The development of dark tourism with great potential

While travelling, tourists not only want to relax and enjoy beautiful natural scenery and visit amusement parks, but also understand the true past of the destinations.

The development of dark tourism with great potential
The development of dark tourism with great potential

Therefore, “dark tourism” (tourism associated with death or tragedy) has become a trend both domestically and around the world. 

The attraction of “dark tourism”

“Dark tourism” has been known by different names such as “thana tourism”, “black tourism” or “grief tourism”. “Dark tourism” refers to visiting places where dark events related to death or tragedies of humanity took place. These events could have originated from natural causes such as earthquakes and tsunamis, or from human related events such as genocide, assassinations and terrorism. Destinations could also be also prisons, war scenes and so on.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of tourists around the world ventured to the most unlucky places on Earth, where devastating events, accidents or natural disasters took place, every year.

The most popular destinations for dark tourism include Auschwitz (the largest of the German Nazi concentration camps and extermination centres), Chernobyl, Gettysburg (the site of the Kennedy assassination), the 9/11 Memorial in New York, the area of the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan and the Killing Fields in Cambodia. Visitors have been making the worst parts of history become a piece of their vacations.

According to Uttar Pradesh Tourism in India, the mysterious city of Varanasi (Benares) on the Ganges, famous for traditional cremation ceremony, attracted around 300,000 foreign visitors in 2017.

Since its opening, the 9/11 Memorial in New York City has become one of the most famous destinations in the world, attracting over 7 million domestic and international tourists every year. Visitors come here to commemorate victims from the 9/11 tragedy and feel the loss of the terrible event that shook the US.

In fact, “dark tourism” is not a new phenomenon. The Washington Post cited an opinion from J. John Lennon, a professor from Glasgow Caledonian University in Scotland, that this type of tourism goes back to 1815 and even the 16th century. However, it has become more and more popular, partly thanks to modern documentaries and films.

Although documentaries mostly deal with historical, geographical or cultural issues and do not promote the destinations based on tourism, they have contributed to arousing curiosity and encouraging tourists to visit painful these monuments.

One documentary film which refers to “dark tourism” is “Dark Tourism” by German film producer Manfred Becker. It was produced in Canada and broadcast during 2007-2008. In 2018, the Netflix documentary series "Dark Tourists", featuring a journalist exploring "strange" destinations, attracted large audiences.

 

Television has been contributing to driving more people to visit these places. Since the series of short films entitled “Chernobyl” on the 1986 nuclear power plant explosion, premiered in March 2019 on HBO, the number of visitors to the destination has increased by 30-40%.

While the world is still unsure about the purpose of this type of tourism, there is no denying that tours to dark and traumatic places aim to commemorate and remind tourists of the terrible things that humans can do, helping them avoid similar actions in the future. These sites are also a visual repository for historical research and to educate the current generation on the value of the past and respect for the present. 

“Dark tourism” in Vietnam

With a long history of resistance against invaders, Vietnam possesses many destinations marking painful years but showing the indomitable spirit of the nation. Some typical places that could be exploited for “dark tourism” are piles yard on Bach Dang River, Dong Da Mound, Hoa Lo Prison (in Hanoi), War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Hang Duong Cemetery, Con Dao Prison and Phu Quoc Prison. International visitors have also paid special attention to many other places such as the Cu Chi Tunnels, Dang Thuy Tram Hospital, My Lai Village and Quang Tri Citadel.

The places mentioned above bear significant historical and cultural value, helping visitors learn more about the history, especially the unyielding will of Vietnamese people in each historical period of the country.

Over recent years, relic sites have received more investment and methodical management. Visitors to these destinations have been not only the middle-aged and older people but also many young. As many historical sites have applied technological advances and digital transformation, their value has been promoted, especially to young people. For example, since the activities of Hoa Lo Prison were introduced via its fanpage and radio channels via the Spotify and Apple Podcasts platforms, both domestic and foreign tourists have learned in an easier and more interesting manner.

In the long term, management agencies should have appropriate development plans for the development of “dark tourism, focusing on creating and promoting many more visual experience products for visitors, especially young people. In addition, it is crucial to avoid excessive exploitation and commercialisation so that the inherent historical and human values of these destinations will not be lost.

Source: Nhan Dan

Prisons make their mark on tourism map

Prisons make their mark on tourism map

Visiting jails is one unique idea of enjoying a holiday in Vietnam, which is well-known for its heroic revolutions against foreign invaders over the years.

Con Dao from “hell on earth” to “tourist paradise”

Con Dao from “hell on earth” to “tourist paradise”

Con Dao has been voted one of the best “secret” and most “appealing” islands on earth by Australian Lonely Planet and US Travel and Leisure magazines.

 
 

Other News

.
The charming scenery of Cao Bang, the only pandemic-free province in Vietnam
The charming scenery of Cao Bang, the only pandemic-free province in Vietnam
TRAVELicon  14/09/2021 

Cao Bang is the only province in Vietnam that is free from Covid-19. Accidentally 'stuck' in Cao Bang, travel blogger Phan Quoc (born 1992, from HCM City) has captured poetic images of this land.

Peaceful Hai Phong port city in the days of social distancing
Peaceful Hai Phong port city in the days of social distancing
TRAVELicon  13/09/2021 

Photographer Hai LeCao (real name Le Cao Hai, born in 1984) spent nearly a month searching for and recording peaceful moments in the northern port city of Hai Phong.

Spectacular bay in the north
Spectacular bay in the north
TRAVELicon  13/09/2021 

Bai Tu Long Bay in the Gulf of Tokin is home to around 600 limestone islets. This area belongs to Van Don District, Halong City and Cam Pha City in Quang Ninh Province. 

Requirements for foreign tourists to visit Phu Quoc under pilot scheme
Requirements for foreign tourists to visit Phu Quoc under pilot scheme
TRAVELicon  13/09/2021 

Phu Quoc  is expected to be first destination to receive foreign tourists after the Government approved the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism’ proposal on a pilot plan to welcome tourists back under the vaccine passport program.

A sweet delicacy from Nam Dinh
A sweet delicacy from Nam Dinh
TRAVELicon  12/09/2021 

Longan cakes is traditional local food in Hai Hau District, Nam Dinh Province. Although it is rustic fromits look to the flavor, the dish is well-known.

Discovering the meaning of place names in Central Highlands
Discovering the meaning of place names in Central Highlands
TRAVELicon  12/09/2021 

Let’s check out the meaning of place names in the Central Highlands region, which is home to many tourist attractions in Vietnam.

Young Vietnamese man travels to 30 countries, 150 cities
Young Vietnamese man travels to 30 countries, 150 cities
FEATUREicon  12/09/2021 

By the time he turned 27, Phan Thanh Quoc had visited 30 countries and 150 cities. And now he is working to earn enough money to take a trip around the world after the Covid-19 pandemic ends.

Quan Chuong Gate stands the test of time
Quan Chuong Gate stands the test of time
TRAVELicon  11/09/2021 

Quan Chuong Gate, the only remaining gate of the old Thang Long Citadel, holds a rustic charm despite daily changes of the capital city of Hanoi.

Vietnam prepares to welcome international visitors at selected destinations
Vietnam prepares to welcome international visitors at selected destinations
TRAVELicon  11/09/2021 

In addition to previous plans to open Phu Quoc Island to international tourists, Ha Long, Hoi An, Nha Trang and Da Lat will also welcome tourists this year, under a plan developed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Hanoi among best cities in Vietnam for beer lovers
Hanoi among best cities in Vietnam for beer lovers
TRAVELicon  11/09/2021 

Hanoi, home to one of the first breweries in Vietnam under French colonial rule in the late 19th century, was one of the top five beer destinations in the country endorsed by global travelers of US-based travel agency Booking.com.

A memorable trip to Dak Lak
A memorable trip to Dak Lak
TRAVELicon  11/09/2021 

Our remembrance of a two-day trip to the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak made two years ago remains fresh in our mind. The trip offered us unprecedented experiences.

Phu Quoc prepares to welcome tourists from October
Phu Quoc prepares to welcome tourists from October
TRAVELicon  10/09/2021 

To welcome tourists again, at least 70% of the population on Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island, must be vaccinated against Covid-19 to ensure herd immunity.

Dien Bien's magnificent Kho Chua La Cave
Dien Bien's magnificent Kho Chua La Cave
TRAVELicon  10/09/2021 

A visit to northwestern Dien Bien Province is incomplete without seeing the unique pristine beauty of Kho Chua La Cave, in Pang De A1 Village, Tua Chua District.

A quiet, peaceful Da Lat amid the pandemic
A quiet, peaceful Da Lat amid the pandemic
TRAVELicon  09/09/2021 

Every morning, Trinh drives around Da Lat streets to take pictures of the resort city in the mist. He has shared those moments on social networks, as a way to help visitors ease their nostalgia for Da Lat.

Attractive destinations in Rach Gia City
Attractive destinations in Rach Gia City
TRAVELicon  10/09/2021 

Rach Gia City, a political, economic and cultural centre of the Mekong River Delta Province of Kien Giang, possess many cultural and historical relic sites and attractive destinations that are imbued with the cultural identities of the locality.

Vietnam's top 5 destinations to visit post-pandemic
Vietnam's top 5 destinations to visit post-pandemic
TRAVELicon  09/09/2021 

Hanoi, Da Lat, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Phu Quoc are five destinations that Vietnamese tourists have kept in their wishlists while awaiting the recovery of tourism.

Exploring Muong ethnic culture in Tan Lac
Exploring Muong ethnic culture in Tan Lac
TRAVELicon  09/09/2021 

Home to rich valleys with fertile rice fields and fruit-laden gardens, Tan Lac District in the northern province of Hoa Binh is an ideal place for those interested in exploring the indigenous culture of the Muong ethnic group

Hoai Khao famous for beeswax from hives clinging to craggy cliffs of Cao Bang
Hoai Khao famous for beeswax from hives clinging to craggy cliffs of Cao Bang
TRAVELicon  08/09/2021 

In October 2020, Hoai Khao hamlet was chosen to be a community tourist destination because it had preserved the cultural values and rich lifestyles of the Dao Tien people.

Vietnam plans to reopen domestic flights, classifies airports by zones
Vietnam plans to reopen domestic flights, classifies airports by zones
TRAVELicon  07/09/2021 

The Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) has proposed classifying airports into green, yellow and red zones to prepare to reopen domestic routes.

Vietnam could reopen domestic tourism market soon with vaccine passports
Vietnam could reopen domestic tourism market soon with vaccine passports
FEATUREicon  07/09/2021 

Experts believe that Vietnam should reopen the domestic aviation and tourism market with vaccine passports as the number of people who have received two doses of the vaccine is increasing.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN