An Investigation into Ethical Management within Scottish Dark Tourism
(2015) An Investigation into Ethical Management within Scottish Dark Tourism, no. 69.
The aim of this dissertation is to gain a clear understanding of the current ethical issues regarding dark tourism, and the ways in which Scottish dark tourism businesses acknowledge and address them. The paper seeks to understand what exactly constitutes ethical dark tourism. The primary research was conducted, focusing on Scottish dark tourism businesses. A qualitative research method was used, in the form of semi-structured, one to one interviews. The findings were then manually coded, for analysis and discussion. The results indicate that certain dark tourism businesses do act unethically, and exploit the subject of death and suffering, in order to be profitable. Furthermore, some businesses were found to disregard authenticity and historical accuracy within their dark tourism product. Interestingly, the term dark tourism itself was found to spark the most debate and interest within the study. All interviewees agreed that the umbrella term could be considered confusing, disrespectful and to incorporate too many forms of attraction, and therefore did not like to associate their business with the term. It is therefore recommended that the term be disregarded, and instead broken down into other terms such as: Grief tourism, Social-history tourism, Entertainment-based dark tourism and Supernatural tourism It is hoped that the findings form this study, will encourage dark tourism businesses to consider their ethos and ethical consideration in addressing social responsibility. Furthermore, the study may encourage further academic study into dark tourism, as, although the term is widely researched, it is rarely applied into the practical industry of tourism. In order to gain a deeper understanding of the issue, a much wider study is advised, in order to analyse darker destinations and their approach to ethics.