The history of dark tourism

Hartmann, Rudi, Lennon, John, Reynolds, Daniel P., Rice, Alan orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-2215-4727, Rosenbaum, Adam T. and Stone, Philip orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-9632-1364 (2018) The history of dark tourism. Journal of Tourism History, 10 (3). pp. 269-295. ISSN 1755-182X

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It may be categorically unpleasant to visit cemeteries, crash sites, and death camps, but tourists queue up to see such places. Scholars have been attempting to explain this fascination with the macabre and morbid since the mid-1990s. Early analyses of dark tourism highlighted the modern and postmodern motivations underlying this novel form of travel. As a result, much of the subsequent work on this phenomenon has concentrated on contemporary visits to modern sites such as Auschwitz or Chernobyl. Yet, it is undeniable that ancient trips to the Roman Colosseum and medieval pilgrimages to locations of martyrdom had dark undertones, as many have noted. This round table discussion draws together five scholars to consider how a variety of forces have fuelled dark tourism in the past.

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