The 2023 European Orienteering Championships begin from the Department of Management of the University of Verona. With the conference Tourism and Sport: orienteering “Major sporting events in tourism and training” the Sport and Health School of Sport wanted to symbolically close the European Week of Sport and launch, at the same time, from the city of Verona the international event from October 1 to 8 in Veneto.
“This conference – said Prof. Federico Schena, Deputy Director of the Department of Neuroscience, Biomedicine and Movement at the University of Verona in the introductory greetings – perfectly marries the interest of our University in sports and sports activities even outside our reality. We are happy that this is the first European Championships opener event, for which the University is involved with its partnership and support”.
“The Management Department – continues Prof. Director Diego Begalli – is very active on the front of training in tourism and sports. For this reason, with Neuroscience and Motor Sciences we have created the new Master’s Degree Course in Management of Innovative and Sustainable Sport Activities (SportIS), which we will present shortly in Vicenza, to make available to entrepreneurship skills that can interpenetrate the two areas”.
Speaking remotely, FISO President Sergio Anesi: “The link of the Italian Orienteering Sport Federation with the University of Verona is always strong. In orienteering for some years now there has been a big push for the Sprint distance, which will be staged with the European Championships in Verona, Soave and Vicenza. This is a format that also allows the exploration of historic centers, bringing it closer and wider to the public, as well as bringing induced income to the area. A sustainable discipline, linked to the love of its practitioners for the environment and its protection”.
“With pleasure – intervenes Donatella Minelli, Head of School of Sport, Sport Impact Directorate of Sport and Health – we return to address the fundamental theme of sport and tourism, also addressed in the conference organized on the occasion of the World Masters Orienteering Championship in Gargano. For us it represents the concluding event of the European Week of Sport, aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles. We are proud that education also passes through poles of excellence such as the School of Sport”.
“There are numerous best practices regarding the combination of sports and tourism – says Silvio Lorenzi, journalist, host of Radio 24 Il Sole 24 Ore – First and foremost is the New York Marathon, with more than $400 million in induced revenue, also generated by the 3,000 Italian participants. A virtuous example is given by the Emilia Romagna Region, which has consortiumed its 4 marathons for an integrated tourism promotion in the world. Sport is becoming a lever to lengthen the season or deseasonalize, as happens in Molveno with XTERRA or in the Paganella Dolomites with 5 Days of Italy. The bicycle tourism sector is also contributing to economic growth, so much so that it is generating 5 billion in induced revenue. However, the social and psychophysical well-being value of sport should not be forgotten, as the walking sector teaches”.
“The CRESME Verona 2040 Report – says Barbara Gaudenzi, chair of the Master’s Degree Course in Management of Innovative and Sustainable Sporting Activities of the Department of Management of the University of Verona – points to food and wine, sports, nature and mountains as levers for the growth of tourism in the Veneto. To decongest areas with overtourism, with a footprint of sustainability and innovation, and to deseasonalize, a redistribution of flows is necessary. This will also allow for an optimization of the customer experience, promoting sports and induced growth. On the other hand, the Credito Sportivo tells us of 24.5 billion euros of incidence of sports business on the national GDP: every euro invested in sports creates an enlarged induced income of 2.4 euros”.
“Of the 80 major events financed by the Veneto Region in 2022 with the Call for Major Events – continued Enrico Specchio, Veneto Region Executive – 52 were sports, which is proof of the strong support towards this sector. In addition to this funding tool, the Region is carrying out the strategic Green Tour Verde in Movimento project, a 600k ring distributed throughout the Veneto region aimed at tourists who love slow mobility to promote the culture of movement and wellness”.
Very interesting data reported by Rossana Ciuffetti, Sport Impact Director of Sport and Health, from the Report and Basic Physical Activity, Special Sports Tourism (May 2022): globally, sports tourism generated $580 billion in 2022. For 59% of millennials (born between 1981-1996), offering physical activity is an added value of their vacation (+9% compared to the average figure). All surveys in recent years indicate that for the younger generation, taking care of their quality of life is at the top of their priorities. Looking at the overall population, however, for 10%, physical activity on vacation is a must.
Concluding the conference was EOC 2023 General Manager Gabriele Viale who, in reporting the important data related to the European Championships, traced their history since their attribution, telling the students present about the complexities involved in organizing an international event of such magnitude.