What is Dark Tourism?
Dark tourism is tourism involved with traveling to places that are historically associated with death and tragedy. Dark tourism is also termed as black tourism, morbid tourism, or grief tourism.
History Of Dark Tourism
The term “dark tourism” came into existence in 1996 coined by Lennon and Foley, the faculty members of the Department of Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure Management at Glasgow Caledonian University.
It has been a recent form of tourism evolving in the early or mid-nineties where people took special interests in visiting some of the world’s disaster sites like the Auschwitz Concentration camp in Poland, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park in Japan and Chernobyl in Ukraine.
How many of you have heard about Pablo Escobar? Titled as “The King Of Cocaine”. Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria was a Colombian drug lord and narcoterrorist who was the founder and sole leader of the Medellín Cartel. Also the wealthiest criminal in history. Richie Rich..!!💰
Did you guys know there is a Pablo Escobar tour run by Popeye – Well not the Sailor Man but HitMen…! Yes, you read it right, Popeye was Pablo’s hitmen during his heyday. The tour takes you to the mansion where Pablo died. This kingpin had ordered the killing of an estimated 4,000 people mainly judges, journalists, high ranking government officials, more than 600 police officers. Also, read there were quite a lot of people who loved and followed him.
Nuclear tourism is travel to places connected with nuclear research and technology, places where there have been atomic explosions or places related to peaceful or wartime use of nuclear energy. Few of the many nuclear tourist sites are as under.
The Chernobyl disaster was caused by a nuclear accident that occurred on Saturday 26 April 1986. The Chernobyl plant was one of the largest and oldest nuclear power plants in the world. There are full-day tours of Chernobyl and Pripyat from Kyiv. Click the link to understand in detail.
Hiroshima & Nagasaki :
Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945, respectively. Today, tourists can learn about the bomb’s terrible impact at the Hiroshima Peace Site, which is home to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome. Today the dome is a United Nations World Heritage Site and serves as a symbol for the abolition of nuclear weapons and a reminder of the devastation the bomb caused.
Nagasaki became the site of the second and final wartime use of a nuclear weapon. The atomic bomb killed 74,000 people and instantly transformed the city into ruins. Today, visitors can tour the Nagasaki National Peace Memorial Hall for the Atomic Bomb Victims and visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and the Peace Park.
Holocaust Tourism :
Holocaust tourism is round-trip travel to destinations connected with the extermination of Jews during the Holocaust in World War II, including visits to sites of Jewish martyrology such as former Nazi death camps and concentration camps turned into state museums.
Auschwitz Concentration Camp
The Auschwitz was the largest concentration camp operated by Nazi Germany during World War II. It was made up of over 40 sub-camps and several other facilities like the famous gas chambers and medical rooms to carry out gruesome experiments on prisoners. Auschwitz was actually three camps in one: a prison camp, an extermination camp, and a slave-labor camp. Over 1.1 million men, women. and children lost their lives here. More information about Auschwitz.
Dark Tourism in India and places to visit
Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar: Jallianwala Bagh is a historic garden and ‘memorial of national importance’ in Amritsar, preserved in the memory of those wounded and killed in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre that occurred on 13 April 1919. It houses a museum, gallery, and a number of memorial structures. Recollecting the history class…!!
Skeleton Lake, Uttarakhand: Roopkund (locally known as Mystery Lake or Skeletons Lake) is a high altitude glacial lake in the Uttarakhand state of India. It lies in the lap of Trishul massif. Located in the Himalayas, the area around the lake is uninhabited and is roughly at an altitude of 16,470 feet (5,020 m), surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers and snow-clad mountains.
If you are not a reading person and would like to watch some shows and documentaries, head to Netflix and add Dark Tourist in your watch list. It’s about a New Zealand journalist who travels to different places with an aim to showcase various Dark tourism sites.
Why is Dark Tourism Evolving?
Based on all the information provided above do you consider yourself to be a Dark Tourist or intrigued towards it? cause I am definitely being pulled towards it. Given an opportunity, I would love exploring this form of tourism as it gives you an insight into the historical events. We can empathize with the pain & trauma that these places have witnessed. Visiting battlefields, mass execution, and genocide sites can be educational as well. I suggest schools and educational organizations should host such tours in order to have a broader understanding and learning about these places. It will definitely make history more fun to learn. Don’t you think so?
What are your views about Dark Tourism? Share your experience or suggest some dark tourism places in the comment box that could be added to the list.