Understanding the motivations and emotions of visitors at Tuol Sleng Genocide Prison Museum (S-21) in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the motives and emotions of Western tourists visiting Tuol Sleng Genocide Prison Museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and further contribute to a deeper understanding of the dark tourism consumption. Design/methodology/approach: Data were collected from popular travel blog sites. This study employs various qualitative and quantitative methods, such as netnography, semantic network analysis and critical content analysis in order to gain a deeper insight into the visitors’ emotions and motivations. Findings: This study reveals that people visit Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum mainly for “remembrance”, “worth visiting”, “learning and understanding”, “paying respect” and a “must visit” attraction. Emotions revealed in this study were “shocking“, “sadness“, “horror” and “depressive”. Research limitations/implications: This paper is limited to the analyses of travel blogs sites. Further research could include interviews with Western visitors, and professionals managing the site. Originality/value: To the best of the knowledge, this is the first study to examine the emotions of visitors in Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-247
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Cities
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Blogs
  • Content analysis
  • Emotions
  • Motivations
  • Semantic network analysis
  • Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

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