By Tom Degun

SkiMay 5 - The International Ski Federation (FIS) has announced that nine cities have bid to host FIS World Championship events in 2016 and 2017.

Kulm in Austria is the only applicant for the 2016 FIS Ski Flying World Championships but there are three cities aiming to host the 2017 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, with bids submitted by Ǻre in Sweden, Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy and St. Moritz in Switzerland.

Four applicants have bid for the 2017 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships with Lahti in Finland, Oberstdorf in Germany, Planica in Slovenia and Zakopane in Poland are all in the running.

Finally, there is one application for the combined 2017 FIS Freestyle and Snowboard World Championships with Sierra Nevada in Spain submitting a bid.

"Just weeks after the successful 2011 editions, FIS is happy to witness the continuing interest for the organisation of the FIS World Championships," said FIS President Gian Franco Kasper.

"This high number of applications by several nations and world's premium resorts underlines their importance in the global sports calendar."

The FIS Council will elect the hosts of the 2016/2017 FIS World Championships during their 2012 Congress week in Gangwon Province in Korea, taking place on May 31 next year.

Prior to that, each candidate together with its National Ski Association, will prepare a detailed concept by September 1, 2011 based on a specific FIS Questionnaire containing details such as plans for sports organisation, accommodation, transportation, logistics, security, media, communications, marketing, ceremonies, the environment, spectator services and fan experience.

The FIS Inspection Group members will review the project in detail together with the candidate during this phase and meet with them during the FIS Technical Committee Meetings in October 2011.

Thereafter, each candidate will finalise its documentation relating to the concept for the project.

During the 48th International Ski Congress week in 2012, each candidate will have a chance to make a final presentation to the FIS Council as well as the respective Technical Committees.

They will also be able to present their candidatures to the extended FIS family and discuss their plans at dedicated exhibition stands at the 2012 FIS Congress venue.

Each candidate is subject to paying a non-refundable registration fee and providing training days.

These are used to finance an extensive FIS Aid and Promotion programme for developing ski nations.

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