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Dark tourism

I know that there are a lot of kinds of tourism but it was the first time that I heard about “dark tourism”. I thought in the beginning that it was something like ghost tours, not really but pretty close.

The dark tourism, by definition, consists to visit places which will make us react through those 3 feelings : suffering, death and fear. For example, visit an extermination camp.

In another way, it helps us to maintain a history. I remember, when I was in college, my history professor brought my class to visit one of the extermination camp in Germany built during the reign of Hitler.

This kind of tourism includes also a cemetery tour like the famous one in Paris, Père Lachaise cemetery where a lot of famous artists are buried there as Edith Piaf, Honoré de Balzac, Jim Morrison... In China, the authorities have created a visit tour in Sichuan area where an earthquake killed a lot of people. More than 260.000 tourists have already visited the place but take note that the site is prohibited for families, who were victims, to go to this place.

Another example, in the Aceh area of Indonesia, former criminals and terrorists changed their profession and now they are guides for tourists about hideouts in the jungle, survival in extreme conditions, expeditions in mountains, night-treks…

So if you get tired of the “normal” tourism, you can try the dark tourism and visit other places as Chernobyl, Beirut, Poenari (Dracula) castle, Hacienda Napoles (house of Pablo Escobar, the colombian drug lord)...

August 18, 2009