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Dark tourism- Exploring the experiences of tourists in disaster zones

Norton, Ross (2020) Dark tourism- Exploring the experiences of tourists in disaster zones. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Tourism is one of the oldest traditions the people have taken part in and is relied on by governments as a means of job creation and to increase GDP. While traditional tourism has occurred for a long time there is a new alternative form which is dark tourism. Dark tourism occurs when tourists visit the site where a dark part of history occurred with disaster tourism becoming a subset of this. This thesis aims to explore and draw from the experiences of those who have volunteered in the aftermath of a disaster-stricken destination.

This paper intends to explore four research questions? (1) Uncover the role of religious effects on voluntourists, (2) Explore the effects volunteering had on character building, 3) Explore the idea of privilege and whether the participants felt this was a privileged experience and (4) explore the effect of self-serving attitudes within voluntourism such as taking part as a means to CV building and the effects it has on their career.

The subject of this thesis is to understand the effects volunteering at disaster sites had on tourists and will take sociodemographic into account. The gap in literature from current literature is how sociodemographic such as religion, ethnicity and gender though empirically evidenced is rarely qualitatively explored with those that are focusing on gap year students this allows for analysis to be conducted on those who have taken a career break and their experiences.

The literature review has focused exclusively on academic papers written about dark tourism, disaster tourism, post disaster resilience, tourism preparedness in the case of disaster and finally voluntourism. The researcher conducted online interviews with eight participants who have volunteered at disaster sites.

The results indicate that there is a move toward tourism operators and away from religious organisations, with the experience itself having a profound effect on character building specifically toward their feelings of resilience, the results also showed that the tourists were self-aware of their privileged lives and finally they found that it had a positive effect on their careers. Further research is needed with a wider scope, more participants, and a focus group.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > Marketing
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > Specific Industries > Tourism Industry
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Science in Marketing
Depositing User: Dan English
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2021 15:38
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2021 15:38

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