Mexico sees spike in ‘Dark Tourism’

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TRAVEL GAZETTE – Mexico, with its rich cultural heritage and traditions related to death, has become a fertile ground for “dark tourism,” a Mexican scholar has said .

Dark tourism, which offers experiences linked to death, risks and disasters, is growing every year and has become a genuine tourist sector, Alvaro Lopez Lopez, a tourism researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico told a press release.

Lopez Lopez, who is currently trying to track dark tourism in all forms in Mexico, believes that dark tourism helps remove social taboos and fears of people about visiting places once considered unthinkable.

Another tourist attraction is to feel the experience of being an illegal immigrant, said Lopez Lopez. In the town of Ixmiquilpan, Hidalgo, one company offers “night walks,” where tourists can pretend to be illegal immigrants trying to cross the U.S. border, with locals acting as guards or people smugglers.

The terrain is rough, the trip is uncomfortable and throughout the experience, tourists are insulted, searched and roughed up by the actors.

There is also growing interest in exploring sites linked to drug trafficking, he said.

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