Turin, BWC2018: economic implications of the event

Stefano Duglio is Assistant Professor at the Department of Management (University of Torino) and member of the Riccardo Beltramo’s Research Team. Since 2001, Stefano studies the application of sustainability in the tourism industry.

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Stefano, so what does that mean sustainability in tourism?

Great question! I don’t think a Thesis dissertation can fully answered your query…. Let’s say, very very briefly, that my job consists of a better understanding of the relationships between the tourist activities and the environment. In other words, I try to analyse the tourist processes and assess their repercussions not only on the natural environment, but also in terms or economic and social implications on the host community.

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Even for the BWC 2018?

Definitively yes! Even if atypical, the BWC event can be inserted in the “avenue of research” known as “sport tourism”. Of course, there are some differences: BWC is a sport event (there is a competition) and playful one as well. For sure, it is a tourism event and many participants all over Italy are expected to take part in it. Let’s say that for us it is an opportunity for adopting and adapting our methodology in a little, but at the meantime complex, context.


You touched upon past experiences, Stefano. Where did you work?

If you’re asking me about our researches on sustainable and responsible tourism in general, I’d say everywhere!

Riccardo (Beltramo, editor’s note) started this avenue of research in 1998 at the time Dept. of Commodity Science. We’re all very fond of mountains and thanks to the researches we had the opportunity to cover all the Italian alpine chain, from Aosta Valley to Trentino Alto Adige and, of course, the Piedmont Region. But we had the chance to go further: in 2003 we were in Nepal for instance.

As far as sport tourism and sport events are concerned, I’d mention our last study on the economic and social implications of the Skyrunning competition. 

In any case I can’t help but think about the unforgettable “K2 2004 – 50 years later” climbing expedition where we were asked to manage and take under control the environmental implications of the expedition. 

Riccardo and I switched off at the K2 base camp in Pakistan for all the expedition: 3 months on the field!


What are you going to organise for the Turin BWC?

We’d like to involve the BWC participants (the so called “active sport tourists”) providing a questionnaire so that we can basically analyse two aspects. First, the BWC economic implications on the local context. I mean: the BWC in Turin is the only leg and participants are expected from different Italian Regions. The may come to Turin with their families or friends and stay here for a few days. The main goal is to understand the economic revenue on some items (accommodation, food, …) for verifying if (and how much) the BWC event may be considered a fly-wheel for the territory.

At the meantime, we are also interested in analysing the participants’ environmental repercussions. Per se, as a biking contest, BWC can be considered a “low impact event” but if the participants come to Turin by plane or by train, the indirect environmental implications can differ a lot.

Here, what we’d like to do, without presumption, is giving to the BWC organisers some advice and suggestions useful for further events.