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Dark Tourism Within The Tourism Industry Tourism Essay

The topic of this essay will discuss dark tourism within the tourism industry and what motivates tourists to visit this place


The aim of this essay is to discuss the relevance and appropriateness of different approaches of research in the researchers chosen subject area (dark tourism) and what motivates tourist or visitors to visit this place. There is different research method. In other words, the researcher will be using different approaches to evaluate and analyse them. In addition, the essay will discuss and critically evaluate the available resource in the subject area example by using qualitative research or quantitative research, primary and secondary research, inductive and deductive approach, positivist or phenomenological approach and ethnography. Furthermore, the researcher will justify why this approach has been taken this into consideration or chosen and not the other approaches. Firstly, the literature of this essay will define research, qualitative research, and quantitative research. Secondly, this essay will define dark tourism and validity. And finally, conclusion will be summarised.

There are different definitions for research methods, quantitative research and qualitative research. According to Sekaran (1994, p. 4) quoted in Finn et al (2000, p.2) he defines research as “a systematic and organised effort to investigate a specific problem that needs solution”. Whilst Elias (1986, p.20) cited in Veal (2006, p. 2) argues it as “The aim, as far as I can see, is the same in all science. Put simple and cursorily, the aim is to make known something previously unknown to human beings. It is to advance human knowledge, to make it more certain or better fitting… The aim is discovery”.

Veal also Define quantitative approach as “to research involves statistical analysis. It relies on numerical evidence to draw conclusions or to test hypotheses. To be sure of the reliability of the results it is often necessary to study relatively large numbers of people and to use computers to analyse the data. The data may be derived from questionnaire surveys, from observation involving counts, or from secondary sources”.

Adding to that, Veal also defines the qualitative approach as “research is generally not concern with numbers. It involves gathering a great deal of information about a small number of people rather than a limited amount of information about large number of people”.

As the researcher said earlier, there are different definitions for quantitative and qualitative research, here are some other definitions form another author. Brent and Goeldner (2003, p, 487) define qualitative research as “the foundation on which strong, reliable research programs are based. It is most often the first step in a research program – the step designed to uncover motivation, reasons, impression, perception, and ideas that relevant individuals have about a subject of interests. Unlike more quantitative methods of research, qualitative research involves talking in depth and detail with few individuals. The goal is to develop extensive information from a few people”. The author also defines quantitative as” a type of research; the goal is to develop important-but limited- information from each individual and to talk with a sizable number of individuals in order to draw inferences about the population at large. The characteristic of qualitative research, on the other hand, includes small samples, extensive information from each other respondent, and a search for meaning, ideas and relevant issues to quantify in later steps of the research program”.

‘Dark tourism’ is a different type of tourist attraction. It is the act of travel and visitation to sites of death, disaster and the seemingly macabre. Tourists flock to experience sites of past terror that offer up grim and disturbing tragedies” (www.citypaper). Howie (2003, p. 325) argues that dark tourism can be define as “a term coined by Lennon and Foley(2000) for tourism motivated by a desire to visit places associated with death and catastrophe such as famous assassination sites, for example where president Kennedy was shot in Dallas, Texas, or the concentration camps in Europe and Holocaust memorial in Israel”.

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Dark tourism has been very important because is the time people remember their loves ones who has been dead through war. Tourist or visitors intend to visit the darker side of tourism from all over the world and for different reasons for example because of curiosity and maybe something they have heard before. Dark tourism includes some of the most famous places in the world to visit. It is obvious that most tourists travel because they are very interested in seeing the dark side of tourism such as the death and disaster which occurred in countries such as country France, Belgium and Germany where soldiers died in the wars. This dark tourism issue has caused a lot of discussion as to why people do this in among academics.

Research in the field of dark tourism has not been very important until the early nineteen seventies; it began to spread only since that time. Marketing research is a broad concept including various techniques, but a main distinction should be made between quantitative and qualitative research methods. As said early Quantitative techniques describe variables by assigning a number – representing an attitude, opinion or motivation- which can be statistically analysed. In contrast, qualitative research focuses on attitudes, opinions and motivations in the words of each respondent, but without quantifying it. Quantitative methods have always dominated in tourism, as it often appears as more reliable, since it is based on facts that can be observed, and then analysed.

This paper will focus on the quantitative correlation study method used in survey based researches. Social research is a collection of methods people use to systematically combine theories and ideas to produce knowledge. Because of its complexity, researchers must be able to carefully select a method or methods that will best suit their study objectives. Quantitative research methods consist of: experiment, content analysis, existing statistics (correlation), and survey. The correlation and survey will be the two main methods that will be emphasized. In a survey research, people are asked questions either through the use of questionnaires or during an interview. Unlike the experiment approach, the condition and situation in a survey requires no manipulation. All the subjects have to do is to answer questions. Good quantitative research is determined by validity and reliability of the research method used.

Quantitative research is a technique for comparing relationship between time, weight, size and performance. The purpose of quantitative market research is to have an increased understanding of the product ‘First Fruit’. This research is numerically oriented and requires attention of consumers as well. For example – an insurance company may ask its customers to rate its overall service as excellent, good, poor, very poor. Quantitative data consist of numbers representing counts or measurements (e.g., height, weights, salaries, etc.). Quantitative data can be further divided into discrete data or continuous data. Discrete data result from either a finite number of possible values or a countable number of possible values. Continuous data result from infinitely many possible values that can be associated with points on a continuous scale in such a way that there are no gaps are interruptions.

However, qualitative techniques have become to be more commonly used for the last decade. Each technique has obviously specific advantages and drawbacks; that is why it is necessary to examine both in different contexts, especially in tourism research. As Alf H. Walle reported in his report called “Quantitative versus Qualitative Research in Tourism”, “plurality of equally valid research strategies exist within tourism. Choice must be thus determined according to the situation in which the research takes place.”

Grounded Theory is still very relevant today as it is the main form of rigorous and rule-governed qualitative methods. Even if it attempts to maintain positivist rigor, a high degree of Modernism can be reached through this technique. As both quantitative and qualitative research methods have advantages and drawbacks. To evaluate this problem and overcome the limitations, the principal solution appears to be the use of both methods in the same time, according to the situation. As Miller and Crabtree pointed out, different levels of “intensity” can be reached in tourism research, this “intensity” being defined as the “degree to which qualitative methods are associated with quantitative methods”.

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The canonical correlation analysis is based on the same principle, but it uses multiple dependent variables, thus enlarging the scope of research. However, both methods have the same limitations: omitted variables may be correlated with existing ones, and the environmental conditions are likely to change. On the other hand, factor analysis and collecting analysis are two other important quantitative techniques that can be useful for tourism research methods. Factor analysis’s goal is to identify the underlying dimension in data and to reduce the number of variables by eliminating redundancy. Validity also helps produce the desire result the researcher is looking for. Validity can define as “the extent to which the information collected by the researcher truly reflects the phenomenon being studied” veal (2006, p.41). In tourism research there are different approaches targeting the audience when researching. The primary sources of these methods have largely come from sociology and anthropology”. Since that time, qualitative techniques have developed, but the sharpest rise in qualitative publications has really occurred in the nineteen eighties, the main reason for that being that figures can’t explain all the situations, especially in a field such as tourism.

Besides, decision behaviours are always depending on two main elements that should not be forgotten: firstly, task factors include the number of alternative and attributes, time pressure, response mode and information format. Secondly, Context factors refer to the similarity of the options in a choice, the quality of the choice set, as well as reference points and framing. This report also considers qualitative techniques as inadequate because of the extra time, effort and skill required; besides the model tested may in this case be incompletely or inadequately specified. Most researchers use different approaches of researching as has been said before, for example a focus group. Using a focus group also help analyse what the research is about and also gives broad ideas of another audience. Additionally, it also helps identify what people want and love to do in a tourism organisation. Researchers conduct focus group so that they can know the perception of their opinion, attitude or behaviours towards something. Focus group is a unique method of qualitative research in discussing issues with group of people. According to lia (2003, p.1) a focus group is defined as a “small structured group with selected participant, normally led by a moderator. They are set up in other groups to explore specific topic, and individual views and experiences through group interaction” a focus group is intended to be a collection of data from audience and also having individual interviews for example face to face interviews. On the other hand, a focus group has a limitation of analysing a topic. A Focus group can very be difficult in terms of gathering all the information taken from a target audience. As Monique (2007, p. 10) argues that “despite popular belief, focus group research is not a cheap and quick exercise; it requires a great of preparation, organisation, and time to collect, manage and analyse and the data”. The sample size is usually small, and there is a large use of non-probability sampling methods, meaning that results can’t be generalized to the whole population, they are just reliable for the sample concerned. Descriptive methods summarize some aspects of the environment, they only describe but without looking for the cause and effect of relationships. Surveys with questionnaires are the main way to collect data, they can be achieved face-to-face or by indirect means such as mail, phone, fax or the Internet. This usually takes a long time, but a large sample can be used easily. Finally, causal research establishes a cause-effect link between variables.

In each case, the main strength of projective techniques is that respondents are more willing to give answers that they wouldn’t have given if they knew the purpose of the study, especially when the subject is personal or difficult. What’s more, it can reveal motivations or attitudes at a subconscious level. Yet, these methods require highly trained interviewers and skilled interpreters, as they are open ended techniques that can thus be difficult to interpret. Finally, other qualitative methods can be used to explain the reasons and motivations underlying in people’s decisions.

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Moreover, there are different ways of research in terms of academic working. Researcher mostly use the following ways, referencing usually when we paraphrase or summarize someone else opinion. Books, journals, video, personal interview, emails and many more are some of the sources that researchers use. Qualitative research can be used to enhance quantitative work. Finally, in qualitative research it can lead to theological sampling. As quoted from (Manson 1996:93-4) in Long (2007, p.42) said, “theoretical sampling means selecting groups or categories to study on the …basis of their relevance to your question , your theoretical position…and most importantly the explanation or account which you are developing…[using] criteria which help to develop and test your theory and explanation. The researcher is going to identify some side effect or complication of secondary research. According to veal (2006, p.148) he argues that are advantage and disadvantage of using secondary data to analyse research. Some of the advantages can be, “timing- data maybe instantly available, cost of collecting new data avoided and disadvantages can be secondary data that has been designed for another purpose so it may be not be ideal for the current project”.

A clear link with this essay summarise up the importance of why visitors or tourist visit the darker side of tourism. It has now become clear that, tourists have their own interest and what motivates them to visit this place which there is no doubt for that. Additionally, the researcher focuses on different approaches of research and picked one approach to research the dark tourism.

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