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6 Minute English : dark tourism

2014-05-10 14:10[BBC] 来源: 浏览: 次 评论:
Rob: Welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Rob.

Neil: And I'm Neil. Hello.

Rob: Today we’re talking about an unusual type of tourism. Tourism is the business of providing services such as transport, places to stay, or
entertainment for people who are on holiday.

Neil: But instead of providing sunny holidays in a nice hotel by the sea – this is where tourists travel to sites of death, brutality and terror. It's being called
'dark tourism'. Rob, have you ever been to any dark tourist destination – or place?

Rob: Yes. I've visited Auschwitz in Poland – a fascinating trip to an obviously depressing place. And next month I'm planning to go to Chernobyl – the site
of a catastrophic nuclear accident in 1986.

Neil: So these are not your typical sightseeing trips but a visit to places that make you curious because of their significance – their importance – in history?

Rob: Exactly. We'll talk more about this soon but not before I set you today's question. Robben Island in South Africa is one dark tourism destination. It's
where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. Do you know in which year it finally closed as a prison?

a) 1991
b) 1996
c) 1999

Neil: I don't know but I'm going to guess a) 1991 because I think he was released in 1989 and surely they would have shut it down pretty quickly after that.

Rob: I'll reveal the answer later. So let’s talk more about 'dark tourism'. The word 'dark' is used here because it relates to places that are connected with bad or sinister things or things that could be considered morally wrong.

Neil: It's strange to want to visit places like these. There is what we call a morbid fascination – that's showing an interest in things connected with death and destruction. And these kinds of trips are on the increase.

Rob: Yes, there are organised tours to places like Ground Zero in New York, the killing fields in Cambodia and the nuclear power station in Chernobyl.

Neil: And there are the battlefields of World War I and II – and the top security prison of Alcatraz.

Rob: There are also plans to turn the disaster site of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan into a tourist destination – once the radiation is reduced.

Neil: But why do people want to visit these macabre sites? Well I mentioned curiosity and a chance to learn about history – but sometimes people just feel
compelled to visit them.

Rob: But what about the ethics of dark tourism – is it wrong to make this trip? Are we not just exploiting – making money or cashing in on someone's suffering?

Neil: Doctor Phillip Stone is an expert in this subject. He's director of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research. He says this type of tourism isn't new – people have been visiting these types of places for years. He says it's always been there…

Doctor Phillip Stone, Director of the Institute for Dark Tourism Research:
It's not new in the sense that we are fascinated by other death and people's suffering. But
it's how it's packaged up by the tourist industry.

Rob: So he says dark tourism isn't new. In fact a medieval execution was an early form of dark tourism. Maybe it's just human nature that draws us to these
places? Doctor Stone says it's all about how these dark trips are packaged. So it depends how they are sold and how tasteful they are – are they sensitive to the horrors of what has taken place?

Neil: Yes, being able to walk around a historic site or visit a museum is one thing but how about staying in a former prison in Latvia and paying to be treated
like a prisoner? Or how about crawling around Vietnamese war tunnels whilst people fire guns outside?

Rob: Maybe that is taking the experience too far. Doctor Stone says there is a "blurred line between memorialisation and tourism". He means it is hard to
separate going to remember an event and the people who've died with visiting somewhere as part of a holiday.

Neil: Another issue when visiting these places is how you remember your visit – you must be respectful - perhaps taking photos, yes, but should you take a
'selfie'? And should you buy a souvenir or send a postcard home?

Rob: Well you certainly wouldn't write on your postcard 'wish you were here'. Anyway, let's now reveal the answer to the question I set you earlier.

Neil: Yes, this was about the former prison on Robben Island which is now a popular destination for dark tourism.

Rob: I asked you when it finally closed as a prison. Was it in:

a) 1991
b) 1996
c) 1999

Neil: I said 1991.

Rob: And you were wrong actually. It was in 1996. About 350,000 people now visit the site every year – which shows how much interest there is in a place that you would have once never wanted to go near. Is it somewhere you would like to visit Neil?

【看这里~】

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