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Opinnäytetyö: ”Drinks in HEL” Food tourism route across distilled beverage experiences in Helsinki

Author of the Thesis: Nataliia Chernova (2023)

The thesis takes a closer look into the variety of food culture tourism experiences in Helsinki, particularly in the sphere of beverage culture. The main objective of the thesis was to create a food tourism product concept that is a route with a focus around the distilled beverage experiences in Helsinki.

Showcasing the Distilled Beverage Experiences in Helsinki

The commissioning party for this thesis is the Hungry for Finland project of Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences that has been at the core of developing Finland’s food tourism strategy since 2012. The main objective was supported by the following sub-objectives: the locations showcase “Distilled beverage culture” experiences in Helsinki, the product matches the expectations of the commissioner, and, aligns with 2020-2028 Finland’s food tourism strategy of Hungry for Finland; lastly, the route showcases and highlights the variety of the distilled beverage experiences in Helsinki and the route concept’s visualization helps represent the image of Helsinki’s local distilled beverage culture.

The resulting product is meant to be used as a usable concept that Hungry for Finland can propose to be developed into a full product.

Drinks for Foodies

The target audience was identified to be the “Foodie” travelers, the profile that was identified by Visit Finland position, potential and segmentation study 2023. The “Foodie” travelers are a wide customer segment that can pose a challenge to be attracted to the experiences of Finland’s food tourism as this segment tends to have overall lower interest in sustainability practices.

Nevertheless, “Foodies” appreciate quality and actively seek it out. The concepts of experience as a vital element of services are introduced via the theoretical discussion of the Experience Economy findings made by Pine and Gilmore as well as related concepts such as Experience realms.

Design Thinking, Observation and Thematic Analysis Lead to the Finished Product

For the development of the route, the design thinking technique is applied for the structuring of the process. To identify fitting locations, the non-participant observation data collection method was applied. By conducting thematic analysis of the data collected, a total of 19 locations and 2 seasonal happenings located in Central Helsinki were identified.

The resulting product is a visualized concept of the distilled beverage route in Helsinki that can be integrated into the digital space of My Helsinki. The visualization of the of the route was created in Figma to simulate the digital appearance of the route in the intended digital space of My Helsinki.

A complimentary route with a focus on non-alcoholic drinks or, alternatively, a country-wide route around the distillery productions of Finland could be seen as further developments with strong potential.

Article Picture: Jussi Hellsten