In 2020-2021, the Association of World Heritage Sites in Finland developed the main and sub-themes for the presentation and communication of the sites in its Viestit teräviksi ja maailmalle (Clear messages to the world) project. The site presentation was standardised together with Leena Grönroos, Tourism management lecturer from the Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences. The project was made possible by a discretionary subsidy from the Ministry of Education and Culture for the development of cultural tourism.
The work was based on the OUV (Outstanding Universal Value) of each site. The value in question is defined for each Unesco World Heritage site, and it is also a criterion for site selection. The project aimed at expressing the main theme, the message of the site-specific outstanding universal value, i.e. to summarize the site’s World Heritage value, the core message of the presentation, clearly in one sentence.
Sub-themes of the presentation were defined alongside with the main theme. They provide more detailed information about the value and meaning of the site. Main and sub-themes can be utilized in the presentation and in communication in a variety of ways. The goal of the project was to create an increasingly high-quality visitor experience and to communicate world heritage values in an understandable and interesting way.
A total of four different remote workshops were carried out within the project in six locations in autumn 2020 and spring 2021. The project also included two joint remote meetings of all sites at the end of 2020 and one joint final seminar in the spring of 2021. No site-specific workshops were held in the Kvarken Archipelago, since the site has already performed interpretation work together with the High Coast in Sweden and created its own main and sub-themes for the presentation.
The World Heritage Sites in Finland tell you about irreplaceable values of humankind. The sites connect the present with the past, and you will feel the importance of preserving world heritage for future generations.
The main theme common to all sites was compiled in the workshops alongside the core messages of the site’s own presentation. This main theme describes all of Finland’s seven World Heritage Sites and the reasons why they are significant in terms of site protection.