Very strong growth in economic benefits from the IOC and international sports federations

With a 57% increase in the economic impact generated in Switzerland by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and international sports organizations (ISOs) between 2014 and 2019 compared to the period 2008-2013, the results of the study conducted by the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) highlight the importance of international sport for the region. With a total than 3’343 jobs, the industry generates economic effects of 1.68 billion CHF per year in Switzerland (1.07 billion between 2008 and 2013), including 0.87 billion CHF in the Canton (State) of Vaud (0.55 billion between 2008 and 2013) and 0.55 billion CHF for the district of Lausanne (0.25 billion between 2008 and 2013).

The City of Lausanne, the Canton of Vaud – together known as the “Olympic Capital” – and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) wanted to follow up on the studies carried out by the International Academy of Sports Science and Technology (AISTS) covering the years 2003 to 2007 and 2008 to 2013. At their request, AISTS evaluated the economic impact of international sport in Lausanne, the Canton and Switzerland for the period 2014 to 2019.

Using a questionnaire, AISTS focused on various economic data: operational and investment expenses of sports institutions, visitor expenses and the resulting flow of money, from which direct (salaries and charges), indirect (purchase of goods and services) and induced (economic effect of the income injected into the regional economy) impacts were derived. The study covered 53 sports organizations located in Switzerland, 46 of which are based in the Canton of Vaud.

The main results of the study highlight the following elements:

The international sport employs more than 3300 people in Switzerland in 2019, of which 1840 live in the Canton of Vaud, of which 966 reside in the district of Lausanne. The IOC, FIFA and UEFA remain the main employers in the industry. The recent establishment of several international sports institutions in the region has contributed to strong growth in jobs in the Lausanne district, from 806 in 2014 to 966 in 2019 (+24%).

The salaries, social contributions and taxes related to the jobs of international sports organizations and those arising from their activities generate a direct economic impact of nearly CHF 381 million on average per year at the Swiss level (CHF 423 million in 2019), of which nearly CHF 57 million in income tax alone will be collected in the Canton of Vaud in 2019 (Federal, Cantonal and Communal tax).

International sport generates significant impacts for business tourism: congresses, seminars, training sessions, board meetings, etc. This results in more than 44,600 overnight stays per year in Switzerland. The revenue generated by these activities is estimated at CHF 29 million, not including visitors to the Olympic Museum in Lausanne – an average of nearly 220,000 per year for the years studied.

Sports institutions also invest in the country: approximately CHF 292 million were invested in construction between 2014 and 2019, mostly corresponding to work carried out by local and regional contractors. This results in a total impact of more than CHF 534 million, 53% of which was realized in the Canton of Vaud.

52% of the economic impact of international sport in Switzerland is concentrated in the Canton of Vaud, with 33% in the district of Lausanne.

In total, international sport in Switzerland generates a direct impact (salaries and expenses) and indirect impact (goods and services) of CHF 678 million per year on average, to which must be added approximately 1 billion in terms of the economic effect of the additional income injected (induced effect), for a total of CHF 1.68 billion per year. This generated value translates into an increased impact of 57% for Switzerland compared to the study conducted between 2008 and 2013. At the level of the Canton, the economic impact reaches CHF 873 million, of which CHF 550 million for the district of Lausanne. Direct effects contribute to this figure for 22%, indirect effects for 18%. Thus, each franc injected by international sport into the Swiss economy generates 1.52 francs of income (which is equivalent to an added value of 52%).

The results obtained confirm and amplify those obtained from two comparable studies covering the years 2004 to 2013. They provide, once again, a solid scientific basis for the evaluation of the economic impact of international sport in Switzerland, based on a methodology validated by Professors Jean-Jacques Dethier of the Universities of California (Berkeley) and Bonn and Stéphane Garelli of IMD and the University of Lausanne.

Positive recognition amongst the population and support from the authorities

The economic impact is one thing. The presence of so many international sports institutions in Switzerland has other effects as well. This is particularly true for the perception of the population, as shown by a survey carried out in the context of the study: 77% of the respondents living in French-speaking Switzerland consider the presence of international sport in Switzerland to be important and 93% of them know that the IOC is based in Lausanne. More than 80% of respondents in French-speaking Switzerland also consider Lausanne’s title of “Olympic Capital” to be important.

Information and Communication Office of the Canton of Vaud Lausanne, January 18, 2022

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