Hours after President Donald Trump labeled North Korea a state sponsor of terrorism, USA Today reports that interest in the 2018 Winter Olympics is "very low," particularly involving plans to travel to the Games in neighboring South Korea.

Scant interest in the PyeongChang ceremonies, as Thomas Maresca said, is mostly a result of the global tensions between America and North Korea, whose leaders have traded barbs about ballistic missile and nuclear weapon tests in recent months.

As of Nov. 16, organizers say they've hit just 41% of their sales target of 1.06 million tickets, with sales in South Korea even weaker than those by international tourists. 

Anbritt Stengele, founder of Sports Traveler, a Chicago-based travel agency, said she's never seen such a sluggish market.

"The interest level is very low for this Olympics," said Stengele. "We had Sochi (Russia) in 2014, and that interest level was lower than Vancouver (in 2010). But this one is even lower than Sochi. I would just classify it as extremely light interest. Sales have been stagnant."

The NHL's infamous absence from this year's Winter Olympics may also be to blame, Stengele told Maresca. Without the star power of the pro ranks, for example, Team USA's men's ice hockey team has been forced to enter PyeongChang with a roster comprised mostly of retired or minor-league starters.