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POD: Travel

Dark Tourism

What is it and why is it so popular?

Coined around 20 years ago for ‘tourists’ visiting sites, attractions or exhibitions made famous by death, suffering and disaster. Will Coldwell in the Guardian writes: ‘When it comes to holiday jaunts, the site of a nuclear disaster zone, the home of a serial killer or the execution chamber of a former state prison don’t scream “wish you were here”. But while it might not be everyone’s idea of fun, demand for macabre attractions and disturbing experiences that recreate horrific moments in history is growing – dark tourism is on the rise.’

The following pieces will open your eyes to the differing aspects of Dark Tourism and have you question the ethics and morals around it.

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What is Dark Tourism ?

(12 minute)

Dr. Gillian O’Brien from Liverpool John Moores University explains Dark Tourism. Discussions around the different types of DT attractions. The importance of how the exhibit is presented to visitors but especially to younger audiences, and the fine line between commercialism and commoditisation.




Monday Matters Dark Tourism

(16 mins)

Catherine Roberts is an Associate member of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research at the University of Central Lancashire. She spoke with Jason McCrossan about her research. Included in the discussion are the people’s motivations for visiting DT sites and the moral issues surrounding these attractions?


The Why Factor BBC Dark Tourism

(23 mins)

Mary-Ann Ochota becomes a dark tourist herself to try and find out, visiting the former Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. She also goes to Grenfell Tower in west London, the scene of a deadly fire that tore through a residential apartment in the summer of 2017.




BBC Fast Track – Dark Tourism

(8 minute)

Watch from : 1 min 20 secs to 9 mins 13 secs. The ethics and issues around the exploitation and marketing of heritage.


Dark Tourism Netflix Series

(9 minute)

Executive Producer/Host David Farrier talks to The Inside Reel about the genesis of the show, the ethical texture of dark tourism and bring his personality to the pursuit in regards to his new Netflix documentary series: “Dark Tourist”.


What a Chernobyl Disaster Zone Tour is Really Like.

(11 minute)

Interesting note from the producer of the video :  After watching HBO’s new mini-series ‘Chernobyl’ it’s now made me feel VERY uneasy about visiting the disaster zone, (even 30+ years after the catastrophic failure of reactor number four). At the time I was very naive to the dangers and just wanted to explore a real life ghost town.Knowing what I know now, would I go back? Would you visit?



Why murder sites and disaster zones are proving popular


Article from the Guardian

Read Article

Is Dark Tourism ever OK?


Article from, detailing the positive side of Dark Tourism, helping devastated communities get back on their feet.

Read Article


Tidings From Hazel Kahn – Podcast

The World Wanderers. The Morality of Dark Tourism – Podcast

Is Dark Tourism OK ?

Questions To Spark Debate


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