The purpose of the research is to explore the effect of the Soviet tourism operator “Intourist” on the development of tourism as well as on economic, ideological and tourist mobility issues. So far, no comprehensive study exists about "Intourist" in the Baltic Soviet Republics. This doctoral project deploys a comparative and transnational lens, putting particular emphasis on objects and localities that “Intourist” presented to tourists both from ‘the West’ and from within the Eastern bloc. It contends that these objects and localities fulfilled clear ideological or economic functions, enabling “Intourist” to showcase to tourists the superiority of the Soviet State, while at the same time acquiring crucial foreign currencies for the Soviet Union.
The project reconstructs the establishment of “Intourist”, the development of its ideological and propaganda work to convince tourists of a specific image of the Soviet Union, its methods to restrict and direct the mobility of tourists and of their ideas and its strategies to gain important funds used for purposes outside of tourism itself. The research is based on collections in the main Intourist archives in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, as well as on newspapers and published sources about tourism, economics, politics, mobility, etc.