‘Dark Tourism’ Destinations for People Seeking Misery

Wednesday, 5 September, 2018 - 05:45
Berlin, London - Asharq Al-Awsat

Unlike most people who like to visit beautiful places during their holidays, a certain type of tourists do not want to see a beach, mountain, museum or temple.

The instead search for the frightening, dark and dangerous spots on Earth in what is known as “Dark Tourism” a field recently explored in a new Netflix series that takes the audience to areas of a tragic and miserable nature.

The term was first created by the two British researchers John Lennon and Malcolm Foley in 1996. In its broader sense, it refers to visiting places of destruction and death, the German news agency (dpa) reported.

Linguist Peter Hohenhaus, who has visited some 700 sites on the Dark Tourism list in 90 countries, and runs a website, said: “The dark features of history and humanity are simply enjoyable.”

The famous destinations of black tourism include the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, the Berlin Wall, Ground Zero in New York, the Cambodian killing fields, Chernobyl in Ukraine, the Korean Demilitarized Zone, the Colombian city of Medellin, the birthplace of Pablo Escobar, former Nazi extermination camps and the detention camps’ memorial.

Hohenhaus adopts a respectable and enlightened tourist approach of “black places”. For example, dark tourism should not include tours in poor neighborhoods in crisis areas.

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