The Phenomenon of Dark Tourism

From Chernobyl, Auschwitz, Port Arthur, and to the 9/11 memorial site, millions of tourists are flocking to these sites of tragedy and suffering as part of their holiday plans, a phenomenon known as ‘dark tourism’. Whilst not a new concept, dark tourism has become increasingly more popular, especially after the Netflix series ‘Dark Tourist’. It is defined as a form of tourism which involves travelling to a place associated dark events of human history, including sites of genocide, assassinations, disasters, and war. Although many people are unaware they are even engaging in this activity, dark tourism has sparked concerns for being exploitative and unethical, viewing the act as profiting off the dead and voyeuristic. 

So why do tourist’s feel the need to visit these sites of tragedy and is it a problem?

2SER spoke with Dr Naomi Dale, Program Director for the Bachelor of Business and the Bachelor of Event and Tourism Management at the University of Canberra.

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