In 2010, when the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in Iceland and caused enormous disruption to air travel across western and northern Europe, the Blackburn Rovers Football Club was in talks to sign young Polish striker Robert Lewandowski. But Lewandoski couldn’t travel and the €4.5 million deal fell through. A few days later, German outfit Borussia Dortmund swooped in and signed the player. He went on to sign for European champions Bayern Munich and is now worth an estimated €50 million. A season later Blackburn was relegated from the Premier League.
The ash cloud crisis provides one example of the challenges working with the combined unpredictable sector of travel and the equally chaotic world of sport. As the pandemic took hold of the world this year, this same unpredictability impacted most large sports events and even brought doubts over the 2021 agenda of many disciplines, including winter sports. However, we’re delighted to share that the FIS (International Ski Federation) has now confirmed that Cortina D’Ampezzo will indeed be hosting the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in 2021. The event will see athletes from 70 countries compete over 14 days, from 7 to 21 February 2021.
As a technical partner of the Cortina Foundation, CWT M&E will help manage the logistics for this prestigious event. "This is without a doubt the most important winter sporting event that will take place in Italy in the next three years," said Valerio Giacobbi CEO, Cortina Foundation.
As well as the setting for one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar, Cortina is also an attractive destination for an incentive trip as it’s steeped in Italian culture with an array of food, festivals, and attractions, along with the many outdoor sporting activities it offers. It was even named a world heritage site by the UNESCO in 2009, confirming its extraordinary landscape and history.
Against a backdrop of the stunning Dolomites mountain range, the town of Cortina is in the middle of the Veneto region of Northern Italy, with links to neighboring cities of Venice, Verona, Milan, and Bergamo.
Cortina as an incentive destination worth considering is backed up by many studies, including one from rewards experts CR Worldwide which found 44% of all UK corporate ‘getaways’ will include an element of physical activity, with firms doubling the number of healthy nature-based business trips for employees over the past three years. The report also found that as younger employees place high value on incentives as a reward, companies are in danger of losing out on top talent if they don’t start prioritizing activities outside of office hours. Especially those with a link to health and wellbeing.
As the most important winter sporting event of the coming years in Italy, and the beginning of an amazing journey that will lead the town to co-host the 2026 Winter Olympics with Milan – Cortina 2021 is an event not to be missed! As a partner of Fondazione Cortina 2021, our dream is to celebrate this great restart with you. Our Italian teams have put together unique incentive programs mixing passion, culture, and Italian tradition that will allow you and your teams to celebrate, regroup, and focus on the future.
Get in touch to learn more!
Armando Mastrapasqua, Senior Director M&E Southern EMEA at CWT Meetings & Events