BUILDING A FACADE FOR FINLAND: HELSINKI IN TOURISM IMAGERY

Authors


  • I would like to thank Pauliina Raento, Paul Kaldjian, and the three anonymous referees for helpful comments, and the City of Helsinki for supporting my research. This article is part of the Academy of Finland research project #123561, “Landscape, Icons, and Images.”

Abstract.

Tourist destination promoters compose visual images and arrange them in brochures in order to communicate a coherent and attractive story. In a changing socioeconomic and political context, the city officials of Helsinki recognized a need for systematic promotion in the 1950s. In this article I examine 127 images published in ten tourism brochures produced by the Excursion Section of the Sport and Excursion Office of Helsinki between 1954 and 1963. The data-driven, content-analytical study shows how the images served a political identity project aimed at creating a sense of national solidarity among the Finns and to show international audiences that Finland is a modern nation. As a means of gaining acceptance in the West, support of citizenship education included emphasis on national symbols and signs of well-being and visualization of urban tourism.

Ancillary