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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 23, 2008
Destination Warsaw
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Ask Not What Your City Can Do for You
April 23, 2008   
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WDA Membership Manager Nicholas Robinson on the Warsaw Destination Alliance's plans and role in the city's preparations for the Euro 2012 soccer championships:

Euro 2012 will be the first major event held in Warsaw that will challenge many of the city's municipal organizations and a whole range of commercial entities to work together to achieve a common goal: a successful tournament run smoothly in state of-the-art facilities where all participants-spectators and teams alike-leave knowing that they have had a most enjoyable experience.

The building of a new stadium and all the infrastructure to go with this to make sure the stadium functions properly-such as easy access for visitors by road, rail and foot, plus a range of facilities including a conference center, exhibition hall and hotel-are just the beginning. It is necessary to ensure that the stadium complex has a viable future. Everybody seems to realize that, but we must start seriously thinking way beyond 2012 to ensure that this life-changing project for Varsovians will stimulate the city's economic life for many years ahead. Life does not stop when the whistle blows at the finish of the last Euro 2012 game.

The Warsaw Destination Alliance associates companies that understand that achieving these goals can only be possible when private and public organizations unite. The WDA sees Euro 2012-and the stadium and conferencing facilities lobbied for by the WDA for the past five years-as a major opportunity to create a holistic approach to marketing Warsaw as a major destination for now and the future. This can only be achieved when the dialogue between all the parties involved and interested in Euro 2012 has started. The WDA is now working to establish mutual cooperation with the PL2012 company. WDA President Alex Kloszewski has had meetings with PL2012 President Marcin Herra, and conditions of future cooperation are to be determined.

The vision of the WDA is to make Warsaw the destination of choice in Central and Eastern Europe for business and leisure visitors and foreign direct investors. The success of this vision held by the WDA's members depends very much on believing that through having a shared vision and working together we can help change the economic life of the city. WDA membership is about understanding the simple philosophy: "Don't ask what the city can do for you, ask what you can do for the city and hereafter benefit from the results," which is a paraphrase of John F. Kennedy's words.

In the run-up to Euro 2012, the WDA wishes to expand beyond its 90-plus members and encourage new members including major Polish and international corporations with headquarters and regional offices based in Warsaw. One sector that we would particularly like to develop as WDA members are companies involved in Warsaw's booming property development and real estate markets. The companies creating and building some of the city's flagship projects are the new future icons of Warsaw. The investors in, the creators and builders of much of the new city infrastructure for Euro 2012 and the many projects that are changing the face of the city, want to make sure that Warsaw is able to host blue-chip events of an international stature in the future, such as Expo, Olympics, European Athletics Championships, World Young Designers Competition, Dali Exhibition, Hermitage Exhibition and Frida Kahlo Exhibition.

Also, the WDA wishes through its member companies, who include the leaders in the city's travel and tourism industry, to attract major conferences, events and exhibits to the city that will help fill those new venues and public places in the approach to Euro 2012 and well after. The WDA will be leading the challenge in partnership with the city to win those events-be they sporting, cultural or economic-that will put Warsaw firmly on the map as the destination in Central and Eastern Europe: the Phoenix city that rose from the rubble and ashes of World War II to become one of Europe's most vibrant metropolises reflecting the face of the new Europe.
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