World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023 in Innsbruck-Stubai: outstanding final report
Last updated on 08.01.2024
Six months after the successful staging of the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023 Innsbruck-Stubai (WMTRC 2023), studies by the Sportsresearch Lab Tirol of Innsbruck University and Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), as well as Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Pisa, resulted in an excellent appraisal of the team surrounding Alexander Pittl, as organisers of the international event: the overall economic effect for the region amounted to some 7.2 million euros and outstanding ratings were achieved in the sustainability sector. Final reports also show that the planned budget of 4.75 million euros was not exceeded and that some 3.8 million euros was accrued in media revenue.
“In just under a year, we have managed to organise some fantastic World Championships, with around 1,200 athletes from 67 countries and over 50,000 spectators in attendance. We are delighted that we can deliver such impressive facts and figures six months after this major event,” emphasised Innsbruck World Championships initiator and organiser, Alexander Pittl.
Overall economic effect of 7.2 million euros, high satisfaction ratings
“The economic effect generated by visitors, athletes, accredited athlete escorts, employees and volunteers in the region amounts to over 7.2 million euros,” explains Martin Schnitzer, Deputy Head of the Institute of Sports Science at the University of Innsbruck.
“On a scale of 1 ‘very dissatisfied’ to 5 ‘very satisfied’, 94 % of respondents stated that they were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with their visit overall,” emphasised Hubert Siller, Head of the Department of Tourism & Leisure Management at the Management Center Innsbruck, adding: “Using the same ratings system, 77 % of athletes stated that they were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with their visit overall. These figures underscore an extraordinarily high level of overall satisfaction and testify to the perfect organisational performance of the team led by Alexander Pittl.”
World Cup ensures longer duration of stay
“According to the survey, visitors spent an average of 4.8 days in our province, which is longer than the average length of stay for this year’s summer of 3.6 days,” summarises Karin Seiler, Managing Director of Tirol Werbung. 57 % of guests stated that the 2023 World Championships were the primary reason for their decision to visit Tirol. “This demonstrates that Tirol is the perfect venue for events such as these, which benefits tourism greatly,” says Seiler.
238 hours of live coverage, media value of 3.8 million euros
Media value analysis between September 2022 and August 2023 identified media revenues of 3.8 million euros. The event reached over 106 million people, during which a total of 238 hours of live coverage was broadcast online. “In terms of multimedia and TV coverage, a new dimension of transmission quality from high alpine areas was achieved, thanks especially to spectacular imagery delivered by the camera runners. This innovative production concept also garnered international recognition and set new trailblazing standards,” explains Pittl.
Focus on sustainability and legacy
Research conducted by the Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies – Pisa also highlights the wide range of sustainable strategies used at these World Championships: a variety of environmentally friendly measures were implemented, ranging from recyclable banners and cooperation with public transport associations, to the use and renovation of existing hiking trails. “In retrospect, it was impressive to see that we as organisers were responsible for less than 10 % of the total environmental impact. This shows us that we made the right decisions in the areas we had control over,” says a delighted Pittl. Sustainable mobility was also supported through cooperation with public transport associations and shuttle services for spectators and athletes.
Tourist impact on the World Cup regions
Barbara Plattner, Managing Director of Innsbruck Tourismus, draws a positive conclusion from the World Mountain and Trail Running Championships 2023: “The event represented an exceptional sporting highlight in Innsbruck, which is the perfect counterpart to our alpine-urban brand identity. It also revitalised the local economy and showcased the region worldwide as a welcoming host. We are particularly thrilled with the high level of visitor satisfaction, the longer than average length of stay and a recommendation rate of 75 %. A big thank you goes to my team, our tourism partners, the city of Innsbruck, the volunteers and blue light organisations for their support in this alpine environment.”
Roland Volderauer, Managing Director of Stubai Tirol Tourism Association, is also pleased to summarise on a positive note: “Unparalleled emotions and experiences have been experienced in our magnificent natural landscape between mountains, natural sites and glaciers, and transported to living rooms all over the world by means of impressive imagery. The Stubai Valley once again impressed visitors with its perfect accessibility and sustainable mobility during the World Championships. The unique race atmosphere set against the fantastic backdrop of the Stubai Alps will remain a fond memory for all participants and guests, while consolidating our position as the No. 1 hiking destination in the Alpine region.”