Reviewer:   Michael S. Raisinghani, Ph.D.


With fewer  than 100 days to go before the Games start on February 9, 2018, organizers of the 2018 Winter Olympics Games have sold little more than 30 percent of the targeted 1.1 million tickets, which range in price from $18 to $1,340, to its 35,000-seat outdoor stadium, but international ticket sales are doing much better than those in South Korea. The questions from customers at these Games are typically about safety around venues and the local area, as opposed to geopolitical concerns. South Korea has a good record protecting athletes and spectators at previous events.

However, North Korea could easily launch a cyber attack, which is cheap to execute and difficult to attribute. An escalation in military and geopolitical tension is also scaring tourists away. Most venues lie within 60 miles of the border with North Korea. In addition, corporate scandals have diverted attention from the 2018 Winter Olympics Games.

Transforming the area into a global winter tourism destination and raising South Korea’s profile in the world could bring the nation almost $40 billion in economic benefits, according to local think tank Hyundai Research Institute in 2011. It has not updated its estimates but recently acknowledged that current tourist numbers no longer match the projections.

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