The history of dark tourism

Rudi Hartmann, John Lennon, Daniel P. Reynolds, Alan Rice , Adam T. Rosenbaum, Philip R. Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


It may be categorically unpleasant to visit cemeteries, crash sites, and death camps, but tourists queue up to see such places. Scholars have been attempting to explain this fascination with the macabre and morbid since the mid-1990s. Early analyses of dark tourism highlighted the modern and postmodern motivations underlying this novel form of travel.
As a result, much of the subsequent work on this phenomenon has concentrated on contemporary visits to modern sites such as Auschwitz or Chernobyl. Yet, it is undeniable that ancient trips to the Roman Colosseum and medieval pilgrimages to locations of martyrdom had dark undertones, as many have noted. This round table discussion draws together five scholars to consider how a variety of forces have fuelled dark tourism in the past.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)269-295
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Tourism History
Issue number3
Early online date16 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • collective memory
  • dark tourism
  • thanatourism
  • death
  • heritage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • History
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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