Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 11, Issue 5, pp 1326–1341 | Cite as

Dark touristic perception: Motivation, experience and benefits interpreted from the visit to seismic memorial sites in Sichuan province

  • Yong TangEmail author


This study investigates the motivations of Chinese domestic tourists visiting seismic memorial sites after the great Wenchuan earthquake of 2008, and examines their interpretation of experiences and benefits of the visits. Recent research on dark tourism has raised the possibility that people are attracted to death and memorial sites in ways different from other tourist attractions. The study used an empirical research design employing questionnaires to collect data from 255 Chinese domestic visitors at seismic memorial sites in west Sichuan. Analysis revealed that the obligation of commemoration mixed with curiosity represents a different set of travel motivation in dark tourism settings than in other kinds of tourism. In addition, the empirical evidence also suggests an interrelated pattern between motivations, experiences and benefits. This study implies that Chinese domestic tourists were attracted in ways different from other tourist attractions both because they tended to fulfill their obligation of commemoration and were interested in destruction; and visitor experiences played an important mediating role between travel motivations and benefits gained.


Dark Tourism Travel Motivation Tourist Perception Chinese Domestic Tourists Seismic Memorial sites Wenchuan earthquake Mountains 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Tourism Development and Management, College of Tourism and Urban-rural PlanningChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina

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