David Hidalgo: “Now is Andorra’s time, everything is aligned to have the World Cup”

The general director of the Andorra 2029 candidacy, optimistic about the election of the headquarters on June 4 in Reykjavík

The rivals are Narvik (Norway) and Val Gardena (Italy), which already hosted the championship in 1970


The general director of the Andorra 2029 bid, David Hidalgo, stated that “now is the time” for the Principality to host the Alpine Ski World Cups in 2029 because “everything is aligned” to defeat its rivals, the Norwegian Narvik and the Italian Val Gardena, in the election this June 4 in Reykjavík.

“Everything is aligned. We have public support, private support from hoteliers and the federation. Even an athlete making podiums in the World Cup, which a few years ago was almost unthinkable. Now is Andorra’s time. In a few years, I don’t know. Now would be the ideal time,” he stressed in an interview with Europa Press.

David Hidalgo highlighted that the Andorra project – after a previous attempt in 2027 – is “solid”, although he confessed that the final motivation of each of the 21 members who will vote is something that “escapes” and is “impossible to control” . “I think there are six or seven that if they didn’t vote for us it would be a very big surprise. In the first round it is very difficult for anyone to win,” he predicted.

The bad weather and snow conditions last February in the World Cup events they hosted are an endorsement for Andorra 2029, as they were able to “move forward” in the worst season they can remember in the Pyrenees since they put on some skis about 47 years ago. “We were the only ones who put out the entire program in February, and that strengthens us for the World Cups, which are also in February,” he noted.

The skiers themselves conveyed their desire for the World Championships to be held in Grandvalira, the first to be held in the Pyrenees. “We have spoken with coaches, skiers, press officers of each team and they all tell you the same thing: ‘I hope you win.’ They are not the ones who actually vote, but having a stream of favorable opinion from skiers and teams is something that can help us.” help,” he said.

Hidalgo broke down the strengths of the Andorran candidacy: country, leisure, accessibility, sustainability and inclusion. “It is a candidacy from an entire country. This gives us a very complete tourism product because, when the races are over, what do you do the rest of the day? Having a tourism product like Andorra, with its hotel offering and program of cultural activities, musicals, entertainment, spa and well-being and nature gives it a very important attraction,” he reviewed.


In the 2027 candidacy, Andorra was “differential” in aspects such as including “accessibility” for the first time in the Ski World Cups. “Now it is mandatory to have an accessibility plan, but we will take care of highlighting to the FIS that we were the first to talk about this. I like that the commitments are not only on paper,” he said.

Ski resorts are “very aware”, according to the CEO of Grandvalira, of the environmental impact and that is why they are committed to sustainability, although understood from multiple angles such as labor law, equality and inclusion. “In a sport and in an environment like the FIS that is so masculinized, having an organizing committee in which we are practically half men and half women is also not common,” he noted.

From the previous candidacy, he has learned “the part that is not seen” such as politics. “At the time we already considered that it was very important, but the big difference compared to 2027 is that we did not have an Andorran representative on the Council. Now, we are aware of what is happening in the FIS in all aspects,” he compared .

Since 2000, Central European countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Austria, Germany, along with France and Italy, have hosted the World Cups, with the sole exception of the American Beaver Creek in 2015. “If the message of the FIS is globalization, we must go to North America, South America, Asia or Oceania. Our message is that we can provide a different way of organizing and mountains that have never received the World Cups. Those in Sierra Nevada are still fondly remembered because they were different. seeing Morocco, and you go down to Granada and have some tapas and dance flamenco,” he stressed.

In this sense, Hidalgo said that he is the first to think that Norway “deserves” the World Cup as soon as possible, “but after Andorra.” “Now is our time. Val Gardena in 10 years will still be a power. I think Norway has a handicap and that is that it is the candidacy of a region that they want to develop. And making World Championship inventions in that area is a very risky He has a brutal sporting career, tradition and passion for the mountains, but going to Narvik can be a handicap and that is how many people see it,” he analyzed.

For this reason, he considered that Val Gardena is Andorra’s main rival. “It will be the organizer of the World Cups for sure, sooner or later. Now I don’t think it’s up to it. It’s one of my favorite resorts, the landscape is brutal, the family accommodations, the food, the quality of skiing. It has everything, but it’s up to us to us,” he said.


Andorra has worked at all levels to offer a “competitive” project for the 2029 World Cup. “It is a reliable partner at an organizational and sporting level. We work a lot on mobility. People say that in Andorra there are queues, but there are queues everywhere.” ski resorts in high season. Our desire is to use public transport and we are going to improve the infrastructure and, above all, the accessibility part,” he announced.

Likewise, it has the support of the population of the Principality because “it does not need public resources” to make it viable and existing infrastructure that does not require large investments as in the Olympic Games. “The feeling and the feedback received is always one of pride and the desire for this national project to win the candidacy,” he added.

With a budget of just 40 million euros, the direct economic impact of the Ski World Cups in 2029 would be “between 1 and 2 percent” of the Andorran GDP, 30 to 35 million euros, although the indirect one could be “triple or quadruple” thanks to income from accommodation, ski passes, visits or purchases.

Forecasts estimate an expenditure of 300 euros per day for each visitor and more than 55,000 hotel nights. “We have good feelings. But I don’t even give anyone a favorite because there are many aspects that we don’t control. We will continue working until the last minute to convince the undecided,” he highlighted.

Regarding the future, Hidalgo considered that the key for those in Andorra and the rest of the ski resorts that want to be viable is to continue investing in water reserves and snow production capacity. “What matters is being able to guarantee a skiable product, not only for competitions, and that we try to manufacture the snow that does not fall from the sky as much as possible,” he predicted.