'Welcome to the home of Auschwitz tours': The online marketing of genocide tourism
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This chapter explores the online promotion by private tour operators of the World War Two Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau in southern Poland. The chapter contributes to understanding how genocide is commoditised by private enterprise, revealing some of the techniques used to transform ‘atrocity’ into ‘attraction’. Data for the chapter was obtained through content analysis of a sample of twenty five commercial tour operators’ websites. Results indicated that a hard sell approach, focused on price, comfort and convenience dominated the majority of the twenty five sampled companies and that companies provide sparse information on the camp itself, with little attempt made to foster experience. Implications for management, which may arise from increased commodification, are outlined, as the chapter notes further potential threat to the memory of the camp. The chapter highlights the lack of ethical and moral considerations when promoting Auschwitz-Birkenau by private tour operators, resolving that ownership of the camp’s memory may come under further threat without intervention.
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