If you are looking to break away from the norm and explore a place that is associated with a dark past, you have definitely come to the right place. Dark tourism holidays takes you to places that are identified with death, disaster, tragedy, suffering, destruction and even paranormal activities. Although visiting Dark tourism holidays is not something to be overjoyed about, it will give you an adrenaline rush and a surreal feeling which will be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. Added to that, it also allows you to literally take a walk down memory lane and get a deeper understanding of these destinations. So, if you are a curious George, thirsty for a unique and out of this world experience, dark tourism holidays are perfect for you.
Chernobyl Power Plant Holiday
Paris Catacombs Tour
Pompeii Mt. Vesuvius Holiday
Aokigahara Forest, Japan
Killing Fields – Cambodia
Hiroshima, Japan Dark Holiday
The Day of the Dead Festival – Mexico
The Dungeons of London
Visiting dark tourism destinations allow travellers to walk back in time and take a glimpse into the darkness that existed at some point in history. It also allows them to understand the pain and suffering that the victims had to experience as well as their unwavering perseverance. Today, dark tourism holidays have become widely popular among travellers as it is a unique, intriguing, interesting and not to mention educative experience. Many people go in search of dark destinations to learn and better understand a grim incident or situation that occurred in the past and to pay their respects.
Dark tourism is definitely not for the faint-hearted. If you are hoping to visit any dark tourism destinations, ensure that you are comfortable with where you are going and what you will be witnessing. That being said, it should also be noted that travellers of various age groups; that is from young students to senior citizens, have shown much interest in dark tourism. Thus, it is safe to say that its appropriateness has nothing to do with age, but with one’s mindset.
Dark tourism holidays can vary from visiting a light dark destination such as the London Dungeons, where people have fun, to tourists visiting scenes of mass death or extreme tragedy like Pompeii in Italy, where you feel the pain and suffering that was caused. Thus, the dark tourism spectrum on one end will take you to extremely dark destinations that often involve an educational element such as The Killing Fields of Cambodia. Or on the other hand, it will take you to a lighter dark destination like the Dracula Castle in Bucharest where it is more commercialized and displays romanticized versions of dark history, for fun and entertainment.
The main purpose of dark tourism sites around the world is to commemorate the dead and educate oneself. It allows visitors to emotionally absorb themselves in a place of tragedy and to educate themselves to ensure that history will never repeat itself. People need to immerse themselves in the culture and tragic pasts of different parts of the world in order to truly reflect on history.
Although dark tourism sounds like a dangerous concept and many people perceive it as visiting ‘dangerous places’, it most certainly is not dangerous at all. Dark tourism is merely tourism that directs travellers to places that are identified with death and tragedy. Most of these locations are completely harmless now and does not put your life at risk. Thus, it is important to bear in mind that dark tourism is not about putting people’s lives at risk. These destinations were indeed dangerous at some point in history however, not so much anymore.
Dark tourism holidays are indeed important to society as they give a positive impact to the economical side of view by generating income for the affected communities. Furthermore, it benefits both the residents and the tourists emotionally and creates awareness to ensure that history will not be repeated. Dark tourism definitely takes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to experience new things and change your view of the world.
Dark tourism is also known as Black Tourism, Morbid Tourism, Thana Tourism and Grief Tourism.
When embarking on dark tourism holidays, it is important to keep in mind that it is a sensitive destination and there is a different set of manners that are required, no matter how dark.
One of the most common mistakes that tourists make when visiting most destinations is touching ruins, artefacts, monuments, gravestones or whatever is there in plain sight. This is completely unacceptable, especially when visiting dark tourism destinations as these places should be visited with the same kind of respect as visiting a religious site.
Familiarize yourself with a little about the history of the places you visit and create cultural awareness within yourself beforehand. Furthermore, have an open mind when visiting these destinations instead of blindly believing everything you see and hear.
Be mindful of where you are and behave respectfully. Dark tourism spots are to be treated extremely delicately, so busting out your selfie stick and snapping away is not something that should be practised at such sites. First, check if photography is permitted and act accordingly.
Most dark tourism site around the world have witnessed great tragedy and loss. Thus, when visiting such places it is necessary to dress appropriately and show your respect to the departed souls as well as the community.
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