New Trends in Dark Tourism – Part 1

Published by Darron Toy on

Over the past century life expectancy and quality of life has undoubtedly increased across the world with a few exceptions. This development is due in large part to increased access to advances in technology, information and medicine. This video shows, how lifespan and income have increased significantly across the majority of countries worldwide over the last 200 years However, there is one thing that has not improved significantly and that is that every year thousands of people die or…. are ffected in some way by a natural or man-made disaster and although we’re getting better at predicting and minimizing the impact of these events they remain a huge threat to innocent lives everywhere. A rapidly growing trend in response to these horrific eents is something called disaster tourism, and this is exactly what it sounds like. Predominantly affluent people use their money and curiosity and lack of common sense to perview what it might be like to suffer a terrible catastrophe. Even Facebook is getting in on the action with Mark Zuckerberg taking a cartoon tour of…. storm-ravaged Puerto Rico. Mark Zuckerberg: Hey everyone, we are live in virtual reality Yes, I think the first place that we want to go today is Peurto Rico. You can kind of get a sense of what is……… we’re on a bridge here. Uhhh… It’s it’s flooded I should have mention this before Rachel, and I actually aren’t even I think in the same building in the physical world. But it feels like we’re in the same place…and we’re making eye contact. So how exactly do you organize a disaster tour if you’re not Mark Zuckerberg? Well for just 30 to 39 thousand pounds disaster will send you on a mystery disaster experience when you consider the suffering that occurred at these sites This is a little more than callous to say the least. But disaster tourism, also called dark tourism, is a very real and growing phenomenon. In the aim of being objective, let’s take a look at why this industry is growing and what the pros and cons ar We’ll start with why this is happening and then we’ll move on to the benefits, because the negatives should be as day To begin with disaster tourism is largely a product of increased disposable income People can afford to take these trips due to the fact that in spite of lingering inequality in society the overall quality of life is increased for the vast majority of people. Also technological advances have allowed greater access to information And travel than ever before and there are some positives to the advent of disaster tourism. Seeing the effects firsthand can be educational and potentially life-saving for future generations. This is something I explore in chapter 8 of reconsidering cultural heritage in East Asia. A copy of which we will be giving away towards the end of the video. For example, in tsunami hit areas of Japan… volunteer opportunities have helped rebuild communities and spread awareness of the disaster It has also prompted people to think about how best to safeguard these areas against future disasters. Museums also help promote tourism to disaster affected areas for educational and revitalization purposes. This image is of the Ishinomori mango museum after being devastated by the 2011 tsunami in Japan. It’s reconstruction came to represent the resilience and healing of the community and has brought back tourism and jobs to local residents After a disaster local and national governments should be asking themselves how they should safeguard for the future….. ..and how they can revive their tourist industry in a way that does not offend locals and permits time to heal. They should avoid publicity stunts like Facebook’s latest facade or the immediate commercialization of human suffering. The question is how soon is too soon? Is it okay to let tourists flood and immediately after a disaster if it brings money to the local economy? Or should there be a longer grace period let us know II think in the comments below We will send a free copy of our book Reconsidering cultural heritage in East Asia to the commenter with the most insightful response we hope you’ll join us in our next Video and which will explore a specific case study on why? Japanese local and national governments promoted dark tourism in the wake of the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Thank you so much for tuning in to our video today. Please let us know if there’s anything you would like us to cover. Just put a comment below. We’d love to hear from you. Thank you.


The Cultural Cache · November 26, 2017 at 3:02 am

Thanks for watching the new video!

If you would like a chance to get a free copy of the book, just jump in on the discussion. How soon is too soon for disaster tourism initiatives to be put in place?

Personally, we think a grace period of at least a year in a major disasters should be given. People need a period of time to morn and recuperate and in those intervening periods, aid should be provided if it's warranted or needed. Although we're not fans of disaster tourism, we also see the benefit it can bring to economies that have been through the woes of natural disasters.

Mario Bassas · November 26, 2017 at 12:51 pm

Well disaster tourism doesn't sound like a bad idea at all. Tourists can volunteer to help reconstruct the place and as you said, it brings money to the disaster place, which is always needed. The motives of the trip shouldn't really matter if they are contributing positevely to the area. Great video, keep it up!

Rachel Cash · November 30, 2017 at 4:30 pm

I think that disaster tourism- if orchestrated in a way that didn't apply any further strain on the affected community, could be great! If to say a week or so after the incident it was safe for travelers to enter to offer some sort of revenue or support to those in need; well that sounds great. What really bothers me is how does one regulate those visiting to help vs those visiting to gawk and make a mockery of a fellow humans misfortune. #fuckfacebook

praveen sharma · December 3, 2017 at 7:43 am


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