Intourist is the former Soviet tourism arm. From 1929-1939 it was called The State Joint Stock Company on Foreign Tourism in USSR of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign and Domestic Trade of the USSR. Long after the 1917 Revolution, in which blockades prevented tourism, the Soviet State began to establish contacts with the world community. The creation of Intourist, which laid the foundation for the entirely new branch of the economy.
Intourist, notes its official history, opened the first entry point in the Iron Curtain “by allowing visitors to see with their own eyes what was happening in the USSR — a country which had undergone tremendous upheaval — and haw the historical experiment, in the epicenter of which it found itself was progressing.”
Intourist went in two directions — international tours around the USSR, and domestic one, aimed at providing support for tourism inside the country — accommodations, excursions, transportation.
Intourist had exclusive rights to operating foreign tourist markets and to open offices abroad.
This luggage label, with its Deco typography, harkens back to when the Ukraine was a Soviet republic and the Crimea was Russia’s resort town. Today such a hospitable summer clime may be the hotbed of the next cold war.
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About Steven Heller
Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes frequently for Wired and Design Observer. He is also the author of over 170 books on design and visual culture. He received the 1999 AIGA Medal and is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.View all posts by Steven Heller →