The inner struggle of visiting ‘dark tourism’ sites: examining the relationship between perceived constraints and motivations

Chunhui Zheng, Jie Zhang, Lili Qian, Claudia A Jurowski, Honglei Zhang, Bingjin Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


Numerous conflicting factors impact the tourism decision process especially as it relates to dark tourism, that is, tourism that focuses on mortality. This research examines the relationships among constraints and motivational factors that affect tourists’ decision to visit the Memorial of the Victims of the Nanjing Massacre in China. Seven dimensions of constraints were revealed with the most important factor being an interest in other leisure activities. Of the three motivational factors discovered, the obligation the respondents feel to visit the site was discovered to be the most important. The major contribution of this research is its analysis of the relationship between motivations and constraints and the discovery that there are both positive and negative relationships between constraint and motivation factors. The most important finding may be that an increase in curiosity motivation may result in a decrease in disinterest constraints but an increase in the strength of the constraint of Chinese cultural perspectives on death and taboos. The findings suggest that the most effective marketing might not focus too much on the development of curiosity but on other motives, such as obligation and education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 18 2016



  • constraints
  • dark tourism
  • death
  • motivations
  • Nanjing Massacre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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