How can travel destinations deal with the tragic heritage of slavery? One of the fastest-growing segments of specialty tourism is thanatourism, which concentrates on violent death. One variant is tourism centered around plantation slavery. Slavery, Contested Heritage, and Thanatourism explores the dilemmas facing the visitors as well as the owners, managers, and interpreters of tourist attractions that focus on plantation slavery. If the owners ignore the past they will be accused of cover up. If they wish to portray the truth of this shameful period of human history, complete with all its contradictions, whose version do they represent? After an original and thought-provoking introductory chapter that highlights the contradictions associated with converting infamous history into the pleasure of tourism, the remainder of the book presents previously unpublished case studies of slave history sites in the United Kingdom, Ghana, Barbados, and the United States. Slavery, Contested Heritage, and Thanatourism analyzes the attitudes of tourism providers and tourists, which range from historical amnesia, moonlight-and-magnolia romantic nostalgia, and postmodern plantation variety shows to a genuine quest for roots. Slavery, Contested Heritage, and Thanatourism explores the implications of all aspects of slave tourism. This thoughtful book: * maps the collection and delivery points of human cargo in Africa, the New World, and Great Britain * analyzes tourism literature and souvenirs for their implicit attitudes toward race and slavery * discusses the British museum exhibits on the abolition movement and the slave trade * analyzes the primary and secondary economic effects of slavery * discusses the ramifications of ignoring and acknowledging slavery * suggests avenues for further research into the attitudes of thanatourists This groundbreaking book explores the cultural and economic significance of slavery heritage as a tourism development field. In so doing, it raises a number of troubling issues concerning the display of tourist attractions that are connected to historical events associated with violence, oppression, and disaster. With plentiful illustrations and comprehensive references, Slavery, Contested Heritage, and Thanatourism offers thoughtful research and astute advice for the management, interpretation, and visitation of slavery tourism sites that may lead to a substantial change in current ideas and practices.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd