South Korea plans to spend 937.2 billion won ($779.7 million) this year in support for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games preparations, the sports ministry said Tuesday.
The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said its 2017 budget for the Olympic preparations is down 49.4 percent from 2016, due largely to a decrease in costs of facility construction that has entered the final stretch. The ministry said 731.1 billion won has been earmarked for construction, a 55.1 percent decrease from last year’s 1.6 trillion won.
The government, however, tripled its budget on operational preparations and event settings as South Korea’s first hosting of the Winter Olympics ever is fewer than 400 days away. South Korea will spend 166.6 billion won this year on works related to organizing test events, improving telecommunication systems and other Olympic-related preparations.
The PyeongChang Winter Olympics will be held from Feb. 9-25, 2018, in the alpine town of PyeongChang, some 180 kilometers east of Seoul, and its two adjacent cities in Gangwon Province. The PyeongChang Winter Paralympics are set for March 9-18, 2018.
The government will also provide 39.5 billion won, up 24.2 percent from 2016, to a program to help national team athletes’ training and improve their sporting environment, the sports ministry said.
The ministry added the PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Games can reduce its financial burden this year following the revision of laws that allows the organizers to pursue various business activities and get tax benefits.