Authenticity in Dark Tourism : A Case of Disaster Tourism after the Great East Japan Earthquake

다크투어리즘과 관광경험의 진정성 - 동일본대지진의 재난관광을 사례로 -

  • Cho, Ara (Institute for Japanese Studies, Seoul National University)
  • 조아라 (서울대학교 일본연구소)
  • Received : 2013.01.02
  • Accepted : 2013.02.25
  • Published : 2013.02.28

Abstract

This study aimed to analyze the authenticity of dark tourism, and to discuss the possibilities and limitations of disaster tourism as an alternative type of tourism in post-modern society. For this purpose, disaster tourism related with the Great East Japan Earthquake was analyzed. After the disaster occurred, the boundaries between guests (tourists) and hosts (residents) dissolved and disaster communities emerged temporarily. This was followed by social contributive tourism, in which both guests and hosts shared their matter of life-and-death experiences, so existential authenticity became the most important motive and experience for tourism. As time passed, however, existential authenticity was reconstructed ideologically in the socioeconomic political context of disaster recovery, and replaced constructive authenticity. After all, the possibilities of disaster tourism as an alternative type of tourism based on the introspection of modernity were restricted. To discuss the underlying ethical issues of the commodification of disaster tourism, further researches should conducted to consider dark tourism as an alternative type of postmodern tourism.

Acknowledgement

Supported by : 한국연구재단