Grief Tourism

Travel to areas affected by natural disasters, places where people were murdered, etc. provides information on travel destinations that were or are popular with grief tourists.

Due to the recent connection between grief tourism and travel to Soham in Cambridgeshire following the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, grief tourism has a negative connotation in England.

In America, grief tourism has been associated with traveling to Ground Zero in New York City, where the World Trade Center was destroyed. Most Americans view a visit to Ground Zero as a patriotic act and grief tourism doesn’t have the same negative connotation in the US as it does in the UK.

While grief tourism is a relatively new word (indeed the usage of grief tourism is rather hard to define because of this newness), the concept it represents is not. For example Holocaust Tourism is nothing new as it includes UNESCO world heritage sites such as Auschwitz and Anne Frank’s House.

Battlefield tourism is another old concept. I remember taking field trips with my elementary school to Gettysburg as we studied Pickett’s charge, one of the bloodiest moments in the US Civil War. Battlefield tourism also includes war memorials such as the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial and the USS Arizona, popular tourist spots even for those who don’t know anyone who died in Vietnam or Pearl Harbor.

Dead celebrity tourism has also been popular for some time. From Princess Diana’s funeral in England to Ronald Reagan’s funeral in America to the scene of John Lennon’s murder, the Dakota Building in New York City, people have a clear fascination with famous dead people.

Clearly then, grief tourism is nothing new and a site is needed to describe the various tourist destinations related to grief tourism worldwide. attempts to fill that void by providing quality travel information and historical context for travel destinations connected to tragedy such as the Peace Memorial Park and Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima, Japan.