Road to PyeongChang 2018 (Issue #5)

Highlights on the Road to PyeongChang from the past week:

Interest remains low in South Korea for Winter Games, few tourists expected… 

Two thirds of South Koreans expect PyeongChang to be a success. September 29th: However, less than 40% have interest in the Winter Games and only 7.1% plan to attend an event based on a recent survey by the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism. Furthermore, PyeongChang 2018 also stated they are now only expecting 83,000 tourists compared with 75,000 athletes, reports, Olympics officials, and support staff. Sochi 2014 drew 160,000 tourists during the Winter Games. This continues to explain the poor ticket sales.

North Korea qualification brings hope for games, but Germany continues to fuel speculation that some countries could skip PyeongChang…
PyeongChang Olympic organizers happy to see first North Koreans qualify for 2018 Games September 29: With the figure skating duo from North Korea qualifying for PyeongChang 2018, organizers and the IOC breathed a collective sigh of relief and renewed hope that North Korea would participate which North Korea still has to decide. Participation by North Korea is seen as a calming of regional tensions that have driven the narrative over the past weeks. Despite this news, Germany re-ignited the controversy over skipping the games when the President of the German Olympic Sport Confederation said he would understand if athletes did not compete at PyeongChang 2018 which is clearly contrary to the IOC’s position, which even France has been supporting.

Sponsors continue ramp-up for PyeongChang 2018 with Intel, Dow, Toyota, and Bridgestone making news… 
Bridgestone expands sponsorships, Hyundai plans driverless cars, Dow reaps benefits, and Intel announces mixed reality. October 4th. Previously thought to be skipping PyeongChang 2018, Olympic partner Intel announced virtual reality for 16 live events. Hyundai announced plans to operate autonomous, driverless cars on the road from Seoul to PyeongChang with Hydrogen power cars. Dow detailed some of the benefits they receive from the Olympics partnership while Bridgestone announced that they expanded their partnership with US Figure Skating in addition to being an Olympic, TeamUSA, and a founding partner of the Olympic Channel.

South Korea’s high speed trains near completion, special rail pass offered…
October 3rd. News continues to be good for the Korean high speed rail (KTX) connections to PyeongChang and Gangneung for the Olympic Games. Plans are on track for an early December launch for the extension which will get you from the Airport in Seoul to PyeongChang in just 1 hour and 52 minutes. () Promoting completion, Korean Rail announced special passes for foreigners that include 5-day and 7-day unlimited use at a discounted fair.

South Korea KTX High Speed Rail showing PyeongChang and Gangneung Line

Team USA published their 10 storylines to follow in Olympic and Paralympic sports… 
The road to the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 is just heating up. October 4th. Team USA takes a deeper looking into 10 key storylines in October. Four of the ten storylines will give you a head start in your preparations for the games. Read more here:

Latest Road to PyeongChang bits and bytes for fans who are planning or hoping to attend: 

  • Still a few left! You can stay in PyeongChang for as little as $50/night, but space is getting limited. With 5 rooms left, that PyeongChang at the Kumkwangjang Motel in PyeongChang is only $50/night. Several other options are available in the $300 range.
  • Flights prices flat and relatively cheap to get you to South Korea.Flights remain surprisingly inexpensive. Round-trip remained steady at $669 from Los Angeles to Seoul, South Korea on Hong Kong Airlines departing February 6th and returning February 16th, enough time to see the Opening Ceremonies and several marquee events.
  • South Korea announces train pass deal for foreigners. A foreigner exclusive, Korean Rail Passes for the Olympic Games go on sale starting October 10th. Pass are available in 5-day and 7-day durations with unlimited use starting at 168,000 Won ($147 USD).
  • PyeongChang 2018 Ticket Site Watch: No changes this week, still not a single session is sold out for the Olympic Winter Games. All 208 sessions still have inventory. Reminder: PyeongChang 2018 Fan-to-Fan ticket exchange opens on October 31st and Ticket Box Offices opening up in South Korea on November 6th.
  • Authorized Ticket Resellers Watch: Cosport, the online reseller for the United States released additional inventory this week with every event with the exception of Opening & Closing Ceremonies now available. First time for Bobsleigh or Bobsled, Skeleton, and Short Track Speed Skating with inventory in 6 months. Dertour, the authorized reseller for Germany shows a slight decrease in availability this week to 176 ticket groups across the all sessions from 176 last week. Opening & Closing ceremonies still available.

Current Inventory on CoSport USA as of Friday, October 6th.

Ken is the Chief Operating Officer at InviteManager. He has been featured in the International Business Times, MSN, Yahoo Sports, ThePostGame, USA Today and ESPN. For more information, you can follow Ken’s blog, connect via Twitter or email him at