A survey taken among 200 directors of Swiss Tourism member organizations shows that 90 per cent of the respondents would like to see Switzerland host the 2026 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games and 68 per cent estimate that the tourist sector would benefit from hosting the same. The results released Wednesday revealed tourism stakeholders see benefits mainly in terms of image, and marketing Switzerland as a winter sport destination.
More than two-thirds of respondents believe the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games is an opportunity to increase the number of winter tourists over the long term, both from within Switzerland as well as from Europe and farther destinations.
As for investment, 82 per cent rate the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games as a strong or very strong opportunity to increase private investments in the Swiss tourism sector before, during and after the Games.
The majority of respondents rate the Paralympic Winter Games as a very strong (45 per cent) or strong (23 per cent) opportunity for the tourism sector to increase its offering to people with disabilities.
Swiss Olympic President Jürg Stahl said, “since the start of this project, Swiss Olympic has said that the Olympic and Paralympic Games should not only benefit Swiss sport, but the country as a whole. This impact on tourism is significant because this industry is important in our country – thousands of jobs are depending on it.”
“A project such as the Olympic Games needs to have a positive impact on people’s lives in order to really make sense. We will continue to work towards this goal in the months to come.”
Jürg Schmid, Director of Swiss Tourism and a member of the 2026 Taskforce said in a statement “I am happy to see that a vast majority of our members all over the country supports the idea of bringing the Olympic and Paralympic Games to Switzerland.”
“They see the sustainable impact that running for such an event can have for our industry. This is very encouraging for the next steps and strengthens our confidence in the future.”
These results, along with other Olympic bid analysis, will be given to the Swiss Olympic Executive Council when they determine whether Switzerland will forward a bid for the 2026 Games on March 7.
If the decision is made to submit an application to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) before next year’s deadline the Council will choose from between the “Graubünden und Partner 2026” (Eastern Switzerland) and the merged bid “Sion 2026. The Games in The Heart of Switzerland” (Western Switzerland) bids that are currently being vetted and evaluated by a taskforce through the end of February.
A decision to approve a bid would need to be ratified at the Extraordinary Assembly of the Parliament of Sport on April 11.
Switzerland last hosted the Winter Games in St. Moritz in 1948 but has bid for the event several times since. A lost referendum derailed a possible Davos-St. Moritz bid for the 2022 Olympic Winter Games.
International bids for the 2026 Games are being considered by Innsbruck, Stockholm, Calgary, Sapporo and 2022 bid runner-up Almaty, Kazakhstan. Other possible bidders may come from Germany and Italy.