The Milan Cortina 2026 Olympics are about a thousand days away, but the competition has already begun: investors, entrepreneurs, planners, architects – and a large portion of the public sector dedicated to hospitality and tourism – are committed to understanding how to translate this opportunity, the largest in recent decades, in durable investments for the Italian Alps. It’s a race against time, you can only win together: this is the message of “Destinazione Winter Games”, the series of meetings, debates and round tables organized by MC International, dedicated to the world of hospitality and the development of the sector.
If the first edition, developed between 2021 and 2022, was dedicated to the hospitality and development sector, the second, in 2023, is focused on hospitality and welcoming. Alongside Cortina and Milan – and this is the first novelty – a third Olympic destination enters the field, Valtellina, represented by Sondrio which will host the meeting on 9 June. Among the most important themes will be the regeneration and enhancement, the integration of new architectures with the territory and the collaboration between public and private.
But that’s not all: the perspective includes everything that surrounds hospitality, from mobility to services, from hotels to wellness. The Olympics are not only an opportunity to raise the overall level: they are the building site where the very future of the mountain is taking shape, in a context in which climate change requires courageous and strategic choices. Destination Winter Games offers a highly qualified context for discussing these issues, formulating questions – such as “what will be the legacy of the Games?” – and share solutions, proposals, good practices born in one or other of the Olympic territories, and exportable elsewhere. Cortina, Milan and Sondrio emerge as laboratories of sustainable and concrete ideas: far from passing fads and “cosmetic” operations, the mountain of the future is designed here.
The preparations for the Olympics are creating an essential precedent in “tourism engineering”: MC International provides professionals – architects, designers, entrepreneurs, teachers and institutions – with a platform for discussion and networking. With one premise: the mountain is not just snow, the operators also focus on food and wine, crafts and cultural events.
Welcoming is wellbeing: today tourists savor more than ever the luxury of having time for themselves, relax at the spa, visit small producers and rent e-bikes: they choose their destination based on the range of proposals and comfort of services. Also from this point of view, and for reasons of social and economic sustainability, it is necessary to adjust seasonally, offering the possibility of exploring the area and living experiences at any time of the year.
According to what emerged during a very recent conference organized by Confindustria Belluno Dolomiti, Confindustria Alberghi and Luiss on the potential of the Alps, the growth prospects of the mountains in Italy are remarkable: it is the first European country by surface area of ski resorts and number of resorts, even if in terms of large stations we are clearly behind France and Austria. Investors show strong interest in the hotel sector, whose market share, compared to total real estate investments, has grown – in the last decade – from 10 to 15%.
Destinazione Winter Games reflects, “connects the dots” and connects, around the same table, the stakeholders of even very different territories: it tells the state of the art of mountain tourism and creates fertile ground for networking, seizing the Olympic opportunities and identify a common strategy.
An ambitious project for which MC International International has decided to set up a Scientific Committee coordinated by Francesco Scullica, Arch. Full Professor at the Design Department of the Milan Polytechnic with the aim of facilitating dialogue and exchanges between the tourism world and of the design. Its members include institutions representing the architecture and tourism industries, experts, lecturers and university professors.