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Abstract

International tourism is a broad and diverse industry that caters to several kinds of tourists. Traditionally, international tourists travel to “must see" destinations, and go through rituals of tourism such as snapping pictures,touring museums, and buying souvenirs. In recent years, newer forms of tourism have emerged such as ecotourism, community-based tourism, and other “alternative or non-traditional forms of tourism. One new, but uncommon, form of tourism is based on conflict. Conflict tourism is a form of dark tourism (tourism relating to death, disaster, destruction, etc.) where the tourist travels to current conflict areas or areas where conflict has occurred. In Northern Ireland there has been surge of conflict tourism (locally known as political tourism) following the end of The Troubles. The Troubles, which I will later describe in depth, was a time of politically and religiously motivated violence that happened in the latter half of the 2oth century in Northern Ireland. This essay will examine what conflict tourism is, and I will recount my experience with it in Northern Ireland in 2009.

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