U.S. allotted 249,000 tickets to Sydney Olympics

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SYDNEY, Australia -- Foremost on the minds of U.S. attendees at the Australian Tourism Exchange here was the availability of tickets for the Sydney 2000 Summer Olympics.

The Sydney Olympics will begin Sept. 15, 2000, and conclude Oct. 1. A total of 8 million tickets have been issued for the Olympic events, with 5 million going to Australia and the remaining 3 million being distributed to sponsors and the National Olympic Committees of the participating countries.

Countries with the largest Olympic teams get the most tickets, and since the U.S. is sending the largest contingent of athletes to Sydney, a total of 249,000 tickets, the most tickets allotted to any participating country, are available to the U.S.

It's expected that around 20,000 Americans will purchase groups of tickets at a cost of $24 million. For clients to have the best chance of getting the tickets of their choice, ticket orders should be submitted as soon as possible to Cartan Tours.

Based in Manhattan Beach, Calif., Cartan specializes in tours built around major sporting events worldwide and has been licensed by the U.S. Olympic Committee as the exclusive U.S. ticket sales agent for the last eight Olympics.

Tickets first went on sale in the U.S. in March, and according to Lea Wardroper, South Pacific manager of Cartan's Olympic division, there are still plenty of good tickets available. "So far we've sold around 30% of our allotment, so there are still tickets available for even the most popular events, including the opening and closing ceremonies as well as the swimming, diving and gymnastics competitions," Wardroper told Travel Weekly at ATE.

The procedure for ordering tickets is as follows: All orders are prioritized by month of receipt and at the end of the month, Cartan will hold a lottery consisting of each month's total requests. In other words, requests received at the beginning of a particular month have the same chance as those received at the end of the month. After Sept. 15, all ticket requests will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis according to availability.

Besides selling tickets, Cartan is offering Olympic travel packages, which start at $4,990 per person, double occupancy, and go as high as $17,000 per person (depending on location and category of accommodations chosen). Accommodations range from top-of-the-line deluxe hotels to moderately priced hotels.

Along with accommodations, Cartan Olympic Games packages include airport transfers, daily breakfasts and roundtrip economy transpacific air from Los Angeles on either Air New Zealand or United Airlines. The price of Olympic tickets is not included in package prices.

The company has mailed brochures with an enclosed order form to more than 10,000 agents nationwide.

Cartan forms ease ordering

SYDNEY, Australia -- Since tickets for each event at the Sydney Olympics are sold separately and are priced differently, ordering tickets can be an involved process. Consequently, Cartan Tours, the exclusive ticket sales agent for the Olympics in the U.S., has devised an order form to streamline the process.

Ticket applicants must list the specific events they want to attend and then mail the order form back to Cartan with the appropriate payment (either Visa credit card number, personal check, cashier's check or money order).

Tickets can be purchased only by mail (no telephone, faxes or e-mail requests will be accepted). Cartan's Olympic brochures include one with a ticket order form and another that describes its inclusive travel programs. Cartan Tours, Phone: (800) 841-1994

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