As Rio de Janeiro and the 2016 Summer Olympics continue to be in the news for all the wrong reasons, members of the Korea Tourism Organization are putting a happy face on the 2018 Winter Olympics that will be held in PyeongChang, South Korea, next February.
“It opens up new horizons in South Korea by connecting athletes and spectators through the sports and our games,” Sheon Hee Kim, key client team leader for the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Games, said during a press presentation about the events held in New York City earlier this month. “We want to engage the younger generation and get them more involved and excited in the winter sports.”
To do that, Incentive magazine reports that “the country is readying a number of existing venues and constructing all-new ones, including a new Alpensia Sliding Center and Olympic Plaza in Pyeongchang, along with a new ice arena and pair of hockey centers in neighboring Gangneung. It is also undergoing infrastructure enhancements, such as construction of a new expressway and extension of the country’s high-speed bullet train. These improvements will allow visitors to get to Pyeongchang from Seoul in a little more than an hour and a half, opening up the capital city as an option for groups visiting the country during the Olympics.”
An estimated 50,000 hotel rooms are expected to be available throughout the area, and KTO officials are suggesting businesses hold company meetings in Seoul and take advantage of the bullet train to attend one or more Olympic events. As Ok Hee Kang, vice president of KTO, emphasized at the New York City event, according to Incentive, “organizations can hold events adjacent to the games without having to ‘see all the Games.’”
The 2018 Winter Games will be held Feb. 9-25 and are expected to attract 65,000 athletes and officials, Olympic families, and media members from almost 100 countries. The Paralympic Games, slated for March 9-18, will bring 3,000 participants from about 45 countries.