While doing some research for some upcoming posts, I kept stumbling over the term “dark tourism.”  I had never heard of it before, but it is defined as:

Dark tourism is 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.

At first, I found the thought gruesome, and couldn’t imagine why it would appeal to any traveler.  But, the more I thought about it, I realized that I had myself visited and written about sites that were considered dark tourism.

Dark Tourism would include travel to battlefields (such as Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Normandy), Cemeteries and Grave sites (such as Ground Zero, Auschwitz, Arlington Cemetery, Jimi Hendrix grave), Prisons, Castles, and Monuments or Memorials to the Dead (WWII Memorial, Vietnam Wall, Astronaut Memorial).

For some travelers, dark tourism is the key point of travel, while for others, it is merely one part of a larger travel experience.

What do you think?  Is it travel with historical and cultural significance?  Or just weird?


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