The majority of you reading this paper will know the answer to that. Because on this frightful day the terrorist attacks in New York happened and have left a mark in history forever. This paper will see if 9/11 attacks have affected tourism and how ground zero is now a dark tourism site.
The last few decades the tourism industry has become increasingly threatened by terrorism as they have become more frequent and the extent to such attacks have become more severe and serious. Many academics like (Krackover 2005) found that 'the severer the war /terror climate the lower the international visitor demand. He also found that tourists last an average of two months in reacting to increased terror attacks. Arana and Leon (2008) showed that when terrorists events are not repeated the industry can recover in six to twelve month period it was shown that one month after September 11th absolute effects has dissolved. (Pizam and Fleischer 2002) investigated the lasting effect of tourism and those areas that have repeated terrorist attacks have a more detrimental effect on the tourism industries than those not repeated.
Media involvement also has a massive impact on the perception of safety of a country as (Henderson 2003) suggest when September 11th happened the 'fear generated was exaggerated by extensive publicity… meaning heightened perception of risk and (could) seriously damage the tourism industry in that area.' As all those involved in tourism: - hotels, travel agents etc avoid high risk areas. Arana and Leon (2008) conducted a study suggesting that impacts can be limited if 'destinations can anticipate and prevent major incidents, terror attacks, and their consequences. Joan and Henderson (2003) also suggest that 'tourism marketing and development agencies have a pivotal role in these times of crisis and must deal with the immediate consequences while deciding upon future objectives.
Dark tourism has been growing for years now but why? (Sharply 2009) suggests that 'in Western Europe we don't encounter death as it has been removed from our everyday lives so maybe we want to reconnect with death', or that death is so common in other countries we find it fascinating that we live so differently.
The nature of ground zero in regard to a dark tourism site is that of a very different of place compared with places like Robben Island and Auschwitz. They could be because the wounds from 9/11 are still raw and in years to come it will hold the same recognition as other dark tourism attractions. One would suggest that Ground Zero falls under the 'Dark Shrines' an ideology extracted from Shapley's dark tourism spectrum. These are sites 'which essentially 'trade 'on the act of remembrance and respect for the recently deceased.' Shrine, attraction or not there is still going to be an influx of people fleeing to that area of Manhattan so why not manage this amount of people properly allowing the tourism industry to thrive on this unfortunate success.
New York officials did not want to market ground zero as a tourist attraction but people visiting were doing so anyway so they had to protect Lower Manhattan from tourism traffic. To do this they need to manage tourism numbers. If people are going to visit regardless why not make the space into something beautiful where people can mourn and remember the event on that frightful day.
September the 11th is a mark in history and people for years and years and years will want to visit Ground Zero tourist attraction or not so if managing it as a tourist attraction will improve by improving infrastructure to protect the surrounding area then surely this is the best option for New York.
It is understandable the people of New York want to show peace and honour to those that lost their life but if having a public spectacle the way to do it? One would argue that September 11th attacks affected the world so the world has every right to visit Ground Zero to pay respects, but there will always be people that will disagree and feel it is insensitive to the victims' families and the citizens of New York. My view is that there will be millions of tourists visiting New York to visit Ground Zero regardless of protocol and organisations. So for further safety and protection of the New York people these tourists need to be managed. And is their really any harm in making money to put back into the broken city. It cost so much to clean up the area and recover in every way although it won't bring back those whose lives were taking at least they didn't lose their names in vein and some good has come from such a terrible day.
Boham, C. Edmonds, C. Mak, J. (2006) The Impact of 9/11 and other Terrible Global Events on Tourism in the U.S and Hawaii Economic series No. 87 East-West-Centre: Hawaii
Bianchi, R. and J. Tribe (2006) Tourism and the globalisation of fear: analysing the politics of risk and (in) security in global travel. Tourism and hospitality research 7, 1, 64-74
Pizam, A., and A. Fleischer (2002) Severity vs. frequency of acts of terrorism: which has a larger impact on tourism demand? Journal of travel research, Vol 40 pp 337-339