July 12: Marketing and Consumer Studies Professor Researches Dark Tourism

Posted on Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Brent MacKenzie, Associate Professor in the Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies, caught the eye of a reporter from Guelph Mercury who recently discovered his research topic, "Dark Tourism in HELL," while exploring various research interests at the University of Guelph.

Although the University of Guelph is known for its advanced knowledge in agriculture, many of its scholars are known globally for an array of interests and expertise that have nothing to do with putting food on your table. Brent MacKenzie received $3,800 in research funding last year, which helped him explore a darkly fascinating subject.

“I started learning about this thing called Dark Tourism, which is basically visiting sites that have something to do with death, the macabre or dark aspects of history,” McKenzie explained.

The HELL in his research title stands for Hungary, Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia — his dark tourism region of specialty. The subject is part of his broader expertise in marketing practices in transition economies, particularly those of the Baltic States.

“Part of the interest for a lot of people is experiencing death without obviously experiencing death,” he said, speaking of the trend. “And it’s the novelty. People want to say they’ve done things that others haven’t.”

Complete article in the Guelph Mercury. 



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