Kim says South Korean Winter Olympic ticket sales will pick up
SHOWS: PARK CITY, UTAH, USA (SEPTEMBER 25, 2017) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) KIM JAE-YOUL, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT THE PYEONGCHANG ORGANIZING COMMITTEE FOR THE 2018 OLYMPIC GAMES, SAYING: "For ticket sales we are confident that we will have stronger ticket sales going forward as we get closer to the Games. I can tell you with confidence because Koreans are known to be late ticket buyers. Whenever we have hosted a major international event the majority of the tickets were sold in the final few weeks, right before the opening of the Games. "What I'm also happy to see is that with just less than 20 weeks to go we are seeing the greater interest building up. So when we had a medal unveiling ceremony in New York and Seoul that generated a lot of interest, and of course the Torch relay that we just talked about, that's going to have a huge impact and translate into greater ticket sales. "We are confident that we will have stadiums filled with fans and that's something we owe to the athletes who have worked so hard to be in the Olympics, to be able to compete in an environment with a lot of excitement." STORY: South Korea expects slow ticket sales for February's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics to pick up said executive vice-president of the Pyeongchang organizing committee Kim Jae-youl on Monday (September 25). Ticket sales for the Games are slow, with only 30 percent sold, but Kim said that South Koreans were notoriously late buyers of tickets for events so he was not worried about empty stadiums at the Games. "Whenever we have hosted a major international event the majority of the tickets were sold in the final few weeks, right before the opening of the Games," he said. As of Thursday, 315,000 tickets for the Feb. 9-25 Games had been sold, just under 30 percent of the 1.07 million total target, with some 60 percent of those sales taking place abroad. While organisers have earmarked 750,000 tickets for domestic sale, only 124,000 has been sold so far, though the launch of online ticketing is expected to give sales a shot in the arm. Attracting tourists to Pyeongchang, some 180 kilometres east of the capital Seoul, has long been a concern not just for organisers but also the International Olympic Committee. As well encountering difficulties in boosting awareness of Pyeongchang in the global community, organisers have also had to contend with diplomatic, security and political setbacks at home and abroad. With Pyeongchang perched just 80km south of the heavily fortified border with North Korea, rising tensions over the North's nuclear programme and the increasingly inflammatory rhetoric being exchanged by the United States and Pyongyang has painted a picture of a Korean peninsula on the brink of war.