Many places around the world have been turned into dark travel destinations. These are sites that commemorate and remember disasters and atrocities. The common denominator is the fact that people died in unnatural situations here.
This phenomenon is getting more and more popular every year. One of the prime examples of such a destination are definitely Nazi concentration camps. Auschwitz is the first one that comes into the mind of most people, but another one is Dachau in Germany.
Tourism as an Economic Factor for Dachau
As a matter of fact, tourism is a major economic factor for the city of Dachau. This was revealed by a study conducted by the German Economic Institute for Tourism at the University of Munich with regards to tourism figures of the city in 2019.
According to the research, around 2 million tourists came to Dachau in 2019. Around half of them visited the concentration camp memorial and the average length of stay was 2.3 days.
The overall tourism turnover amounted to 76.3 million euros. According to the study, however, it was not only the hospitality industry that attracted visitors, but also other stakeholders – bakers, butchers, breweries and many more.
Limitations of the Dark Travel Destination
What limitations does Dachau have as a tourist destination? According to the study, most tourists who visited the city do not stay overnight in a hotel, but at their friends’ place. The estimated number of these stays is around 200,000 per year.
In contrast, only around 162,000 tourists checked into hotels in 2019. For this reason, Dachau most work on its tourism infrastructure, but also work on the segment of “relatives and acquaintances”, as guests follow the recommendations of the hosts.
In addition, according to the study, ongoing market research is important. Finally, researchers gave Dachau an important recommendation that they should run a “quality offensive”, i.e. not to sell themselves below their value.
And who knows, perhaps if Dachau continues its growth and tourism development, it might not just be considered a prime dark travel destination but can also become an all-round destination for visitors worldwide.