An investigation into the possible reasons why people choose thanatourism experiences and to highlight distinguishing characteristics of visitors to the Imperial War Museum.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this dissertation was to investigate the possible reasons why people choose thanatourism and to highlight distinguishing characteristics of thanatourist visitors to the Imperíal War Museum. A Thanatourist, a phrase first coined by Seaton (1996), is described as a person who visits a site or event that has a connection to death or depravity. The purpose of this study is to firstly identify who participates in thanatourism, secondly to identify the reasoning/ motivations for their visitation. Using a mixture of both qualitative and quantitative methods a questionnaire was constructed and administered to participants who were currently visiting the London Imperial War Museum. The Imperial War Museum was chosen as a site for study as it has a deep connection to death and depravity and receives a high volume of visitors annually which meant that there were more respondents available to take part in the questionnaire, thus a larger sample and more reliable results. It was found that visitors to the museum were slightly more inclined to be male and predominantly between the age of 34 - 45, of white ethnicity, educated and of ABC1 socio-economical grouping. The research found that participants were influenced by the media and new technology and participate in thanatourism for the enjoyment purposes of the site, however it was also found that many people participate to gain a deeper understanding of their family and religious history so that they can discover who they are and their place in today's modern society.
BA (Hons) Leisure and Sports Management
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