Local community perspectives towards dark tourism development: The case of Snowtown, South Australia

Sang Kim, Gareth Butler

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    41 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper critically examines the perspectives of a local community towards dark tourism development. Based on the infamous case of the Snowtown murders in South Australia, this preliminary study observes the local community's perception towards dark tourism development and adopted a qualitative methodology using observation and interview. The findings revealed that attitudes towards the development of dark tourism varied considerably depending on residents' length of immersion in the area. Whilst long-term residents were predominantly against the development of tourism involving Snowtown's recent dark past, others, particularly those that had moved to the area after the perpetrators of the Snowtown murders were caught (post-1999), were welcoming of the idea. The study posits that official tourism bodies in South Australia need to respond to the demand for dark tourism in Snowtown and provide the area with appropriate tourism infrastructure. However, due to the highly contrasting resident opinions towards dark tourism, it is also imperative that they consult the local community in future decision-making processes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)78-89
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of Tourism and Cultural Change
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015


    • benefits
    • dark tourism
    • infamous murders
    • local community
    • Snowtown
    • tourism development


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