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Dark Tourism: Changing Perception of Travelers for Indian Tourism

Gagandeep Soni, Sarah Hussain


Tourism industry in India dates back to ancient times; has undergone various phases of development since then and gained a rapid momentum and immense popularity. The new genre of tourism is “Dark Tourism” – a notion less perceived, yet brimming with curiosity and intrigue. Gone is the era where tourist’s interest revolved only around destinations of romantic getaways, scenic beauty, adventure and rejuvenation. The concept of “Thana tourism” or “Phoenix Tourism” has gained rapid momentum all over the world; India still being in the “Fetal” stage of this new genre of tourism. Dark Tourism, also known as Thana Tourism involves visits to locations relating to tragedy, massacre and anguish. Thana tourists’ interest depends largely upon the level of their curiosity and sense of validation to the concept of death. Human psychology plays a quintessential role in pursuing curiosity and inquisitiveness, which forms the root cause for tourists thronging towards the destinations of dark tourism. This quest for travelling to unusual places gives a tremendous adrenaline rush for tourists, creating an impact and thus attracting them to the world of “Dark Tourism – The new wanderlust”. One of the earliest origins of dark tourism can be traced towards a 19th century jailhouse in The United States of America which gained popularity owing to its distinctive architectural design and novel practice. India has innumerable unexplored potential for the growth of Dark tourism. A thorough understanding of the phenomenon of dark tourism within broader socio-cultural aspect is necessary for further exploration and exhilaration of these tourist locations. The present study focuses on the existence, acceptance and promotion of the dark destinations in India. It also throws light on the changing perception of the travelers, a remarkable shift from routine vacationing to travelling for seeking fascination of death and tragedy. The study aims to highlight the primitive stages of the dark tourism destination development in India and also the criticism and controversies involved in creating a niche in the queer area of this eccentric tourism.

Keywords: Dark tourism, phoenix tourism, Thana tourism, wanderlust

Cite this Article
Gagandeep Soni, Sarah Hussain. Dark Tourism: Changing Perception of Travelers for Indian Tourism. OmniScience: A Multi-disciplinary Journal. 2018; 8(3): 11–21p.

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