1. Introduction to Dark Tourism

Dark Tourism according to Lennon and Foley (2000) is about a large number of sites associated with war, genocide, assassination and other tragic events that have become significant tourist destinations such as Auschwitz in Poland has become a major attraction for tourists that want to visit Nazi death camps.

Furthermore dark tourism sites present governments and other authorities with moral and ethical dilemmas. Recent tragic history often confronts the dynamics of commercial development and exploitation. Complex issues are raised surrounding the extent and nature of interpretation the appropriate political and managerial response and the nature of the experience perceived by visitors, local residents, victims and their relatives. (Lennon and Foley, 2000).

Basing on Lennon and Foley (2000) interpretation of dark tourism, dark tourism covers a huge area of attractions that has death and disaster hence the title of John Lennon and Malcolm Foley’s book titled ‘Dark Tourism : The Attraction of Death and Disaster’. But in actual fact, not all sites or attractions that is related to death and disaster can be classified under dark tourism.

This brings the concept of the tourist gaze to mind, that not every persons view on a single attraction is the same and therefore differs from one another. This is also stated by John Urry (2002) that there is no single tourist gaze as such. It varies by society, by social group and by historical period. Such gazes are constructed through difference. As Urry (1990) notes, tourism is constructed on the basis of difference. All tourists seek experiences which are in some way differentiated from their everyday lives and work: tourism results from a distinction between the ordinary and the extraordinary. In recent decades the ways in which tourists encounter difference has diversified considerably with the emergence of post-modern (or post-mass) tourists. Such individuals – in particular the new middle class and independent travellers – have increasingly rejected mass tourism in favour of more specialized and small-scale tourism experiences. A key requirement of this group is an experience of ‘otherness’, particularly minority and non-Western cultures (Munt 1994): consequently such tourists seek out places spatially removed from traditional tourist circuits. These post-modern tourists also tend to intellectualize their leisure activities, so that tourism is increasingly linked with learning and discovery (Munt 1994).