Dark Tourism and Cities

Authored by: John J. Lennon

Routledge Handbook of Tourism Cities

Print publication date:  August  2020
Online publication date:  August  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367199999
eBook ISBN: 9780429244605
Adobe ISBN:


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The phenomenon of dark tourism was identified as such and categorised by Lennon and Foley (1996, 2000). For many years humans have been attracted to sites and events that are associated with death, disaster, suffering, violence and killing. Indeed, such sites appear to exert a dark fascination for visitors (Sharpley and Stone, 2009). The area has seen growth in coverage including work in a number of fields: interpretation (Lennon, 2009); selective commemoration (Lennon, 2009; Lennon and Wight, 2007; Lennon and Smith, 2004); cross disciplinary research in the fields of death studies (Lennon and Mitchell, 2007); criminology (Botterill and Jones, 2010); literature (Skinner, 2012); problematic heritage (Ashworth, 1996; Tunbridge and Ashworth, 1995) and in the architectural legacy of dark sites (Philpott, 2016). Conversely, death and acts of mass killing are a major deterrent for the development of certain destinations and yet such acts can become the primary purpose of visitation in others.

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