Recently, Thanatotourism has become a common term in travelers’ circles. The word, registered for the first time in 1996 by the professor Philip Stone, refers mainly to death and tragedy.
However, it has another meaning related to the so-called “dark or black tourism”. The motivation is to know the strange, negative energy or suffering side contained in the history of certain (and probably terrific) places.
Nowadays, travel agencies are booking tours focused in these experiences, and Peru is adopting the trend. For example, some tourists go to visit the Place of Memory, Tolerance and Social Inclusion, commemorating the victims of the internal armed conflicts that hit the country between 1980 and 2000. According to experts, this people want to know or understand a place and its stories, to think deeply about them and don’t repeat them in the future. Thanatotourism connects with violence by mankind, or nature, to have a new and wide open vision of the world.
“There is a need to have new adventures. This (type of tourism) leads people to reflect on the facts of death”, explained Inés Vicuña, professor of the course Management of Travel Agencies of the San Martín de Porres University, to Diario Correo.
Cemeteries are commonly included in travel plans for tourists. In the “Presbítero Matías Maestro” Cemetery, different events are scheduled, such as night tours and paranormal activities simulations. Áncash is another favorite destination, because of the disaster caused by an earthquake in 1970. 70.000 people died and the city was buried.