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Americans Avoiding 2018 Winter Olympics Due to Travel Cost and Safety Concerns Over North Korea

February 7, 2018 Sports No Comments Email Email

Only 4.8 percent of Americans are attending the upcoming Winter Olympics, and an overwhelming 74.4 percent of respondents said, if given the opportunity, they would not be interested in traveling to Pyeongchang, South Korea for the Olympics.

According to a new survey* conducted by Allianz Global Assistance, a leading travel insurance provider, over 40 percent (41.4 percent) of Americans say the location of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea negatively impacts their interest in traveling to the games. Travel cost (29.5 percent) and safety/health concerns (18.3 percent) were the factors that influenced interest in traveling to the Winter Olympics the most, followed by lack of interest in sports (11.3 percent), lack of desire to travel (8.3 percent), large crowds (5.3 percent) and difficulty in getting tickets to the events (3.2 percent).

More than 30 percent (32.6 percent) do not believe that North Korea should be permitted to participate in this year’s game, and 6.6 percent are less interested in going to the Olympics because of North Korea’s participation.

The majority of Americans (62.9 percent) responded that nothing can be done to make them feel more comfortable in traveling to Pyeongchang, South Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Other respondents could be made more comfortable by proof of increased security measures (13.8 percent) and a travel insurance policy (2.4 percent).

“It’s an increasingly unpredictable world, and attending a major event such as the Winter Olympics, especially considering Pyeongchang’s proximity to North Korea, can be alarming for travelers,” said Daniel Durazo, director of communications at Allianz Global Assistance USA. “Travelers may not know that the right travel insurance policy can help give them peace of mind during their trip, as well as assist if things do go wrong. We’ve also created a PyeongChang Games Reference Guide for our Travel Assistance team so that we can help our customers who may be attending the games.  Our staff is now equipped with information that includes everything from Olympic Park maps and recommended doctor’s offices to cultural do’s and don’ts.”

The games (36.7 percent) themselves intrigue Americans the most, followed by the athletes (10.5 percent) and the opening ceremony (5.6 percent). With only 4.9 percent of Americans interested in the host city, and 5.2 percent of people preferring to watch the 2018 Winter Olympics in person, it follows that television is still the most popular method of keeping up with the Olympics, with 59.6 percent of people preferring to watch the games on television, followed by online media (9.5 percent), social media (9.3 percent), newspaper/print media (7.8 percent), streaming the broadcast live online (6.8 percent) and the least popular method, on the radio (1.9 percent).

When asked how often they plan to watch or keep up with the 2018 Winter Olympics, 28.5 percent responded when they have time, 26.5 percent will not be keeping up with the Olympics, 17.4 percent will when a sport they like is on, 11.4 percent will keep up with the games every day after work, 9.3 percent will when bored and 6.9 percent will watch every day, during the day.

Allianz Global Assistance offers travel insurance** through most major U.S. airlines, leading travel agents, online travel agencies, other travel suppliers and directly to consumers. For more information on Allianz Global Assistance and the policies offered for travelers, please visit:

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