Going to the Dark Sites With Intention: Construction of Niche Tourism

Going to the Dark Sites With Intention: Construction of Niche Tourism

Bintang Handayani (President University, Indonesia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2750-3.ch003
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This chapter discusses construction of niche tourism in postmodernism. It aims to give a flavour on how the arguments are presented. Utilising death sites and Voluntourism, coupled with proliferation of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as backdrop, this chapter sets to the layer of dark tourism as the revelation and contemplation, it bridges the nexus between visiting the death sites and extreme poverty areas, and hospitality features as core essence attributed to authentic experience. This chapter thus is an agreement of the previous studies which suggest authentic experience derived from cool authenticity and existential authenticity. It would emerge as not only the answer for searching authentic experiences but also most importantly it could extend the niche tourism formation and deepen Voluntourism conceptualisation. Findings of this study provide practitioners in the tourism and hospitality industries with clues to position death sites and Voluntourism as premium market offerings. Eventually, some directions for future study are discussed.
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Literature Review

As postmodern world is looking for new existential identity and motivation (Zotic, Alexandru & Dezsi, 2014), the branches of dark tourism i.e. visiting death sites and Voluntourism have emerged as the current state of tourism (Handayani, Ivanov & Korstanje, 2017). In this sense, visiting death sites and Voluntourism which embedded with tourism experience revolves around the role of participation, social movements, and social networks (McGehee & Santos, 2005). Further, in tourism experiences, it is likely that individuals choose to participate because they wish to expand their activist identities into their leisure travel (McGehee & Norman 2002; McGehee & Santos, 2005). In this token, the movement of more environmental friendly and minority issues as commodification could not be the newest form of postmodernism spectrum anymore. As Fife (2004) suggests (re) enactment and active participation of tourists have promoted the framing of niche tourism in postmodernism. Further, Zotic et al., (2014) expound that tourism trend from modernism to postmodernism, which indicates the shift from mass tourism (defined as conventional tourism involving large number of tourists in staged settings) - niche tourism (the symbolic stage wherein demassification of mass tourism, focuses on searching for authenticity) – nootourism (defined as the next phase wherein tourism focuses on knowledge and virtual tourism) - nontourism (the phase wherein tourism is associated with commonness new philosophy of life, lifestyle revisited). On the other hand, Wearing and McGehee (2013b) point out volunteer tourism as one of forms of tourism which defined as alternative ways of tourism development. It is believed that alternative ways of tourism development that are being championed including mass tourism, sustainable tourism, ecotourism, alternative tourism and pro-poor tourism (PPT).

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