Fewer than than 30 percent of available rooms for next month’s Winter Olympic Games have been booked in Gangwon Province despite the local Government attempting to clamp down on price hikes, it has been revealed.
The update is likely to prompt further questions of the Organizing Committee as it follows months of concerns over the quantity, quality and affordability of hotel rooms for all those attending the Games.
Pyeongchang 2018 confirmed to the Korea Herald that 16,744 individual rooms, out of a total of 67,879 rooms at 4,797 accommodations, had been booked prior to the Games, due to begin with the Opening Ceremony on February 9.
The Organizing Committee recently sent out a memo urging those considering attending the Winter Olympics and Paralympics to take advantage of 18,000 hotel rooms in the local area and a further 27,000 within one hour of the venues.
In the memo, Pyeongchang 2018 claimed “skyrocketing” fees were no longer a concern.
But their assertion appears to be contradicted by the latest update amid suggestions that some hotels are still charging up to four times their usual rate for rooms at the Games.
It has been claimed prices for accommodation in the area remain as high $235 per night, which is seemingly still putting people off.
The cost of rooms had previously soared to around $752 per night before the Provincial Government stepped in.
Others are still refusing to accept bookings from individual travelers, according to the Korea Herald.
A spokesperson for Pyeongchang 2018 admitted to the newspaper that the current booking rate was “lower than expected.”
They added, however, that they are expecting an increase in the coming days and weeks before the start of the Games.
Government officials in the region implemented a series of measures aimed at tackling the accommodation fears back in November.
It included urging owners of hotels and other accommodations to lower their prices.
The Provincial Government had warned businesses that “excessive room rates would only hurt local tourism.”
Rooms in brand hotels and resorts have already been fully booked by Pyeongchang 2018 but the Provincial Government said more would be made available.
It appears these have still not been sold, representing another headache for organizers.
Accommodation for Pyeongchang 2018 has been one of the main concerns of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and deadlines for the construction of several hotels remain tight.
The IOC claimed that “steady progress” had been made in the construction of 11 hotels required for the Games when they held their final Coordination Commission inspection in September.
IOC executive director for the Olympic Games Christophe Dubi pointed out South Korea’s “spectacular record” in construction before predicting it would not be a problem.
He had previously warned that it was a “very tight” situation as 11 hotels were not yet completed.
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.