Professor John Lennon to deliver Dark Tourism seminar

28 November 2013

Professor John Lennon

Professor John Lennon

The rise of dark tourism – a phrase first coined by Professors John Lennon and Malcolm Foley of Glasgow Caledonian University - may not be everyone's idea of a getaway, but since the late 1990s this phenomenon has continued to be in demand.

Destinations include Auschwitz Birkenau, Poland and Robben Island in South Africa as well as a host of sites where mass killing, genocide and assassinations have scourged their landscapes. In Scotland, the Battle of Culloden and the massacre of Glencoe are popular destinations for keen travellers.

Professor John Lennon, Vice-Dean of Glasgow School for Business and Society and Director of the Moffat Centre for Travel and Tourism Business Development, has been involved in the research of dark tourism for a number of years, seeking to understand why people are compelled to experience places of horror.

Professor Lennon said: "Dark Tourism is not a new phenomenon - it has elements of the ancient, modern and post-modern. Awareness and debate has increased through social and televisual media.
It motivates visitation and has become a commodified element of many tourism destinations and experiences. From the genocide of Rwanda to the 9-11 site in New York, from Robben Island in South Africa to the Killing Fields of Cambodia, this is a worldwide phenomenon."

The 'Dark Tourism' event is part of the Culture, Consumption and Society Seminar Series at GCU London. The series brings together researchers belonging to social sciences including Economics, Cultural Studies, Psychology, Marketing, Fashion, and Social policy among others.

Professor John Lennon will deliver his seminar Dark Tourism on Tuesday, 3 December, 2pm in room 1.2 in GCU London in Fashion Street.

Professor Lennon will compare key international tourism sites and the impact the dark tourism phenomenon has not only on academic study, but on Scotland’s bourgeoning tourism industry.

Register for the Dark Tourism event