Toniolo, Ghedina, Berton, Benetton, Padrin, Roda, Mornati, D’Incà, Patanè comment on the positive data

Cortina d’Ampezzo (BL), 18 February 2021– The press conference to present the survey commissioned by SOSE spa (a company headed by the Ministry of Economy), carried out by Format Research, took place this morning. The survey was commissioned by the Government Commissioner for public works, Valerio Toniolo, and coordinated by Professor Francesco Decarolis of Bocconi University. The research was aimed at assessing the impact of the 2021 Alpine Ski World Championships (7-21 February) on Italy’s economy and image.

The premise of the conference is summed up in its headline: The great effect of the World Championships on the economy and the image of Italy! And in fact, the data confirms the importance of the great international event to get the economy moving, especially in the time of Covid.

If the pandemic broke the economy, the World Championships have given oxygen to businesses, to Cortina, to Veneto and to Made in Italy. On average, the impact on turnover / revenues among the companies surveyed was 5.9% in 2020, with a similar value over the previous two years. 78.7% of the companies interviewed believe that it was the right choice for the Government to invest in the territory and 62.7% of the companies consider the investments important for the future of the area“, explains Valerio Toniolo, Commissioner for the works of the Cortina 2021 project.

Almost 68% – seven out of ten companies – agree that the construction of the works for Cortina 2021 represent valuable opportunity for employment, and almost 70% of entrepreneurs agree that the investments made for Cortina 2021 have contributed to relaunching the territory. The mayor of Cortina, Gianpietro Ghedina, shares this sentiment: «We are now at the end of a World Championship edition we are proud of. We can now speak of the Cortina model; we want to leave a modern and competitive location for future generations».

2,054 companies were interviewed for the survey. Of these, depending on the time period in question, between 10.5 and 17.5 percent were directly or indirectly involved in economic activity set in motion by the investments for Cortina 2021. And for these companies we have tried to investigate in detail the impact on employment and turnover and investment, producing an important piece of analysis.

The data concerning the job market is also interesting, with 63.5% of companies responding that they would have hired less or would not have hired at all, had it not been for the World Ski Championships. Lorraine Berton, President of Confindustria Belluno and head of Great Events of the national Confindustria, says: “These data do not surprise us but indeed they flatter us; we have a historic opportunity before us which is that of the great events that can relaunch the mountain, too often forgotten. I want to congratulate everyone who worked on this extraordinary and historical event”.

The Cortina World Championships, conceived from the outset on the principle of environmental and social sustainability, were perceived as such. Of environmental investments made by the companies involved in the study, 15.1% were made specifically for the World Championships: 72,6% in the area of energy saving, 38.1% in recycling/waste management, 16.9% in the use of renewable energy sources. 

Alessandro Benetton, president of Fondazione Cortina 2021 and firmly committed to sustainability, comments: “This World Championship edition demonstrates that things can be done with very high standards of sustainability, safety and legality – everyone collaborated with us in this great adventure, including the territory, politics, and the world of sport”

Without Cortina 2021, the turnover of the companies involved in the World Championships would have been very different. The survey is clear: 77.2% would have recorded a reduction in turnover; in the Belluno area the figure would be close to 70%. Roberto Padrin, President of the Province of Belluno, comments: “There was great team effort, a process that began 5 years ago with much determination, looking beyond political affiliations“.

Cortina 2021 is considered a dress rehearsal for the Milan-Cortina 2026 Olympics. Between the two international events there is a perfect handover, and skiing will again be the protagonist. Flavio Roda, president of FISI, has very clear ideas: “The sporting part was admirable, I thank those who, in the adverse weather conditions at the start, did everything possible to get this world championship started. You have to pay close attention to the surroundings, the success of a great event depends on the infrastructure of access“.

The results of the survey have once again shown how sport is an extraordinary driving force, capable of moving people, passions, projects and millions of euros. Carlo Mornati, General Secretary of Coni, underlines: “We would not have gotten the Olympics without the Cortina World Championships. The Italians have proven to be number 1 when it comes to organising an event during a pandemic. From a sporting point of view, top marks, but there is no time to sit on our laurels. The pragmatism of the Veneto and the Italians will benefit us”.

The Minister for Relations with Parliament, Federico d’Incà, born in Belluno, was unable to attend today’s press conference, but has followed the development and implementation of these World Championships with particular interest. He comments: “This appointment is the only sporting event that is being held internationally in the period of Covid. It is taking place in complete safety, as a result of intense work by institutions and organizations. The World Championships are of extraordinary importance for our territory, offering great visibility to the Belluno area. Sport is a very important driving force thanks to its values ​​ and its ability to highlight what the territory has to offer. We are therefore presented with a great opportunity for the mountain and for the socio-economic prospects that will no doubt continue to grow also thanks to the 2026 Olympics. We must be proud of the work done».

Luciano Patanè, President of Confturismo and Confcommercio, unable to attend as engaged elsewhere, comments: “Before Covid, the organization of major events generated positive economic effects for the territory in which they were held, to the tune of more than two and a half euros for every euro spent. Today as the World Championships take place without live audiences, this value becomes even more evident – not only for Cortina but for the entire country. The image of an organized, resilient and welcoming Italy is projected around the world. A fundamental step also for the recovery of tourism, which today may appear distant but which is achievable, and which we are starting to re-build now “.

The Regional Tourism Councillor, Federico Caner, adds: “In a very difficult season for the Veneto mountains and with the arrival of the first official estimates of losses due to the white lockdown, the Cortina 2021 Ski World Championships represent a light at the end of the tunnel. To organise an event in compliance with all safety measures, followed by millions of spectators around the world, which saw the participation of 600 athletes from 70 different nations and 6 thousand people involved, in the middle of a global pandemic, was certainly not an easy undertaking. Cortina 2021 was above all an example of ‘best-practice’, a model that attempts to combine the needs of containing the virus with economic recovery. Now the goal is the maximum diffusion of the vaccination programme for a quick return to events with live audiences“.

PPT here

Photos here

TV cut

Download Press Release