Restart our Culture

By Andreas Weissenborn, Destinations International Foundation

No stranger to talking about common goods, infrastructure, is one our beloved words we’ve tracked extensively through our annual tourism lexicon. One key reason why is largely because its an investment that reverberates to both present and future societies. We know a road built today helps a community get to work but also future generations as well. We largely associate the term with traditional pillars of it such as roads, highways, airports, cargo ports, etc, all very ‘brick and mortar’ infrastructure types, however the term is far more expansive than that.

Emotional, Culinary, Business, etc all have their systems and supports which make up an infrastructure. Of course, every community place’s different values on each, and these values can translate back into investments and opportunities within their community. We have talked at length for our own aspirations towards how people should value your work. The interplay to all of this is if you are valued, then you are cherished, and more importantly, you are funded.

Recently, the German government decided one of their key values which has suffered tremendously during the pandemic is it’s culture, more importantly the infrastructure surrounding it’s culture.

The German Government has announced a €1 billion (approximately $1.13bn) financial aid program to get the country’s cultural industries up and running again following the closures of venues and cancellations of cultural events due to COVID-19. Monika Grütters, the federal culture minister of Germany, commented:

“We want to save our unique cultural sector and give perspective to artists. With Neustart Kultur and in combination with other multi-billion-euro recovery funds of the federal government, we’re making a contribution that is internationally unparalleled.”

The lust and comparisons to our own sector is palpable. Certainly, our contributions to quality of place add and enhance the communities we reside in. How do we get seen in the same light?

What’s most interesting in all of the German press regarding this restart is not one mention of economic impact these institutions have, it’s all instead told through the weight of the emotion-based stories this particular infrastructure provides the people of Germany. The economic opportunity these cultural institutes provides is known, it’s instead their values they are proposing an investment price on of ~$1.13bn. The people of Germany are coming to the table to fund the things they value.

About the Author

Andreas Weissenborn
Senior Director of Research & 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.