Motivations for War-related Tourism: A Case of DMZ Visitors in Korea

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Résumé: Motivations des voyageurs en zones de conflit: le cas des visiteurs de la zone démilitarisée de Corée

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Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment




War is one of the world's great tragedies, but it is clear that the history and social outcomes of war as a human experience and event as well as the indirect outcomes of warfare – artefacts, nostalgia, reunions and physical sites with broader historical or environmental significance – serve as resources that can be positioned to stimulate tourism in formerly war-torn regions. The purpose of this study was to analyse the motivations of visitors to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and examine those findings relative to a review of conceptual research related to identifying the motivations for travel to war-related tourism destinations. An onsite survey was designed and administered to Japanese tourists at the DMZ. The results indicate that five factors could be delineated from thirty-eight DMZ motivations using a factor analysis: opposing political regime; knowledge/appreciation of history, culture, and security; curiosity/adventure; war and consequences; and nature-based tourism. In comparison to a push–pull theory-based framework of ten conceptualized domains of war-tourism-related motivations, three factors indicate a basis in pull forces, one factor in push force motivations, and one factor exhibits both pull and push force characteristics. Managerial implications, which suggest future research directions, are identified and discussed in the conclusion.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Tourism Geographies: An International Journal of Tourism Space, Place and Environment on Jul 16, 2010, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14616688.2010.494687.