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SBD Global/January 17, 2014/Olympics

Sochi Winter Olympics Tickets Flood Resale Sites, Seats Available For Big Events

The Sochi Olympics are "starting to look as if many fans have decided to give them a miss," according to Carol Matlack of BLOOMBERG. Listings of tickets put up for resale on a “fan to fan” website have risen almost 50% over the past week, with more than 3,100 offers now posted. Most offers "include multiple tickets, up to a maximum eight per offer." The U.S. website of CoSport, the exclusive ticket agent for North America and most of Western Europe, "still lists seats available for some sought-after events such as the gold-medal match in men’s ice hockey." EU Secondary Ticketing Association Secretary Marlies Hoedemaker said that the growing inventory on the fan-to-fan site suggests “availability is far greater than demand.” Hoedemaker added that some buyers "may have changed their minds about going," while others "may have bet -- unsuccessfully -- that if they bought tickets early they could resell them at a profit later when supplies ran low." The Sochi organizing committee "hasn’t said how many tickets were available overall." About 1.5 million tickets were sold for events at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. The Sochi committee has said that 70% of tickets "were reserved for Russians" (BLOOMBERG, 1/15).

JAPANESE TOURS SELL: KYODO reported tour operators said that sales "have been brisk." This is "contrary to concerns that Japanese tourists might be put off by high-priced tours" to Sochi. Japan travel agency JTB Corp. said that it has "already met its sales target for individual customers." This is "despite the fact that prices were 1.5 times higher than for package tours JTB offered" for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Another travel agency, Club Tourism Int'l Inc., said that it has sold out its ¥1.2M ($115,000) tours. Representatives of HIS Co. said they "have nearly reached their target" (KYODO, 1/14).
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Olympics, Russia

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