Shining a digital light on the dark: Harnessing online digital media to improve the dark tourism experience

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines how dark tourism can utilise digital media to improve and provide a more immersive and memorable experience for the tourist. In addressing this crucially important aspect a three strand approach is taken. Firstly the realm of social media is investigated in terms of how such platforms can be used for marketing and promotion of dark tourism destinations but also to engage with the dark tourist online in a meaningful and significant way thereby also establishing a relationship with such tourists and enhancing their level of experience. Secondly, the chapter addresses the world of mobile applications and how to cater to the ever-growing appetites of those tourists who increasingly use their smartphones and tablets to stay connected. Harnessing such technologies as geo-location, augmented reality and gamification through mobile devices to provide new ways and new forms of interpretive information for the dark tourist that will inform, engage and immerse them in a whole new level of experience. Thirdly the concept of blogs and related online forums receives attention, focusing on how such digital platforms can foster and develop information sharing and research collaboration in the realm of dark tourism. Throughout all three dimensions examples of good practice will be highlighted as well as how the technology is evolving for the future. The chapter concludes by outlining insights that could help to inform new strategic directions for developing dark tourism much more effectively in the digital world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave MacMillian Handbook of Dark Tourism Studies
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Print)978-1-137-47565-7
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 8 Mar 2018


  • dark tourism
  • digital tourism
  • social media
  • tourism experience
  • mobile applications


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