Dark tourism and cities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Tourism Cities
EditorsAlasdair M. Morrison, J. Andres Coca-Stefaniak
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780429521331
ISBN (Print)9780367199999
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • dark tourism
  • cities
  • urban tourism
  • visitor attractions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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