Motivation Factors in Dark Tourism

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Motivation Factors in Dark Tourism
Case: House of Terror
LAHTI UNIVERSITY OF
APPLIED SCIENCES
The Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality
Degree Programme in Tourism and
Hospitality Management
Nature and Soft Adventure Tourism
Bachelor’s thesis
Spring 2010
Titta Niemelä Lahti University of Applied Sciences
Degree Programme in Tourism and Hospitality Management
NIEMELÄ, TITTA: Motivation Factors in Dark Tourism:
Case: House of Terror
Bachelor’s Thesis in Nature and Soft Adventure Tourism, 43 pages, 6 appendices Spring 2010
ABSTRACT
Dark tourism is a multi-layered mixture of history and heritage, tourism and tragedies. Humanity has been interested in the end of life since the time of pilgrimages. In contemporary society the individual has been isolated from the end of life and even discussing it is considered taboo. Why do people travel to dark attractions associated with death and suffering if even talking about them is so hard? The House of Terror museum in Budapest, Hungary, is a good example of a dark tourism attraction. It stands as a monument to the memory of those held captive, tortured and killed in the building under the Nazi and the Communist reigns during and after the Second World War. Opened on February 24th in 2002, the museum reveals the horrors of the two cruellest systems of the 20th century with the purpose to draw people's attention to understanding the sacrifice for the freedom in Hungary – and giving the visitor a possibility to contemplate the balance of life and death. The core of this study is to find out which factors motivate tourists to travel to dark tourism attractions and, especially, to visit the House of Terror museum. The theoretical context will present the definitions of tourism with its subgroups and, more specifically, dark tourism. Motivation in tourism will be also discussed. The functional part of this thesis includes designing and implementing a customer questionnaire for the House of Terror museum. Dark tourism is a special type of tourism business which doesn't appeal to everyone but has an important role in delivering information and bringing the past to present. According to the quantitative survey in the House of Terror, the strongest motivating factor was educational: People visit the museum in order to get information about the Second World War and the site's background. Emotional and educational motives are strongly related to dark tourism as well as seeking one's heritage, indulging curiosity and searching for nostalgia. Visiting a dark attraction can cause not only strong emotions but also broader discussion and contemplation about the dark side of history and humanity. Key words: dark tourism, motivation, tourism, quantitative research Lahti TABLE OF CONTENT

1 INTRODUCTION 1
2 INTRODUCING HOUSE OF TERROR 3
2.1 History of the Museum 3
2.2 Venue 4
3 TOURISM 6
3.1 Definitions 6
3.2 Subgroups of Tourism 6
4 DARK TOURISM 9
4.1 Death and Contemporary Society – As we shall live so we shall die? 9
4.2 Definitions and Labels 10
4.3 Dark Attractions 11
4.3.1 A Dark Tourism Spectrum 12
4.3.2 Seven Dark Suppliers 13
4.4 Seeking Danger in Safety 15
5 MOTIVATION 18
5.1 Classifications and Models 18
5.2 Motivation in Tourism 20
5.3 Motivations in Dark Tourism 25
6 RESEARCH METHODS 29
7 THE RESEARCH 32
8 CONCLUSIONS 40
8.1 Valuation of the Research 42
8.2 Self evaluation 42
REFERENCES 44
APPENDICES 471 INTRODUCTION
Why does death fascinate people? Humanity has been interested in the ending of life since the time of pilgrimages and before. Roman gladiator contests and public executions of the Middle Ages were normal events according to the norms of the society of that time. Nowadays death is considered taboo, frightening and uncontrolled issue. Despite its inevitability – and its necessity for the circle of life – the final ending of life is experienced as unpleasant and a hard subject in public...
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