The world's first research centre for 'Dark Tourism' has launched the UK at the University of Central Lancashire.
In short, the 'Dark Tourism' phenomenon is "travel associated with death, tragedy and disaster". As such the centre will focus its studies on why the public are so fascinated by visiting places such as Auschwitz, Chernobyl and Ground Zero.
Currently, the area is under-researched and the Institute for Dark Tourism Research (iDTR) hopes to become a global 'hub' of research on the subject. It will also help those who manage and promote dark tourism sites and exhibitions.
Dr Stone who will head up the iDTR has previously conducted research into Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ground Zero, the Body Worlds exhibitions, the London Dungeon and Chernobyl.
He said: “Dark tourism is a compelling subject that draws people in, attracting us to visit macabre sites and ultimately leading us to explore our own mortality.
“UCLan is proud to host the world’s first academic centre for dark tourism research. We hope the iDTR will act as a global hub for these studies, attracting experts from around the world to help further our understanding of how dark tourism impacts on society from a cultural, historical and political perspective.”
(Image: Tourists at Chernobyl, Auschwitz concentration camp, both from Rex Features)