Understanding visitor's motivation at sites of death and disaster: the case of former transit camp Westerbork, the Netherlands

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68 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study begins to fill the gap in research of people's motivations to visit sites of death and suffering and to contribute to a deeper understanding of dark tourism consumption within dark conflict sites. The article aims to examine the motivations of visitors to former transit camp Westerbork as an iconic dark site in the Netherlands. The research process involved a self-administered survey questionnaire filled by 238, randomly selected Dutch visitors. Data are analysed by means of exploratory factor analysis to decide upon the relevant factors for representing the motivations of visitors to Westerbork. The findings show that people visit Westerbork mainly for 'self-understanding', 'curiosity', 'conscience', a 'must see' this place and 'exclusiveness'. This is the first study to examine visitors' motivations to Westerbork as a dark site. Most research on visitor motivations is not based on empirical data, but on theoretical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-179
Number of pages16
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • dark tourism
  • iconic site
  • tourist motivation
  • Westerbork

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