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  • 1. TOURISM AND BUSINESS STUDIESUNIVERSITY OF WESTMINSTER SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE AND THE BUILT ENVIRONMENTCENTRE FOR TOURISM RESEARCH DARK TOURISM, STUDY OF THE PHYSICAL AND PERCEPTIVE ENVIRONMENT OF SIX DARK SITES IN LONDON DOROTEYA MILANOVA BA TOURISM WITH BUSINESSW1292220DECLARATION: This is the work of Doroteya Milanova. All the other contributors areacknowledged in the text and listed in the bibliography.1|Page

2. Word Count: 13,262TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Tables 7 List of Marketing Publications.. 82|Page 3. Site Maps...14List of Abbreviations.... 22Acknowledgements..23Abstract ..24Introduction....26 1.1 Research Background.... ...26 1.2Aims andObjectives... ..27 1.3 Approach... .27 1.4 Outline.... 282. Literature Review. 29 2.1 The dark tourism phenomena.....29 2.2 Origins of dark tourism... 32 2.3 Dark sites: What makes a destination dark?..................................................... 33 2.4 Dark tourism types.. .34 2.5 Dark attraction, museum, exhibition profiles.. .36 2.6 external and internal features of a successful attraction or museum 37 2.7 Marketing.. .38 2.8 The attraction perception dimension. 39 2.9 Dark tourism spectrum 423. Methodology. 44 3.1 Research approach....44 3.2 Researchmethodology.. ...44 3.2.1 Secondary research 463|Page 4. 3.3.2 Primary research.. ..474.Findings..49 4.1 Introduction... 49 4.2 key features of the six dark sites.... 49 4.2.1 London Bridge Experience and London Tombs.. 49 4.2.2 London Dungeon.. 50 4.2.3 Chamber of Horror at Madame Tussauds 51 4.2.4 The Clink prison 52 4.2.5 The IWM in London.. 53 4.2.6 Chislehurst caves... 54 4.3 Physical Characteristics... 57 4.4 Perception and Dimension.. 61 4.4.1 Display and Vision among the six London dark sites. 61 4.4.2 Hearing and Smell. 63 4.4.3 Touch and Knowledge.. 65 4.5 Dark characteristics according to the spectrum theory... 67 4.5.1 Approximate positioning of the dark sites on the spectrum line... 70 4.5.2 Senses stimulation in relation to the level of darkness.... 71 4.5.2 Dark Product Display Model... 73 4.6 Discussions of findings.... 745. Conclusions and recommendations... 77 5.1 Conclusions....77 5.2 Recommendations.... 79 5.3 Recommendations for further research. 80Bibliography.. 81Appendix... 894|Page 5. LIST OF ABBREVIATIONSIWMImperial War MuseumDT Dark TourismBTABritish Tourism AuthoritiesUSP Unique Selling PointACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would like to thank my supervisor Anne Gramm for her support and help. This workwould have been incomplete without the intervention of Miss Amanda Hone. She was agreat source of inspiration and deep understanding of the topic. Finally I wish to thankAlex for big support and helpful advice.ABSTRACTThis study followed conducted and detailed analysis of six dark attractions, museums and5|Page 6. exhibitions in London. The aim was to understand the nature of the dark tourismphenomena in successful sites in terms of visitor affluence, profitability and generalperformance. The research combines theoretical understanding and measurement of thedarkness, and builds up observations upon such statements. In relation to the type of darkside and level of darkness, attractions museums and exhibitions adopt different approachtowards commercialisation and communication of the environment. The study discoveredthat the approach towards death have different aspects and perceptions. The findingsrevealed that dark tourism although related to death might provoke different emotionsand encourage mixed feelings. The methodological model used for this research conducted an open positivistanalysis of existing structures and locations. The research is open to interpretation andfurther suggestions and improvements. The deductive (Brotherton, 2008) nature of thisresearch has drawn conclusions from the general material collected. Based on subjective aswell as objective findings this document has not set up strict patterns, but instead suggeststechniques used by the supply side in order to reach their organisations aims andobjectives. Finally this paper addresses some locations and dark destinations, which haveprovoked visitor interest in recent times. Whether their display is following these socialand ethical norms of exploring death and disasters is dubious. This research recommendscareful analysis of the dark level saturation and type of dark display before proceedingtowards the display setting. Ultimately the dark tourism industry in many cases is justanother product, which sells and attracts services and products through marketing,targeting and promotional distribution for lucrative purposes. Using the model proposeddark sites could carefully decide the use of elements such as light, smell, interaction andnoise, as well as souvenir production and distribution for the dark suppliers to use inorder to operate smoothly in the tourism market, regardless the delicate content of theiroffer. INTRODUCTION1.1 RESEARCH BACKGROUNDDark Tourism is not a new trend in the contemporary tourism, however as observed by6|Page 7. Lennon and Foley (2000) it is an expanding opportunity to create demand for moretourism attractions, museums and exhibitions. In the last fifty years some unlikely andaesthetic destinations with an unfortunate background have explored the profitable natureof the dark tourism trend and have become successful dark tourism destinations(Auschwitz, Ground Zero) (Novelli, 2005; Joly, 2010; Amin, 1994). Some examples ofpopular dark attractions in the UK were the guided tours to observe the Battle of Waterlooin 1815. People went to watch from a safe distance the on-going conflict (Webber, 1992;Henderson, 1996). Moreover one of the earliest battlefields of the American Civil War wassold the next day as an attraction site (Webber, 1992). A few years after the collapse of thetwin towers in New York (result of a terrorist attack), the buildings remains have becomea successful lucrative tourism attraction (Svenstorm, 2008). Other examples if tourist sitesare Chernobyl- the Ghost City open only to visitors (Joly, 2010) in Ukraine, the KillingFields in Cambodia or the Paris Catacombs.Museums, exhibitions and attractions where evidence of death and disaster hasbeen assembled are known as dark tourism suppliers (Stone, 2005; Hall, 1997). Moreover,their common theme of display is death; they have different purposes and perceptionstowards it, and present it to their visitors in antithetic ways. The findings in this researchwill give a better understanding of the specific situation, space patterns and underlyingdimensions of various dark sides.1.2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVESThe aim of this research is to assess the differences between dark tourism attractions,museums and exhibitions and the characteristics of the contemporary dark display. Inorder to achieve this, the study will investigate the following: What is the dark supply mixture in London? How dark attractions market and promote themselves? What their physical environment is like, and how does it serve the organisations aims? How they set the perception dimension and why? What is the link between level of darkness and dark supplier interpretation?7|Page 8. 1.3 APPROACHFirstly the research will analyse the dark offer mixture in London by analysing severaltypes of attractions and museums. Then it will proceed by interpreting their level ofdarkness according to the spectrum line theory (Stone, 2006). Consequently, it will noticehow the suppliers propose their dark product to the audience, with reference to theirpurpose, mission and dark saturation. Furthermore themes of exploration will also regardthe environment of the display, perception, proposal and message to the audience. Fromthe findings it will be possible to analyse the dark contemporary product offered by thevarious suppliers.1.4 OUTLINEChapter two will be looking at the dark tourism phenomena and popularity.Consequently this would bring us back in time, when dark tourism was the ultimate formof entertainment and amusement. To follow the literature review will analyse the originsand history of dark tourism phenomena, and the different types of thanatourism (Seaton,2002). Dark museums, exhibitions and attractions will be briefly defined.Chapter three will explain how the research will be conducted. The study will usethree different qualitative research methods: participant observations, ethnographicinterviews and content analysis of the communication tools (website, marketingpublications (Clark, Riley, Wilkie, Wood, 1998). 2. LITERATURE REVIEW2.1 THE DARK TOURISM PHENOMENALife and death are an integrated part of our reality. People have been exploring themeaning of these two crucial events throughout history (Starck, 2006). Many books,theories and studies have been conducted exploring life, its origin, meaning and progress.So has been done for death. As an inevitable part of our existence, humans have alwaysbeen seeking death and exploring it from a safe distance (Tercier, 2005; Dallen et al. 2004).The reasons behind hunting for places of death could be different. People visitingcemeteries could be motivated by a desire to memorise and honour deaths, others visiting8|Page 9. war museums could be driven by a desire to learn about the past and share collectivememory (Keil, 2005). Moreover dungeon visitors could seek thrilling entertainment and soon. There are all sorts of different reasons, which vary from pursuing knowledge,memorisation, military, humanitarian or science interests (Body World Exhibition), topurely fascination with death per se (Bockoc, 1993; Seaton, 2006). For the first time the desire to travel to places of horror and death was defined in1990 as dark tourism (Lennon and Foley, 2000). It was noticed that visiting places relatedto death and suffering for tourism purposes was a faster growing phenomenon in the latetwenty, century-early twenty first century (Lennon and Foley, 2000). Dark tourismhowever is not a recent phenomenon, yet it is seen by many a