Community Vitality Wheel

In 2009, Destinations International’s Chair Maura Gast (Visit Irving Texas) offered closing thoughts at the conclusion of her term at the DI Annual Convention. In what is now referred to as the famous "if you build a place" speech, Maura Gast said, “If you build a place where people want to visit, you’ll build a place where people want to live. If you build a place where people want to live, you’ll build a place where people want to work. If you build a place where people want to work, you’ll build a place where business wants to be.  And, if you build a place where business wants to be, we’ll be back to building a place where people want to visit. It all starts with the visit and that visit doesn’t happen without us.”

In 2023, Destinations International builds upon Maura Gast’s foundation to provide a one-page graphic that shows not only the ‘circle of life’ that still rings true today but shows how the work of the Destination organization is directly connected to how slow or how fast the wheel turns. Through brand management, destination stewardship and investment, and through programs for promotion and sales, the chart shows that it does not happen without us. Destination promotion is a catalyst for community vitality driving what is needed for a community to become that destination where people want to visit, live, work and play.


About the Author

Andreas Weissenborn

Vice President of Research and Advocacy
Destinations International

Introduced to the world of destination organizations by a random internship application to Visit Baltimore (then known as Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association), Andreas Weissenborn began an unexpected career into hospitality that left him with a continued passion towards the tourism industry.

Weissenborn spent just short of 11 years with Visit Baltimore helping with its Research, Technology, and Information Systems across the organization. In 2017, he joined the Association on behalf of a Destinations International Foundation initiative to be a dedicated research source for Destinations International.

As part of his responsibilities, include supporting our core advocacy and research initiatives such as the community shared value, the tourism lexicon, the event impact calculator, and various reporting platforms, and our belief of destination promotion being a common good for the greater good.

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