August 20, 2018 / 1:19 PM / a month ago

Asian Games: Some grumbles over tickets, transport as Indonesia works on fixes

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Some spectators had complaints ranging from problems with the ticketing systems to transport arrangements on the third day of competition at the 18th Asian Games as organisers in Indonesia pledged quick fixes.

Commuters pass an Asian Games sign on the Ampera Bridge in Palembang, Indonesia August 15, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su

The Southeast Asian country has had less time than usual to arrange the Games after standing in as host after Vietnam pulled out in 2014 citing budget issues over the event, which is second only to the Olympics in size and participation figures.

Organisers had previously noted concerns aired during rehearsal events over transport in Jakarta’s notorious traffic and some spectators complained about access to venues around the Gelora Bung Karno stadium complex.

“Transportation between venues within the stadium itself is lacking, because we can’t bring our own vehicles. So we’re wasting time going to venues,” said basketball fan Taufik Sigar.

There have also been complaints over obtaining tickets and a seemingly clunky system that requires online buyers to then queue up to pick up the tickets themselves.

Wina, a Jakarta-based employee and a sports fan who bought 22 Asian Games tickets, told Reuters she had struggled to get refunds following changes made to the seating areas at events.

“We also had to print the e-ticket to exchange for the ticket,” she said. “So, what’s the point of an e-ticket?”

Indonesian e-commerce company Blibli has been brought in at the request of official ticket seller KiosTix to help smooth problems with online sales and organisers said that the issue of exchanging online vouchers should be resolved.

“We see that KiosTix has taken responsibility for what has happened by partnering with Blibli and other companies,” Eris Herryanto of the Indonesian Asian Games Organising Committee (INASGOC) said.

Lina Rahayu, Blibli’s marketing communications manager, said the company would provide a ticketing service up to Aug. 29 as fans need to buy tickets three days prior to preferred games.

Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) President Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah praised Saturday’s “beautiful” opening ceremony and said that the issue with tickets was partly due to the fervour around the event now.

“Yes, we are following up the ticketing issue. After the success, there was lot of request for tickets, this is also a very positive signal for us,” he said, noting that transport had also been an issue at other Games and daily meetings with organisers should iron out the problems.

Additional reporting by Amlan Chakraborty; Writing by Ed Davies; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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