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Supply, demand and trends of dark tourism

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Elona Gjoçi

on 6 December 2016

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Transcript of Supply, demand and trends of dark tourism

Located in
, New York, USA.
The site where
Twin Towers
of the ex- World Trade Center used to stay, now World Tribute Center.
After the attack of the

11th September 2001
, where almost
3000 people died
, it has come to be one of the darkest sites in contemporary America (www.dark-tourism.com)
*Projected annual operating budget once the 9/11 Memorial and the 9/11 Memorial Museum is fully complete. The Memorial and Museum does not receive state, city or federal funding for its operations. (http://www.911memorial.org/facts-and-figures)

Ground zero
3 concentration Nazi camps, located approximately
37 miles west of Krakow,
near the prewar German-Polish border in Upper Silesia
Auschwitz-Birkenau - The former killing center, now a
state museum and graveyard without tombs (Annals of Tourism Research, 2002).
Since its
foundation in
, the Museum has been
financed by the Polish government. In the early 1990s began the international support. (http://auschwitz.org/en/museum/news/preserving-original-camp-relics-philosophy-theory-and-practice,353.html)
The International Auschwitz Council
Free of charge entrance

- The 1st use of an atomic bomb on 6 August 1945, 680 km from Tokio, where approximately 70,000 people died instantly and a further 70,000 were fatally wounded. (IBT,2014)
- Japan's National Tourism organisation manages tourism in Japan and the reconstruction was mainly funded by government. (http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/Peace/E/pHiroshima2_4.html)

4. Hiroshima
Supply noun (plural supplies)-stock or amount of something supplied or available for use (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/)
Do we have dark sites available for use/visit?
If so, can you mention any?

No Holiday:
80 Places
You Don't Want to Visit (Cohen, 2006)

25 Dark Tourism Sites
that you do not want ot spend a night at (Geography & Travel, 2014)

Five Dark Tourism Sites
(The Guardian, 2013)

18 Dark Tourism sites
around the world (The Telegraph,2014)

Eight dark tourism sites
around the world (Yahoo News, 2012)
No exact number of dark sites but some different categorisations:

5 categories
of dark tourism (Seaton,1996)
- public enactments of death
- sites of individual or mass deaths after they have occurred
- memorials & graveyards
- representations of death at unconnected sites
- re-enactments or simulation of death

Dark destinations,
a division proposed by the webpage www.dark-tourism.com provides dark sites on destination basis.
Besides the approach used, the range of dark supply provided by each research overlaps.
The 5 following dark sites have been depicted on
1. Ground 0
2. New Orleans.
3. Auschwitz Birkenau
4. Hiroshima
Before the terrorist attack they it was most visited tourist attraction in Lower Manhattan.
In 2002, the ruins of the World Trade Center in New York attracted 3.6 million visitors; the observation deck from the intact towers used to pull in an average of 1.8 million tourists per year.
The turning point came in 2003, when 37.8 million people visited the city, up more than 7% from 2002.
Now Ground Zero is rivalling the Statue of Liberty for visitor numbers.
Average number of daily visitors: 140,000
2. New Orleans
Hurricane Katrina
struck the Gulf Coast of the
United States on August 29, 2005
(history.comstaff, 2009)
Gray Line International, a private bus tour operator, offered the tour "Hurricane Katrina: America's Worst Catastrophe," provided and still provides today the oportunity to " Drive past an actual levee that "breached" and see the resulting devastation that displaced hundreds of thousands U.S residents. (Mowbray, 2006) An estimated
1,833 people

(Live Science, 2015)
- The ninth Ward- the place to see

- The Broken Levees- the physical evidence of the tragedy
- The Superdome- place where residents were left stranded
New Orleans visitors and tourism dollars, 2003 through present
New Orleans number
After Hurricane Katrina, visitor numbers dropped to 3.7 million in 2006 with $2.9 billion in visitor spending.
The survey showed that New Orleans continues to have great success in attracting repeat visitation, with 62.6 percent of respondents indicating this was a return trip.
New Orleans Achieves 9.52 Million Visitors in 2014 an increase of 240,000 people, from 2013 (9.28 million)

Evolution of number of visitors at Auschwitz-Birkenau from 2001 to 2013 (source: Sprawodzanie report 2014
In 2011, there were 1.4 million visitors from across the world, triple the number of a decade before.
It said there have been more than 250,000 visitors so far this year, a rise of more than 40 per cent compared with the same period last year, which itself hit a record with 1.5 million visitors.(2015)
The A-Bomb Genbacku Dome- A UNESCO world heritage site (CNN, 2015)
The Peace Memorial Park's countless memorials and monuments
The Peace Memorial Museum, the main museum and centrepoint of the Peace Park;
Hiroshima City had around 10,048,000 tourists. (Takamitsu Jimura 2009)
The total number of tourists can also be broken down into three categories:
domestic tourists (9,439,000),
syugaku ryoko (students on school trip) (305,000)
overseas tourists (304,000).
Genbaku Dome, the Peace Memorial Park and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum are the main dark attractions in Hiroshima.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum attracted 1.3 million visitors in 2009
There are no datas about the number of tourist who visit the Dome and the Peace Memorial Park.
In 2014 the Museum was visited by 234,360 FOREIGN visitors hitting its record.

War tourism is nothing new , states Philip Stone, director of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research at the U.K.’s University of Central Lancashire, but the commercialization of it is new.

Golan Heights- the Gateway to Damascus, a valley occupied by Israeli, offers a panoramic view of the crumbled Syrian city of Quneitra ( the Atlantic, 2014)
Killing Fields: Choeung Ek

Between April and October of 2006, 200 to 300 visitors came per day.
From October to March, that number increased to between 400 and 500.
In 2007, the low season saw 300 to 400 visitors per day.
While the number of visitors in the high season increased reaching its peak of 600 people came per day.
(Louis Bickford, 2009)
Pilot survey in Choeung Ek killing field (Louis Bickford, 2009)
72 visitors to Choeung Ek were interviewed
Most had spent about 30 minutes at the site
Men and women were equally represented
age from 16 to 69
groups of two or three.
Australians (14), Cambodians (7), New Zealanders (7), Americans (6), Spaniards (4)
other nationalities, including Canadian, Danish, German, Indian, and French
Motivation: education, curiosity, mystical attraction, understanding the genocide
Genocide museum
in the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (Hughes, 2008)
One of the very worst crimes against humanity ever (http://www.dark-tourism.com/index.php/cambodia) under the hands of
Pol Pot
– real name: Saloth Sar, epithet
Khmer Rouge
Tuol Sleng
– Turned from a high school to a prison in
1975 till 1979
; now a memorial museum, southwest of Phnom Penh. Over
17 000 people
held at this camp were taken to execution at
The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
, 16 km south of Phnom Penh's center; 129 communal graves; tree marked to beat children against

UNESCO heritage site
in the boder with Thailand, refugees forced to return into the minefields,visit charged by Thailand for the national park and Cambodia for the temple
ccgcparhad.wordpress.com2016 × 1512Search by image
Tools of Torture, Integration room, Tuol Sleng Prison. Photo Jenlen
The methods of extracting confessions at Tuol Sleng were cruel and barbaric. Prisoners were tortured with battery powered electric shocks
Aokigahara Forest
is the most popular site for suicides in Japan." (http://www.techedon.com/2012/05/10/video/social-japans-suicide-forest/)

Further research is suggested to reveal the extent of dark tourism, the motivations that lie behind it, and perhaps more importantly its relationship with the wider society in which we reside today.


The growing interest in disaster or
dark tourism, which evolved from a practice formerly called "battle tourism," creation of the
Institute for Dark Tourism Research
at the University of Central Lancashire.

On April 24, the institute will host a
Dark Tourism Symposium
, marking the formal launch of the research center and the articulation of its mission

Disaster tourism evolving into
voluntarism efforts
: New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and Haiti after the catastrophic 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010.

Seven decades after the U.S. military dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, the site of the devastation remains one of t
he most popular tourist attractions in the count
ry (
visits to the
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
by foreign tourists hit a record high of 234,360 visitors in 2014)



Subset of death-related tourist sites:

Holocaust ( Auschwitz Nazi camps )
Battlefield tourism (Devil's Island in French Guiana, where Napoleon III stayed in the 1852)
Cemetery and internment sites (Pere Lachaise cemetary - Paris, France)
Slavery heritage (Cape Coast Castle, Ghana)
Celebrity death sites (death of Princess Diana, Pont de l'Alma tunnel in Paris)
Prison tourism ( Alcatraz, USA)

Dann (1998) suggests
8 influences

The fear of phantoms (i.e. overcoming childlike fears)
The search for novelty
The celebration of crime or deviance
Basic bloodlust
Dicing with death
Holidays in hell

Why tourists may be drawn towards sites or experiences associated with death and suffering?


Dark Tourism Products –
‘Seven Dark Suppliers’

Dark Fun Factories
present recreated or fictional
death and macabre events
London Dungeon

Dark Exhibitions
- offer experiences of death commemorated than with reflective message - twin towers

Dark Dungeons
- revolve around former prisons and courthouses, such as the one of Nelson Mandela in Cape Town Africa

Dark Resting Places
focuses upon the cemetery or graves

Dark Shrines
the act of remembrance and respect for the recently deceased.

Dark Conflict Sites
, revolves around war and battlefields

Dark Camps of Genocide
represents those sites and places which have genocide like Kosovo

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