Milan Cortina 2026 Board member Sergio Schena is optimistic of economic growth in Italy following the Games ©Sergio Schena

Organisers of the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo anticipate that Italy will generate a big economic boost from the staging of the Games in three years’ time.

Sergio Schena, a member of the Board of Directors for Milan Cortina 2026, has said that organisers are expecting turnover to grow to as much as 13 per cent.

The Italian official’s comment came when speaking at the "Welcome to Valtellina - Tourism and New Scenario Beyond Sport" meeting, according to a report by Hotellerie Pambianconews.

"When the Olympic Games are held in a country, the turnover grows between 12 per cent and 13 per cent and, unlike other events, it remains over time," said Schena.

"The city of Turin with the 2006 Winter Games scored over 65 per cent, Vancouver in 2010 collected over 60 per cent.

"In 2026, we will have three billion spectators following the Olympic competitions, therefore the visibility for our territories will be very high.

"In particular, the reference markets will be the USA, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Norway, China and Japan, which are the nations that have the most passion for the Olympics."

Schene has been on the Milan Cortina 2026 Board since January 2020 as a representative of Lombardy.

Milan is Lombardy’s capital, while Bormio and Livigno are also in the region.

Bormio is set to stage the men's Alpine skiing with Lombardy due to play a key role in the hosting of the 2026 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images
Bormio is set to stage the men's Alpine skiing with Lombardy due to play a key role in the hosting of the 2026 Winter Olympics ©Getty Images

Bormio is due to hold men's Alpine skiing and ski mountaineering, Livigno is due to stage some freestyle skiing and snowboarding events, while speed skating, ice hockey and the Olympic Opening Ceremony are scheduled for Milan.

Lombardy has also committed to a considerable financial investment with approximately €575 million (£490 million/$630 million) spent on the Games in 2022.

A Government contribution for transport is also initially estimated at €473 million (£404 million/$520 million).

A lifetime budget of around €1.5 billion (£1.3 billion/$1.6 billion) has been set by Milan Cortina 2026 for the Games.

Giorgio Palmucci, vice-president of the Italian Confindustria Hotels Association, was among the officials at the meeting in Valtellina to call for a strategic vision to be implemented in a bid to capitalise on any economic success.

"Large events are not only a driving force for the local economy, but they are an opportunity for innovation and greater social sustainability too," said Palmucci in the report by Hotellerie Pambianconews.

"We must look at the effects of post-Olympics in the reality of those who live in the area.

"The goal is to catalyse investments for urban regeneration, to improve places, neighbourhoods and transport.

"The important aspect is that the Games do not become a 'one shot' appointment, which is followed by a void.

"To create a long-term strategy, however, a strong integration between politics and the territory is necessary.

"Public and private must work together."