Gazing at Death: Dark Tourism as an Emergent Horizon of Research


Maximiliano E. Korstanje – University of Palermo, Palermo, Argentina
Bintang Handayani – Independent Researcher, Indonesia

Series: Hospitality, Tourism and Marketing Studies
BISAC: BUS081000

An ever-increasing number of tourists annually visit places which have been hit by disasters, or remembering onslaughts, genocides or places of mass death. The Apollonian sense of beauty, which characterized the classic forms of tourism some time ago, sets the pace to new forms of gazing where death plays a vital role. Though under the name of dark, thana or morbid tourism, this new phenomenon is captivating the attention of scholars worldwide, and little research has advanced to explain the roots of this much deep-seated issue. The fact is that dark tourism oscillates from the visit to former concentration camps to abandoned prisons, which shows that what visitors want is to be closer to another individual’s suffering. This point has spurred a heated debate over recent years, since while some groups of researchers see in dark tourism a sign of new sadism, another wave situates this as an anthropological attempt to understand the proper life through the lens of others’ tragedy. Whatever the case may be, this book intends to discuss not only the causes and effects of dark tourism in a secularized society, but also gives an all-encompassing model to policy makers, researchers, students and scholars to expand their current understanding. While orchestrated through different chapters, the main argument holds the thesis that dark tourism represents a mechanism in order for society to discipline death, in a moment where the process of secularization has advanced to all spheres of public life. (Imprint: Nova)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Towards New Horizons in Dark Tourism Studies
Maximiliano Emanuel Korstanje (University of Palermo, Argentina)

Chapter 2. Smart Tourism for Dark Sites: The Sacred Site of the Dead, Trunyan Cemetery
Bintang Handayani, Stanislav Ivanov and Maximiliano Emanuel Korstanje (International University College, Bulgaria, and others)

Chapter 3. An Analysis of Online User Reviews of the Death Sites
Bintang Handayani and Babu P. George (Independent Researcher and Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA)

Chapter 4. Assessing Dark Tourism as a Sustainable Economic Activity for Emerging Destinations using a Multi Criteria Approach
Hugues Séraphin (Programme Leader and Lecturer in Event/Tourism Management Studies, The University of Winchester, England)

Chapter 5. England and the Culture of Achievement: The Roots of Dark Tourism
Maximiliano Emanuel Korstanje (University of Palermo, Argentina)

Chapter 6. Dark Tourism as Quasi-Suicide: A Case Study of The Sea of Trees
Bintang Handayani and Babu P. George (Independent Researcher and Fort Hays State University, Hays, Kansas, USA)

Chapter 7. Terrorism and Tourism: Underlying Commonalities and Emerging Patterns
Anthony Clayton (Institute for Sustainable Development, University of the West Indies, Jamaica)

Chapter 8. Staging Pilgrimage on Skopelos after Mamma Mia! (2008): Digital and Terrestrial Hospitality in Cinematic Tourism
Rodanti Tzanelli (University of Leeds, United Kingdom)

Chapter 9. Interview with Rabbi Peter Tarlow, Terrorism and Dark Tourism
Peter Tarlow (Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA)

About the Editors



“The topic of dark tourism is growing in attention globally. Dr. Korstanje has dedicated this book to understanding the phenomena of travel surrounding death, disasters and terror. This book provides a one-stop shop for understanding a number of key areas of research within dark tourism: the motivations and behaviors surrounding dark travel, smart tourism for dark sites, as well as the economic impact of dark tourism. This book fills a gap in the literature which can be used by students, academics and practitioners alike.” – Professor Dr. Lori Pennington-Gray, University of Florida, USA

“This is a must-read book which starts a new discussion not only on dark tourism issues but on the role of death in modern society. A much deep-seated issue that merits to be investigated in the years to come.” – <strong>Abraham Abe Pizam, University of Central Florida, USA</strong>

“Dr. Max Korstankje is one of the great minds of our young century. You may agree or disagree with his conclusions but this book, like much of his work makes the careful reader ponder his points and consider his positions. Korstankje is more than a thinker, he is the best type of academic, one who makes us question even the simplest of assumptions. Encountering his ideas is more than a mere journey into another academic work, but a chance to come face to face with multiple questions and academic challenges.” – Peter Tarlow – Texas A&M University, USA

“Gazing Death draws together the latest research in the field by presenting new and important insights in a well-crafted meticulously researched book. The chapters in this volume employ a multidisciplinary perspective to address the social, political, ethical, philosophical and cultural perspectives of dark tourism. It is an indispensable guide that will satisfy the novice and more experienced dark tourism scholar seeking to understand the tourism of macabre spectacles, places of disaster and sites on the darker side of life.” – Demond S. Miller, Rowan University, USA

“Gazing at Death is a must-read book, which allows a restructuration in the ways global tourism should be thought. This represents a fertile invitation to build a new theoretical framework of tourism in this new millenium.” – Associate Professor Celeste Nava – University of Guanajuato, Mexico


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