Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on special interest tourism. Dark Tourism, on the other hand, is the tourism to sites of tragedy, says John Lennon (2005). Human beings have a liking to travel to places of tragedy where they come close to death knowing fully well that they are far away from whatever that was causing it. This according to Lennon (2005), happens because of a mix of reverence, voyeurism or may be a thrill of coming into close proximity with death. In addition to this, special interest would also include sports, mountaineering, technology interests and very other specific interest zones which one might not find in the course of normal tourism. Dark tourism is a specific case of special interest tourism.
Special Interest Tourism caters to the needs of specific groups. According to Douglas et al (2001), it normally starts with the individual. When the individual is interested in a specific topic, she tends to start off a group interested in the special zones. The senior tourism that is also one of the special interest tourisms is specifically made for the seniors and their interests. This tourism might be to places of pilgrimage and then of course, those places that are related to their childhood and growth. Every kind of special interest tourism has relevance to the person concerned. Therefore, the reason behind special interest tourism is identifiable and the flow of tourists is also predictable to a great extent. Special interest tourism on Music is a common liking in Europe. Many English who are interested in music take on such a tour to visit all those historic sites of music and try to relive the glorious days of the yore. A similar thing happens with art, adventure or many such sports. Special Interest Tourism, says Tsartas et al (2005), is really a marketing segmentation created by the travel industry to highlight specific selling points. Secondly, this Special Interest Tourism is also aimed at providing the best possible service to the tourists. The satisfaction gained by the tourists is particularly better with Special Interest Tourism because of the reason that the groups of people will be having related targets and their requirements will be in line with the needs of the others in the group. All this would help the organiser to provide better service and at the end ensure that the individual tourist is happier.
This ‘satisfaction’ also arises from the fact that every tourist has a purpose behind the visit that he or she makes. If the person has to get back satisfied then this interest has to be identified and has to be catered to. Most of the tours therefore, once the specific interest is identified, become a special interest tour meeting the needs of the specific tourist or group. This makes almost all the tours that are conducted as something ‘special’ and there could always be areas that need to be taken care of. This brings into focus the need for further research in this segment and the need to work more on this to understand and appreciate the need for the special interest tours, particularly, in the case of small businesses (Page et al, 1999).
2. How according to Douglas(2001) might Dark Tourism be described as being complex
Douglas et al (2001) assert that dark tourism is a complex interaction of multiple emotions and feelings.