Don’t promote ‘Dark Tourism’ during ad campaign

November 18, 2009 | By | Filed Under Letters 

Dear Editor,
I have said it just recently that I am optimistic that we will eventually witness a decision to finally acknowledge the lives lost during the Jonestown Tragedy (November, 18, 1978) and lo and behold, the GT featured report dated Sunday, November 15, 2009 stated that the Tourism Minister has plans of constructing a Jonestown Site by promoting “Dark Tourism.”
I beg to differ on the type of tourism he plans on showcasing to potential visitors because I view the tragedy as a ‘grief period’ and in recent times we have been promoting a dark image. It will only be adding insult to injury.
Whatever is the outcome, just don’t use the term mentioned above during any marketing campaign.
As much as I feel it is a good venture, it is my opinion that the final word of the planning and execution of this project will have to come from The Office of the President. However, if it becomes a reality, the entire tourism fraternity would have to be involved for their expertise.
A major task for such a venture would be to assign a research team in retrieving and preserving items from the site, and my suggestion would be to network with the Smithsonian Institution in the USA and the Preservation Committee of the Nazi Extermination Camp at Auschwitz in Poland for guidance in the construction of a memorial site.
One never knows, but Oprah might someday have an interest to feature a report story of the tragedy and memorial site during one of her broadcast like she did on the NEC at Auschwitz in Poland.
T. Pemberton

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