International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has welcomed Swiss Confederation counterpart Alain Berset to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne as a guest of honour ©IOC

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has welcomed Swiss Confederation counterpart Alain Berset to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne as a guest of honour.

Bach gave Berset a personal guided tour of the exhibitions at the Museum, including a special exhibit devoted to Swiss athletes who competed at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

The pair also looked at an exhibition about the IOC in Lausanne and the construction of the new IOC headquarters, "Olympic House", which is due to be inaugurated on Olympic Day in 2019.

The two leaders had the opportunity to discuss a number of topics of mutual interest, including the fundamental reforms undertaken by the IOC with Olympic Agenda 2020, particularly with regard to sustainability, good governance and respect for human rights.

The economic impact of the IOC's presence in Switzerland was also discussed.

With 45 international sports organisations based in Switzerland, employing 2,150 people, the majority working for the IOC, it is estimated that sports organisations boost the Swiss economy by CHF1.07 billion (£819 million/$1.1 billion/€923 million) each year, lifting the Swiss Gross Domestic Product by 0.2 per cent annually.

More than half of that boost comes to the Canton of Vaud, which is said to benefit to the tune of CHF550 million (£421 million/$555 million/€475 million).

"The Olympic Museum is the place where we have celebrated our close relationship with Lausanne, the Canton of Vaud and the Confederation, on so many occasions," Bach said in welcoming Berset to the Museum.

"Our profound attachment of more than 100 years in the Olympic capital and in Switzerland will be further reinforced next year with the inauguration of our new headquarters in Vidy - Olympic House.

"This investment is a demonstration of our commitment to Lausanne, the Canton of Vaud and Switzerland as our home."

Berset added: "My visit to the IOC has enabled me to re-emphasise the strong links between Switzerland and the IOC, an organisation that has made its home here for over 100 years.

"Sport is a fantastic tool for promoting equal opportunities.

"I firmly believe that the IOC’s mission to place sport at the service of humanity and peace is essential."

Bach was accompanied during the visit by Denis Oswald, an IOC member and Executive Board member from Switzerland. 

Joining Berset were Philippe Leuba, Councillor of State of the Canton of Vaud, and Grégoire Junod, the Mayor of Lausanne.

After the visit to the Olympic Museum, Bach attended the inauguration of Lausanne’s new sports complex, the Centre Sportif de La Tuilière, which will provide nine new football pitches for the region.

Earlier this month, IOC officials urged cities to change their negative perception and see the positives of hosting the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games after Swiss city Sion withdrew from the race for the 2026 edition following a referendum defeat. 

The plea came as politicians in the Canton of Valais warned the region may never bid again.

The city's bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics and Paralympics collapsed after voters in a Canton-wide referendum rejected releasing funding of CHF100 million (£76 million/$101 million/€86 million).

Citizens across Valais voted "no" on the proposed funding package, which would have seen some of their tax money used to pay for infrastructure and security.