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2010 Winter OlympicsAugust 31, 2009 By: Michael Browne Travel Agent
West Vancouver’s Cypress Mountain will host the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events during the 2010 Winter Games
While Vancouver and its surrounding areas are popular tourist destinations year-round, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games will be the largest event the region has ever hosted, with visitors from all over the world arriving to experience the Games and the area.
With the Games only six months away—the event runs from February 12-28—demand for rooms by groups and individual spectators is extremely high. Finding accommodations for your clients close to the Games venues—such as in Richmond and downtown Vancouver—may be a challenge. In Whistler, though, condos and townhouses are still available.
Travel agents should regularly visit www.2010DestinationPlanner.com, which has a wealth of information on booking accommodations in Vancouver, Whistler and surrounding areas over the Games period.
One creative option for your clients is staying onboard a cruise ship while in Vancouver. In partnership with Newwest Special Projects LP, Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Star will be docked on the city’s North Shore, directly across from Stanley Park and just minutes from the Seabus Terminal at Lonsdale Quay, where visitors will find a variety of boutique shops, international cuisine and more. NCL is offering a number of options, including a four-night cruise-only package from Los Angeles with a one-day stop in Victoria. The cruise sets sail on February 6 and arrives in Vancouver on February 10.
For guests who wish to stay onboard the Norwegian Star during the Games, there are six arrival dates available. Packages include three or four nights of onboard accommodation; all meals while onboard, including 24-hour complimentary room service; boxed lunch (to take to events); live satellite coverage of the Games; transfers from the Vancouver Airport; and daily Seabus transfers from the cruise ship to the City Transit Hub in North Vancouver (only minutes away), which enjoys access to all the Olympic venues as well as the city’s shopping and nightlife.
Things to Know
Approximately 1.6 million tickets will be available for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, with 100,000 tickets priced at $25. Half of all tickets will be priced at $100 or less. The most sought-after tickets—for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies—range from $175 to $1,100.
In the U.S., tickets for all Olympic events must be purchased through CoSport, a sister company of Jet Set Sports, which is the authorized ticket sales agent of the U.S. Olympic Committee. For complete information on ticket purchases, visit the ticketing section of www.Vancouver2010.com.
Winter Olympic Games organizer VANOC offers the following suggestions for agents looking to book accommodations for the Games:
• Look further afield in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas.
• Remind clients that each event ticket includes the cost of public transit.
• Consider private home rentals, hostels and rooms on cruise ships.
• Stay in touch with individual hotels for updates.
• Contact tour operators. Many hotels look for group rentals for unsold inventory.