Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Public Administration (DPA)


Public Policy and Administration

Committee Chairperson

Michelle Wade, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Amanda Olejarski, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jeremy Phillips, Ph.D.


The role of government in dark tourism is currently unclear. Public sector employees find themselves in a challenging position where they must establish how to deal with locations that have a dark history. Should these places be condemned, have minimal government interference, or have active involvement from government officials? By examining visitor motivation, the aim is to uncover the connection between government and dark tourism from a postmodern perspective with ethical undertones.

A mixed-method approach was utilized with both open and closed-ended questions during the survey process. The quantitative data was run through SPSS, and the way the queries are formatted has resulted primarily in frequencies. For the qualitative responses, coding has flagged reoccurring themes, which were later analyzed. Employing a postmodern intent has allowed for greater insight, even though extensive data limitations were due to COVID-19. Nevertheless, the qualitative data was the most telling as they allowed for more in-depth responses. At the heart of the government’s involvement in dark tourism is the concept of people.

The findings show that further research needs to be concluded on the topic of dark tourism and government. One can make inferences regarding such a sensitive topic, but it would come off as a personal opinion rather than fact. The role of the investigator is to be unbiased. Without taking liberties, an individual would have no choice but irrevocably state that the study is inconclusive.