1st Edition

Children, Young People and Dark Tourism

    322 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    322 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book is the first its kind to offer an innovative examination of the intersecting influences, contexts, and challenges within the field of children’s dark tourism. It also outlines novel conceptualizations and methods for scholarship in this overlooked field.

    Presently, tourism research, and in dark tourism specifically, relies primarily on adult-centered theories and data collection methods. However, these approaches are inadequate for understanding and developing children’s experiences and perspectives. This book seeks to inform and inspire research on children’s experiences of dark tourism. Designed to appeal to students and scholars, it brings together insights from leading experts. The book focuses on five themes, to explore the conceptual and historic origins of children’s dark tourism, developmental contexts, child perspectives, specific contexts relevant to children’s encounters, and methodological approaches.

    This book is aimed at an international array of scholars and students with inherent research interests in the contemporary commodification of death and ‘difficult heritage’ within the visitor economy. Thus, the book will provide a multi-disciplinary scope within the fields of history, heritage studies, childhood studies, psychology, education, sociology, human geography, and tourism studies. The volume is primarily intended for undergraduate and postgraduate study, as well as scholars and tourism professionals.

    List of Tables

    List of Figures

    List of Contributors



    Chapter 1: 'Seen but not heard': Children in (Dark) Tourism Research Agendas – Philip R. Stone

    Chapter 2: Young Tourists’ Experiences at Dark Tourism Sites: Toward a Conceptual Framework – Mary Margaret Kerr, Philip R. Stone, and Rebecca H. Price

    Chapter 3: The Youngest Tourists: Early Childhood Considerations and Challenges – Sue Dockett

    Chapter 4: School-Aged Tourists: Pre-Adolescent and Adolescent Considerations and Challenges – Timothy M. Wagner

    Chapter 5: Development of Death Concepts: Childhood and Adolescence: Considerations

    for Tourist Experience and Research – Andrea Croom and Gopika Rajanikanth

    Chapter 6: Young Tourists with Disabilities: Considerations and Challenges - Cristina Restrepo-Harner, Kristen Marsico, and Mary Margaret Kerr

    Chapter 7: Interpretation For Children: Turning Horror and Hurt Into Healing and Hope - Roy Ballantyne, Jan Packer, Karen Hughes and Tobias Broughton

    Chapter 8: Understanding Children’s Visits to Difficult Heritage Sites: Children’s Sense of Place – R. Scott Marsh

    Chapter 9: Difficult Heritage and the Digital Child: Challenges and Opportunities – Gregory J. Wittig

    Chapter 10: ‘Why is it so fun to be scared?’ Entertainment in Dark Tourism – Margee Kerr

    Chapter 11: ‘Edutainment’ in Dark Tourism: Towards a Child’s Perspective – Daniel W. M. Wright

    Chapter 12: ‘Deconstructing Dark History and Difficult Heritage’: Engaging High School Students in the Use of Historiographical Analysis Techniques – Michael Lovorn

    Chapter 13: School Trips: A Unique Form of Student Learning for Dark Tourism Studies – Laura M. Burns and Daniel E. Keller

    Chapter 14: Young People and Dark Commemorative Events: The Centenary of World War One in Australia – Jennifer Frost and Warwick Frost

    Chapter 15: Identity and Belonging in a Dark Heritage Destination: Perspectives from Local Children – Antonia Canosa and Rebecca H.Price

    Chapter 16: Ethical Research with Children and Young People: Addressing Complexities in (Dark) Tourism – Rebecca H. Price

    Chapter 17: Research Methods for Studying Young Tourist Experiences – Mary Margaret Kerr, Rebecca Price, and Gopika Rajanikanth

    Chapter 18: Research Collaborations with Schools – Mary Margaret Kerr, Cecilia Greene, and R. Scott Marsh

    Chapter 19: Co-Research with Youth: A Conceptual Model and Case Study – Rebecca H. Price, Mary Margaret Kerr, and Gopika Rajanikanth

    Chapter 20: Epilogue – Philip R. Stone



    Mary Margaret Kerr is Professor of Health and Human Development at the University of Pittsburgh, where she founded the Children and Dark Tourism research project. Dr. Kerr’s internationally recognized team, which includes youth as researchers, studies the experiences of young tourists at dark tourism sites. In addition to contributing her expertise on youth coping with mass trauma, Dr. Kerr has pioneered research in child-centered research methods for the tourism field, which historically has overlooked children and youth.

    Philip R. Stone is Executive Director of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research at the University of Central Lancashire (UK). He is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of 'dark tourism’ and ‘difficult heritage' and has published extensively about the subject. Philip is also a media consultant on dark tourism, with clients including the BBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post. His latest book, the first-ever tourist guidebook dedicated to dark tourism – 111 Dark Tourism Places in England You Shouldn’t Miss (2021) – brings dark tourism scholarship to the public market.

    Rebecca H. Price writes about the novice researcher experience. She frequently collaborates across disciplines and settings to explore how individuals seek answers to their questions. Her work can be found in library, education, and tourism outlets.