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Dark Tourism Research Group Meeting
15 - 16 February, 2018 - Amsterdam, Netherlands

Dark Tourism and Higher Education

(Draft) programme NEW VERSION (13-2-2018) here

Abstract book here



We are happy to announce the first ATLAS SIG Dark Tourism Conference in cooperation with the Institute of Dark Tourism Research (IDTR) to be held February 15-16 at Inholland University in Amsterdam, Netherlands. This Dark Tourism Conference tourism aims to provide a forum for international educators, scholars, researchers, industry professionals, policy-makers, and graduate students to present and evaluate emerging paradigms and discuss pioneering practices within the broader cultural tourism field. Dark tourism is defined as the act of travel to sites of death, disaster, or the seemingly macabre within the visitor economy. As such, the idea of ‘dark tourism’ raises fundamental questions of the interrelationships between the touristic representation of death and the cultural condition of society.

We are seeking conceptual and/or empirical-based papers that seek to shed light on the various aspects of dark tourism and related subjects such as contested heritage, ethics, management and marketing of ‘dark’ venues, education, visitor experiences and management, resource stewardship and positioning these venues in a wider context. The conference will thus attempt to foster progressive approaches within dark tourism studies, rather than to simply reproduce well-rehearsed empirical models and conceptual applications. The overall aim of this track is to present a new agenda for future research and theoretical exposition.

The symposium will be hosted at the Diemen campus of Inholland University and is open to students, researchers, and industry representatives of visitor attractions that might be considered ‘dark tourism’ venues – such as museums, themed attractions, cemeteries, remembrance monuments and battlefields. The aim of the symposium is bring together industry and academia to critically shine a light on the ‘darker side of travel’.


Keynote speakers

Philip Stone

Philip is a former Management Consultant and General Manager and has an extensive commercial background within the UK private sector, which he now combines with social science perspectives to deliver degree education at UCLan.
Philip has a PhD in Thanatology – society’s reactions to and perceptions of mortality. His doctoral thesis appraised the consumption of dark tourism – that is, travel to sites of death, disaster or the seemingly macabre. Philip also has a first class BA(Hons) degree in business management, as well as a Masters degree with distinction in tourism management. Philip is also a qualified teacher and holds a PGCE, as well as having a Higher National Diploma and a Post Graduate Diploma with Distinction.
Philip is a former Tutor at the University of Cambridge, as well as an established Media Consultant on dark tourism. Clients include BBC TV and radio, History Television, The New York Times, The New Scientist, The Guardian, CNN, and a host of other UK and international press, radio, and television outlets.
Philip has also presented at many international conferences, including delivering keynote addresses in the UK, USA, Taiwan, Estonia, Holland, and Germany. Philip has published extensively in the area of 'dark tourism' and heritage and he is co-author/editor of numerous books, including:

  • The Darker Side of Travel: The Theory and Practice of Dark Tourism (Channel View Publications, 2009)
  • Tourist Experience: Contemporary Perspectives (Routledge, 2011)
  • The Contemporary Tourist Experience: Concepts & Consequences (Routledge, 2012).

Institute for Dark Tourism Research

The Institute for Dark Tourism Research (iDTR) at the University of Central Lancashire is a world-leading centre for scholarship into the production and consumption of tourist sites, attractions, and exhibitions of death, disaster, or the seemingly macabre.

The iDTR aims to advance knowledge about the contemporary nature and consequences of dark tourism. The iDTR brings together world-leading scholars who seek to deliver internationally recognised research that contributes to the ethical and social scientific understanding of dark tourism and heritage, as well as to the appropriate development, management, interpretation and promotion of dark tourism sites, attractions, and exhibitions.


Rami Isaac

Born in Palestine, Rami Isaac did his undergraduate studies in The Netherlands, graduate studies in the U.K. and has earned his PhD from University of Groningen, in Spatial Sciences, in The Netherlands. He is currently a senior lecturer in tourism teaching at the undergraduate as well as postgraduate levels at the Academy for Tourism at the NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences in The Netherlands. In addition, he is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Tourism and Hotel Management at Bethlehem University, Palestine. He was the external assessor of Bethlehem TEMPUS (2004-2006) curriculum development project in Palestine in the field of pilgrimage, tourism and cultural industries. Currently he is the President of the Research Committee 50 on International Tourism, International Sociologist Association ISA (2014-2018). His research interests in the area of tourism development and management, critical theory,  and political aspects of tourism. He published numerous articles and book chapters on tourism and political (in)stability, occupation, tourism and war, dark tourism, violence and transformational tourism.


Karel Werdler

Karel Werdler has been involved with dark tourism studies since 2010 and published various articles, book chapters and the first Dutch book on this phenomenon. He holds a BA in geography and history and an MA in history. Before choosing for academia and higher education he was professionally involved in the tourism industry on several continents. At the moment he is a senior lecturer at the department of tourism management studies at Inholland University of Amsterdam/Diemen and also responsible for the external relations of this department. He was a projectleader for various international project such as Nuffic capacity buiding Rwanda (2010-2014), the MDF training project in Mongolia (2009-2010) and a guest lecturer at CETT Barcelona, LSBU London,  ESH Paris, Qingdao University and Shanghai Normal University. He has been a board member of ATLAS Africa since 2003 and a Fellow of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research since 2013 and commissioned over 25 students for their thesis on dark tourism subjects.



Conference themes

Subjects include:

  • Dark tourism
  • Slum Tourism
  • Heritage tourism
  • Memorial tourism
  • Crime-related tourism
  • Fiction/Literature/Movie tourism
  • Ethical tourism
  • Tourist Motivation
  • Tourist Psychology


Abstract submission

All abstracts will be subject to double-blind review by members of the scientific committee. Acceptance of a submission will be based on: theoretical and empirical significance; methodological soundness; relevance to the theme of the conference and logical clarity. The official language of the conference is English.

Abstracts should be submitted to ATLAS by using this FORM before December 1st 2017.

Abstracts should indicate background, theoretical/practical implications, methods and/or data sources and indicative findings of the paper. Abstracts should have between 350-500 words. The title should be no more than 12 words. Authors should also indicate which conference topic their proposed paper relates to.


Important dates

Abstract submission : December 1st, 2017
December 15th, 2017
Notification of acceptance :

December 15th, 2017
December 22th, 2017

Conference : February 15-16th, 2018
Full paper submission : April 15th, 2018



Publication details

Participants are welcome to submit their full papers AFTER the conference. The full paper submission date is the 15th April of 2018.

We are negotiating publishing a book with a publisher. This is dependent on the quality of the papers. Besides a book we have the possibility to publish a thematic issue in the ATLAS Review.


Scientific committee

International Scientific Committee

  • Rami Isaac - NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences - Netherlands
  • Philip Stone - University of Central Lancashire - United Kingdom
  • Karel Werdler - INHOLLAND University - Netherlands


Provisional programme

Amsterdam Inholland University   
February 15-16, 2018

Thursday February 15, 2018
10.00 Arrival delegates, welcome with coffee and tea
10.30 Opening conference by Simone Groen-Roesink, director Tourism Faculty Inholland
10.45 Keynote by Philip Stone
11.30 Coffee break
11.45 Keynote by Rami Isaac
12.30 Lunch
13.30 Break-out sessions
14.30 Coffee break
15.00 Break-out sessions  
16.00 Refreshments
16.15 Break-out sessions
17.15 Drinks at the bar

Friday February 16, 2018

10.00 Arrival delegates, welcome with coffee and tea
10.30 Opening conference and keynote by Karel Werdler
11.15 Break-out sessions
12.15 Lunchbreak
13.15 Break-out sessions
14.15 Closure of conference, final rearks and departure for excursions
Option A - Dark Tourism Walk of Amsterdam, guided by Karel Werdler
Option B - Visit to the Amsterdam Dungeon
Option C - Visit to the Funerary Museum


Optional study visits

There are (limited) free entrance tickets available for paying delegates for the three following optional study visits on Friday.

Option A - A dark Tourism Walk of Amsterdam, guided by Karel Werdler
Option B - Visit to the Amsterdam Dungeon
Option C - Visit to the Funerary Museum

You can register for one of these options upon arrival at the meeting desk.


Conference packages

Packages: ATLAS members Non-Members
  • Conference materials
  • Coffee breaks
  • 2 lunches
  • Study visit Friday
€ 100
€ 150
Doctoral students
  • Conference materials
  • Coffee breaks
  • 2 lunches
  • Study visit Friday
€ 50
€ 50


Cancellation policy

If written cancellation is received on or before February 1st, 2018, a refund of all meeting fees will be made, minus an administration fee of € 50. No refund will be possible after February 1st, 2018, but substitute delegates can be nominated.


Conference venue

Inholland University of Applied Sciences
Fac. for Tourism Management Studies
Wildenborch 6
1112 XB Diemen/Amsterdam
The Netherlands




InHolland Diemen
Wildenborch 6
1112 XB Diemen
The Netherlands

How to get there can be found here:



  • Contact
    Please contact: e-mail
  • Registration
    Submit this form to register for the conference.
  • Abstract submission form
    Submit this form to submit an abstract for the conference.


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