Death as attraction: the role of travel medicine and psychological travel health care in 'dark tourism'

Bauer, Irmgard L. (2021) Death as attraction: the role of travel medicine and psychological travel health care in 'dark tourism'. Tropical Diseases, Travel Medicine and Vaccines, 7. 24.

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Still an evolving field in travel medicine, psychological travel health has not yet been linked to tourist products that may affect travellers’ mental wellbeing. Dark tourism, the travel to sites linked to death, atrocities and suffering, is a product that, on the one hand, attracts people with a keen interest in death-related attractions and, on the other hand, may inflict psychological scars. Of particular concern are travellers with undiagnosed or diagnosed mental illness. This is the first article bringing travel medicine and dark tourism together. Understanding dark tourism is crucial to appreciate the wide variety of potential stimuli leading to anything from amusement to travel-related psychoses. Travellers’ motivations for and emotional responses to visits of ‘dark’ sites provide an important input into individually tailored psychological pre and post-travel health care. Relevant recommendations include suggestions for education, clinical practice and much needed further multidisciplinary research.

Item ID: 68951
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2055-0936
Keywords: Thanatourism, travel health advice, travel psychiatry, travel motivations, tourist behaviour, psychological health, mental health, travel psychosis, voyeurism
Copyright Information: © The Author(s). 2021Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License,which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you giveappropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate ifchanges were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commonslicence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commonslicence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtainpermission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to thedata made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 23:35
FoR Codes: 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3508 Tourism > 350806 Tourist behaviour and visitor experience @ 30%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4205 Nursing > 420504 Mental health nursing @ 40%
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520503 Personality and individual differences @ 30%
SEO Codes: 11 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 1104 Tourism services > 110403 Tourism infrastructure development @ 20%
20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200409 Mental health @ 40%
20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200307 Nursing @ 40%
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