A Study on the Dark Tourism Characteristic and Factors of Success in South Korea: Focus on Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju

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ณิศิรา กายราศ


This article has two objectives: first, to study the important characteristics of dark tourism in the case of Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in the city of Paju; and second, to analyze the critical success factors of dark tourism in this case. By employing the qualitative research method, mainly through document and field research, this paper makes two arguments. First, the multidimensionality of dark tourism is the defining characteristic of dark tourism in Paju. It is an amalgam of the two objectives of transcending the past and perennial political conflict and seeking a suitable way to promote development in the DMZ for better quality of life of the local people. The major approach includes the development of industrial economy under the auspices of the two Koreas and major powers such as the US, China and Russia, tourism and logistics development, the conservation of eco-system, the preservation of cultural heritage, the building of various monuments and the organizing of international peace activities, etc. Second, the factors behind the success of dark tourism in Paju consists of the conciliatory gesture between the two Koreas that helps create friendly and safe tourism environment, the cooperation among multi-stakeholders in developing Paju city, the suitable design of tourism activities blending dark tourism with other dimensions of tourism and the subtle use of the Korean wave to attract foreign tourists to this place.

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