NATIONAL

[PyeongChang 2018] Winter Olympics accommodations strive to attract tourists

By Ahn Sang-yool
  • Published : Jan 10, 2018 - 16:48
  • Updated : Jan 10, 2018 - 16:48
With the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics, many banners have been placed to attract customers surrounding Gangneung Olympic Park, where ice sports are to be played during the games.

The banners entail advertisements such as for rentals for the Olympics and reservation details. Despite their close proximity to the Olympic venue in Gangwon Province, many tourist accommodations are unexpectedly searching for clients.

The advertisements are also abundant within and outside the city.

Owners of the facilities, however, have faced backlash for claims of overcharging. Some owners are reported to have even refused individual guests in favor of those staying in groups or for longer stays.

Banner advertising short-term accommodations(Yonhap)

Real estate agents and consulting enterprises who planned to rent out accommodations at prices much higher than typical around the Olympics period have largely proven unsuccessful. Meanwhile, numerous neighboring college student accommodations have kicked out their boarders in order to take in visitors.

Now the accommodations are desperately searching for people to stay. Thanks to the efforts of the Korean Lodging Association, prices of properties have reportedly stabilized, but an increase in bookings seems to have stalled.

The opening of the Gyeonggang KTX rail line, connecting Seoul and Gangwon Province, is another reason for the disappointment.

It has come to the extent that administrative authorities, including for Gangwon Province, are advertising with the intention to raise bookings, currently stagnant at 23 percent in Gangneung and 27 percent in PyeongChang.

Administrative authorities are actively introducing affordable accommodations to invite more tourists and visitors. They intend to send out brochures with accommodation information to travel agencies.

A Gangwon Province official, who wished not to be identified, said, “We hope for a growth in the contract rate with Chinese group visitors coming in, in addition to Korean tourists who often book their places just prior to their stays.”

By Ahn Sang-yool (koolsangon@heraldcorp.com)