Dark tourism

The commoditisation of suffering and death
  • Söndra Brand
  • Nina Platter


Guided bus tours giving tourists the eligibility to enter and take photos of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, wandering around the radioactive fields of Chernobyl, visiting the concentration camp in Auschwitz-Birkenau and travelling to prisons such as Alcatraz Island (Freire-Medeiros, 2008, p. 3), all exemplify the phenomenon of dark tourism. Stone defines dark tourism as “the act of travel and visitation to sites, attractions and exhibitions which has real or recreated death, suffering or the seemingly macabre as a main theme” (2008).


Tour Operator Concentration Camp Behavioural Phenomenon Global Exchange Virtual Tour 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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2.6 References

  1. Freire-Medeiros, B. (2008), The favela and its touristic transits, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: GeoforumGoogle Scholar
  2. Global Exchange (2007), Frequently Asked Questions, Global Exchange - Building People-to- People Ties, URL:, Access Date: 23/01/09
  3. Miles, W.F. (2002), Auschwitz: Museum Interpretation and Darker Tourism, Northeastern University, USA: Elsevier Science Ltd.Google Scholar
  4. Seaton, A. (1998), War and Thanatourism: Waterloo 1815-1914, University of Luton, UK: PergamonGoogle Scholar
  5. Smith, W.W. (2002), Dark Tourism: The Attraction of Death and Disaster, Walkerston Tourism Recovery Partnership, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  6. Stone, P.R. (2004), Heritage that hurts - presentation, interpretation and meaning, University of Central Lancashire, UK, The Dark Tourism Forum, URL:, Access Date: 23/01/09
  7. Stone, P.R. (2005), Managing Dark Tourism Attractions & Exhibitions - Dark Tourism: The Future & Beyond, The Dark Tourism Forum, URL:, Access Date: 23/01/09
  8. Stone, P. & Sharpley, R. (2008), Consuming Dark Tourism: A Thanatological Perspective, University of Central Lancashire, UK: PergamonGoogle Scholar
  9. Strange, C. & Kempa, M. (2003), Shades of Dark Tourism - Alcatraz and Robben Island, University of Toronto, Australian National University, Canada/Australia: Pergamon The Dungeons (n.d.), The Hamburg Dungeon, URL:, Access Date: 23/01/09
  10. The War Research Society (n.d.), The Company: About the War Research Society / Battlefield Tours, War Research Society Battlefield Tours – memorial, pilgrimage, heritage and war graves tours for 2009, URL:, Access Date: 23/01/09
  11. University of Central Lancashire (2008), Battlefield Tourism, The Dark Tourism Forum, URL:, Access Date: 10/01/09
  12. University of Central Lancashire (2008), Home, The Dark Tourism Forum, URL:, Access Date: 23/01/09
  13. University of Central Lancashire (2008), Learning Resources & Study Links, The Dark Tourism Forum, URL:, Access Date: 23/01/09

2.7 Recommended reading

  1. Grief Tourism - Travel to areas affected by natural disasters, places where people were murdered, etc., URL:
  2. Lennon, J. & Foley, M. (2000), Dark Tourism – The attraction of Death and Disaster, Thomson LearningMedieval Tours – Custom tours in a unique country, URL:
  3. Somme Battlefield Tours Ltd – The specialists in Self-Drive tours to the Somme & Ypres battlefields of the Great War 1914-1918, URL:
  4. Wilson, J.Z. (2008), Prison: Cultural Memory and Dark Tourism, New York: Peter LangGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Gabler Verlag | Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Söndra Brand
  • Nina Platter

There are no affiliations available

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