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The Warsaw Voice » Destination Warsaw » November 30, 2010
WDA Refocuses Its Efforts
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Fewer priorities but more emphasis
November 30, 2010   
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The Warsaw Destination Alliance Foundation has set itself new objectives and will be concentrating its activities in tightly defined areas.

Having achieved some of the objectives that the Foundation set itself when it was established nine years ago by the general managers of Warsaw’s top hotels, the Warsaw Destination Alliance has now decided to reassess its list of priorities. The new objective formulated by the Executive Committee is clear: starting from 2011 the WDA will concentrate its activities on several key issues relating to Warsaw and business and conference tourism. At the same time the WDA is delighted that its partners from Warsaw City Hall and a newly establishing local Warsaw tourist organization are taking over initiatives in other important areas that were the Foundation’s domain.

“The WDA’s most important task in recent years was to convince the city administration, local government, businessmen, media and also indirectly Warsaw residents, that our city should promote itself internationally on a wide scale, because it can achieve great success in business and conference tourism,” said Alex Kloszewski (pictured), originator, founder and president of the WDA Foundation. “That is why the WDA funded from its own membership contributions the first big advertising campaigns promoting the Polish capital in such media as BBC World and CNN International. We set a good example and showed the way. You don’t have to have a big budget to conduct an effective campaign that brings results.”

For many years the WDA also initiated and backed modern projects that supported the development of Warsaw as a congress city and a regional business center. The Foundation launched an initiative on which work has been under way for several years to design a conference and congress center which, as in other big EU cities, will make it possible to organize international events in Poland for thousands of participants.

Currently, there are no facilities that could host an event of this kind. Meanwhile, the congress and conference market generates income of millions of euros for cities, as a result of using conference venues (for concerts, sporting events, and so on), local taxes, creation of jobs, increased use of services, and so on. The WDA’s long term and systematic activities have helped boost Warsaw’s chances of having a big conference and exhibition center.

WDA Foundation experts consider that the location of the multifunctional congress, exhibition and entertainment center would make greatest financial sense if it was part of the National Stadium in Warsaw. The option to extend this site to include additional conference and entertainment halls was taken into consideration in the National Sports Center’s developmental project. Providing comprehensive expert support for such a scheme is part of the WDA’s strategic priorities for the coming years.

Due to the decision to concentrate the Foundation’s efforts to support the development of the conference and exhibition center, the WDA has announced that it will no longer conduct large-scale independent efforts to promote Warsaw. “Currently, we see more sense in supporting the city’s promotional campaigns than in conducting our own,” said Kloszewski.

The WDA also intends to concentrate its efforts on cooperating with the Warsaw Tourist Organization (WOT), which is being established by the city and with the Foundation’s strong support. WOT’s objective is to take over the initiative to promote and develop Warsaw as a modern tourist “product”, with the involvement of many interested institutions, firms and organizations. The Warsaw Destination Alliance will strongly support WOT over a proposal to introduce a local tourist tax, which would be a small fee paid by every tourist visiting the capital. These charges would go towards Warsaw’s promotional budget.

Adapting its organizational structure to the new list of priorities, the WDA is planning some staff changes in its offices. “We will make more use of outside experts, including volunteers. The changes are the result of the priorities which we will be concentrating on,” said Kloszewski.
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