“salty!” Pyeongchang Table Tennis, Possibilities of ‘Sports Tourism’ Seen Through Chinese Fans Filling Pyeongchang Dome 

“Let’s make marong!” “Let’s make panjiandong!”

On the last day of the 2023 Pyeongchang Asian Table Tennis Championships held at Pyeongchang Dome in Gangwon-do on the 10th, the men’s singles final was a match between Ma Long, winner of three consecutive world championships, and world number one Pan Jian-dong, reminiscent of China.

A long line formed in front of the ticket booth to buy on-site tickets from early morning, and the stadium was completely surrounded by signs cheering for the Chinese aces. About 1,000 Chinese fans filled the stands, each holding a five-colored placard engraved with the name of the player they were rooting for, and chanting “Jjayo! Jayo!” It’s a thrilling battle of one advance and one retreat, and every time the sharp drive of the player you’re rooting for cuts across the table, you exclaim, “Aaaah!” The girls’ screams were loud. All five events, including men’s singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, were finals between China’s top ranks. The men’s and women’s doubles semifinal match between Korea and China was so confusing that it was confusing whether it was played in Korea or China. The decibel of “Tayo!” overwhelmed “Going!” More than 90% were young female fans, and most of them brought the so-called ‘cannon (telephoto lens)’ camera, a symbol of idol fans. After the game, a cloud of fans gathered in front of the team’s shuttle bus, and these fans also lined up in front of the team’s hotel. Those were the days when I realized once again the popularity of table tennis, ‘China’s No. 1’ sport, in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

After the coronavirus pandemic, Chinese table tennis fandom appears to have become even more heated. Men’s national team coach Joo Se-hyuk, who played on the same team as Ma Long in the Chinese league when he was a player, said, “It’s to the point where Chinese players can’t even leave their hotel rooms.” “The fan base of each player, including the Marron team, is enormous. These days, live broadcasts are broadcast on social media, and fans are so bombarded with gifts that the players even carry separate gift trunks,” he said. Chae Yoon-seok, former coach of the men’s table tennis team (Samsung Life Insurance), said, “I think it would be correct to think of the popularity of high school basketball stars in the 80s as being similar to the popularity of idols these days.” “This popularity has been going on for 10 years, but it seems to be even hotter these days. On a player’s birthday, the fan club even puts up a 100 million won advertisement on a billboard in a large building,” he explained the atmosphere.카지노사이트

Tickets for the Asian Championships were sold for 10,000 won for E seats (non-reserved seats) and 20,000 won for VIP seats on days 1 to 5, and 15,000 won and 30,000 won for day 6, respectively. The men’s and women’s singles semifinals and finals, which can be considered the highlight of the tournament, On the 7th and 8th days of this event, E seats were sold for 20,000 won and VIP seats were sold for 40,000 won. On weekdays 3rd to 6th, when the men’s and women’s team competitions and preliminary matches were held, 700 to 800 fans came. The majority were Chinese away fans. There were 1,026 fans on the 7th and 1,508 fans on the 8th, when the men’s team final and individual match were held. On the 9th, when the men’s doubles semifinal between Jang Woo-jin and Lim Jong-hoon and Park Kang-hyun and Ahn Jae-hyun and the Chinese team was held, Korean fans and visiting Chinese fans flocked to the event at the same time, recording the highest ticket sales of the tournament, with a total of 2,189 tickets. On the 10th, the final day of the women’s doubles semifinal match between Shin Yu-bin and Jeon Ji-hee and the men’s and women’s singles finals, a paid audience of 1,861 was recorded.

Thanks to Chinese fans who came to watch table tennis, Pyeongchang, the ‘Winter Olympics village’ that was relatively quiet in the summer, became noisy for a long time. Although there were voices of criticism regarding the loss of home fans to the Chinese fandom, voices calling for it to be used as a groundbreaking opportunity for ‘sports tourism’ ahead of the World Table Tennis Championships to be held in Busan in February next year are also gaining strength.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism already selected the Busan World Table Tennis Championships in January as one of the ‘100 K-Culture Tourism Events’ in the Visit Korea Year. Yoo Seung-min, President of the Korea Table Tennis Association, said, “We did not artificially mobilize spectators for this tournament like before. It is true that it was not easy for Korean fans to come to Pyeongchang during the daytime on weekdays when the preliminary matches were held. However, more fans than expected came on the weekend, which was encouraging.” did. “This is the first competition held after the remodeling of Pyeongchang Dome. This is also Pyeongchang’s legacy. There is no rule that only winter sports are held in Pyeongchang. Thanks to the cool and comfortable environment in the summer, it is also possible to attract summer sports such as table tennis. China “A lot of fans came. I think we achieved more than 10 times the tourism and promotional effect with a budget of 2.1 billion won. Pyeongchang-gun is also very satisfied,” he said, expressing his pride.

Next year, in Busan, the ‘table tennis city’, more domestic and overseas fans were eager to fill the stands every day. “Busan is a city loved by people around the world. It has the sea, mountains, food, and a combination of the city center and resort areas. Just as Pyeongchang operated a tourism program for Chinese fans, Busan also collaborated with travel agencies to provide

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