Slow ticket sales for the PyeongChang Olympic Games next February reportedly "raise questions" about whether the Games "will make any money, or post a loss," according to Ko Dong-hwan of the KOREA TIMES. The Gangwon Province city has nearly completed a 35,000-seat outdoor stadium "to be used for opening and closing ceremonies." Almost $10B has been spent on road upgrades and "extending a high-speed rail network to the venues," where tickets will cost $18-$1,340. But organizers have sold only 30% of the target of 1.1 million tickets. The local Games committee's $2.5B budget is still $270M short. Hyundai Research Institute predicted the Games "could draw one million foreign tourists to the city every year for a decade," bringing the nation almost $40B in economic benefits. But the think tank recently acknowledged that the numbers "so far no longer matched the projections." The slow ticket sales are attributed "more to locals." While more than 56% of foreign buyers have bought the 320,000 tickets targeted by organizers, locals have purchased only 22% of the target 750,000 tickets (KOREA TIMES, 11/14).
The Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games is "monitoring social media trends" ahead of the event to "prevent the spread of flaming and fake news as well as to ensure the prompt delivery of correct information," according to THE MAINICHI. A committee representative said, "In modern society, the voices of the public can be seen. Therefore, we don't believe that we will be able to spend the next 1,000 days until the opening ceremony unscathed." The "cautious" monitoring of online activity began last summer. By entering related keywords such as "Tokyo Olympics," the committee can search content on Twitter and other platforms in real time and "grasp topics regarding the Games being discussed in numerical terms." If the use of a keyword selected by the committee reaches a set number of mentions as it spreads online, a "heads-up message" is automatically sent to personnel in charge. If criticism of the issue continues, the committee may consider posting a statement on its homepage or "take other steps to deal with the problem" (THE MAINICHI, 11/14).