Emerging Themes and Impacts
The main theme which have come up from the article is that whether Dark Tourism is healthy at all and how much relevant it is in the present context.
- Loss of scope of operation for the organizations in the Tourism sector: Different organizations such as The Cox and Kings Travel company and many others has made a fortune by covering various of the unfortunate or bloody sites around the globe which have shared a history of human suffering.
Impact: Due to this high scope of earning profits, there has been a high competition in the market (related to the tourism industry across various places). New entrants have constantly been flocking the industry. In order to house so many organizations, the industry has somewhat cut it short of its scope for supporting the earning opportunities exercised by the organizations ((REID, 2018).
- Tampering the authenticity of the place: Places with a history of suffering can attract tourist attention and many of them get interested to visit such places in order to know more about the incidents (REID, 2018). It can be also pointed out that such kind of places have their own essence due to the occurrence of some kind of bloody incident. When high number of tourist flock in such places, they destroy the essence of the place, often destroying or manhandling things lying there (as it is) for years and thus degrade the main attraction of the place (Coldwell, 2018).
Impact: This may bring various issues for the Cox and Kings Travel company as well as the others to deliver the service of touring as per promised by them or known by the tourist. If the authenticity of a place gets destroyed, people would not have the chance to enjoy the exact things that should have been there. This shall led to loss of faith on the company, thus limiting its chances of earning profits.
- Ecology and environment of some of the places get altered: Due to random and heavy tourist pressure, the the flora and fauna that remained there undisturbed for many years gets affected. Tourists create water and land pollution by disposing wastes and plastic packets at improper places.
Impact: Due to pollution created because of improper disposal of wastes from the Company's side, it may face legal suits from Non Government Organizations and legal authorities. This may impose heavy financial and legal obligations on the company and the others.
- Incorrect appropriation of historyis another them which can be suggested from the events that occur in such places. People do not maintain proper order or pay their dues in accord to the atrocities that have occurred there (Collins-Kreiner, 2016). Often the history and events are mistold to the tourist by the people associated with the The Cox and Kings Travel company and this leads to wrong perception of history associated with the place.
Impact: This brings in downfall of the company, loss of reliance of opinion on them by the tourists, thus harming the name and goodwill of The Cox and Kings Travel company as well as the others conducting tours over there.
- Political and social Insensitivity: A place which have had a history of suffering is mocked or made fun of by tourists by clicking selfies or posting atrocious posts about them (Alan Duke, 2018).
Impact: This, undermines the public image of the organization and the prestige of the Travel Company falls blatantly in middle of huge criticism made by and other agents of media. This brings decrease in the customer following, thus weakening their hold over the travel and tourism industry. These acts of Political and Social Insensitivity thus harms the Cox and Kings Travel company and the others at a huge level.
Effect of the themes in the Next Five Years
As it can be observed from the above section, there are various sensitive issues that become intertwined with the practice of dark tourism and there will be a point when the impropriety of the practices that are being carried out shall have to be taken into consideration and stopped (REID, 2018). In context of the themes outlined above the following effects can be anticipated to be happening in the next five years in the travel and tourism sector:
- Dark tourism might cease to be a profitable enterprise: If the historical authenticity of the sites is constantly undermined by tourists, there might be a point when the entire practice of dark tourism might be put to question. The government might react with laws that shall severe restrict the scope of dark tourism which shall be harmful for the business (Podoshen et al. 2015).
- Loss of marketing opportunities: If the sites are frequented by ignorant people unaware of its history who do not respect the past that is associated with them then there will be a time when the entire premise of dark tourism will be destroyed. These sites will become like any other tourist destination thronging with people (Hartmann, 2014). This shall also imply that tourist organizations cannot promote those places.
- Restrictions for tourism organizations: Tourism organizations like Cox and King’s shall be subjected to a number of rules and regulations by governing bodies as tourists basically arrive through these organizations (White and Frew, 2013). These organizations shall be subjected to laws that shall restrict the entry of tourists into the place.
Implications on Business Strategy:
- Guides who are well educated in history shall have to be recruited so that they can narrate the past to the tourists. This shall make them aware about the seriousness of the situation and make them acquainted with the fact that they have to treat the place sensitively.
- A team of individuals should be employed as guards who shall see to it that the objects are not tampered with. Attempts should also be made towards the preservation of the ecology of the place should too much tourism affect it.
- The organization can circulate pamphlets among the visitors prior to visiting the sites that shall contain relevant information about the history of the place.
- Tourism companies should therefore, promote dark tourism for the sake of humanity. The charges should be kept as low as possible so that more people can opt for it and enlighten themselves about the bloody history of the world (Goatcher and Brunsden, 2011).
Alan Duke, C. (2018). Justin Bieber hopes Anne Frank 'would have been a belieber' - CNN. [online] CNN. Available at: https://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/14/showbiz/bieber-anne-frank/ [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].
Coldwell, W. (2018). Dark tourism: why murder sites and disaster zones are proving popular with travellers. [online] the Guardian. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2013/oct/31/dark-tourism-murder-sites-disaster-zones [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].
Collins-Kreiner, N., 2016. Dark tourism as/is pilgrimage. Current Issues in Tourism, 19(12), pp.1185-1189.
Goatcher, J. and Brunsden, V., 2011. Chernobyl and the sublime tourist. Tourist Studies, 11(2), pp.115-137.
Hartmann, R., 2014. Dark tourism, thanatourism, and dissonance in heritage tourism management: New directions in contemporary tourism research. Journal of Heritage Tourism, 9(2), pp.166-182.
Podoshen, J.S., Andrzejewski, S.A., Venkatesh, V. and Wallin, J., 2015. New approaches to dark tourism inquiry: A response to Isaac. Tourism Management, 51, pp.331-334.
REID, R. (2018). Is 'Dark Tourism' OK?. [online] Nationalgeographic.com. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/features/is-dark-tourism-ok-chernobyl-pripyat-disaster-sites/?user.testname=none [Accessed 21 Oct. 2018].
White, L. and Frew, E., 2013. Dark tourism and place identity: Managing and interpreting dark places. Routledge.