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Ticket Sales for Pyeongchang Soar as Opening Nears

The venue for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province is blanketed with snow on Sunday. /Yonhap

Regional Delicacies to Please Palates of Olympic Visitors in Pyeongchang

Ticket sales for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang have accelerated as the opening approaches, with more than half of the tickets now sold. The Olympics begin on Feb. 9 and run until Feb. 25.

The organizing committee for the Olympics said Sunday that about 555,000 tickets, or 51.9 percent, including for the opening and closing ceremonies, have been sold as of Friday.

“Sales have increased since the torch relay kicked off and offline sales became available in early November,” the committee said. “Sales remained at around 30 percent by October, but jumped in November, with almost 10,000 tickets sold a day.”

The committee attributed the increase to the expectation that the new route of the KTX high-speed train, which is set to open next month, will shorten the travel time from Seoul to Gangneung to about 90 minutes.

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 percent so far. The committee hopes tickets will be sold out by the opening ceremony on Feb. 9.

Tickets are available both online and offline through the committee’s website or the municipal offices of Seoul and Gangneung, and major KTX stations.

Ticket prices for the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games have been finalized last year.

According to the Pyeongchang organizing committee on Monday, seats for the opening ceremony will be divided into four sections. The most expensive section will cost W1.5 million, and the others W800,000, W600,000 and W220,000.

The average price of tickets is W140,000, with the most expensive being the men’s ice hockey final at W900,000.

Ticket prices for less popular events such as cross-country skiing, biathlon, Nordic combined, bobsleigh, skeleton, luge and women’s ice hockey start at W20,000.

Meanwhile, regional delicacies of Gangwon Province will be promoted ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, which are just 70 days away now.

The provincial government enlisted celebrity chefs such as Edward Kwon and Choi Hyun-seok to prepare culinary treats to be served in restaurants across the province for visitors coming to see the Olympics.

The chefs have developed 30 different specialties using local ingredients of Pyeongchang, Gangneung, and Jeongseon. They will be available in 128 restaurants in Gangwon Province, 47 of them in Pyeongchang, 69 in Gangneung, and 12 in Jeongseon.

Pyeongchang is famous for buckwheat, trout, beef, and dried pollock. Kwon has created 10 dishes blending Korean and Western flavors.

Gangneung is known for potatoes and tofu. Choi developed recipes in cooperation with Kim Ho-suk, a culinary professor at Catholic Kwandong University in the city.

Gangwon Governor Choi Moon-soon said, “There is a saying that a loaf of bread is better than the song of many birds. We will do our best to provide an unforgettable culinary experience to visitors from all over the world.”


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