PYEONGCHANG (AFP) - Fireworks lit up the South Korean alpine resort of Pyeongchang early Thursday as jubilant residents celebrated victory in their third bid to host the Winter Olympics. "Yes Pyeongchang" they shouted, ecstatic at the news from Durban, South Africa, that their town's bid for the 2018 games had succeeded. International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge announced in the South African city that Pyeongchang would host the 2018 event after obtaining an overwhelming first-round majority in the vote. The South Korean venue beat competition from Germany's Munich and France's Annecy. Some revellers in the resort danced to the beat of a traditional folk troupe while others punched the air in celebration. "I'm so happy and delighted as all your efforts paid off," Prime Minister Kim Hwang-Sik told the crowd. "We will do out best for the successful hosting of the 2018 Olympics." South Korea has now secured its fourth global sporting event following the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, the 2002 football World Cup co-hosted with Japan, and next month's world athletics championships in Daegu. "Our dreams finally came true. I'm so happy," said Lee Sang-Hyun, 55, waving a Pyeongchang flag. President Lee Myung-Bak, speaking in Durban hours after delivering a passionate speech to IOC members in support of Pyeongchang, said the news was a victory for all South Koreans. "This is a victory for the people of the Republic of Korea. My fellow Koreans, thank you" Lee said. Millions of Koreans had nervously awaited the vote but in the end Pyeongchang secured an overwhelming 63 votes to 25 for Munich and just seven for Annecy. "We scored a great victory," said resident Kim Heung-Sik, 46. "I will never forget today." Pyeongchang had narrowly lost two earlier bids, first to Vancouver of Canada for the 2010 Games and then to Sochi of Russia for the 2014 event. In both races it led after the first round but lost out in the second round when it failed to secure swing votes. This time the resort, 180 kilometres (110 miles) east of Seoul, had campaigned on the slogan "New Horizons" -- offering a chance to bring the Winter Olympics to Asia for only the third time in the event's history. South Korea is an Asian winter sports powerhouse, finishing fifth in the medal table at last year's Vancouver Olympics with six golds. It is also home to figure skating Olympic champion Kim Yu-Na, who had worked hard to promote the bid. Authorities have invested more than $1.5 billion to build facilities in and around Pyeongchang, which has a population of only about 50,000 including the surrounding county. Before the vote, bid organisers had said Pyeongchang rated highly for its compact, athlete-friendly layout with all venues within 30 minutes of each other, and for the widespread public support it had garnered.