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The Paradox of Conflict Tourism: The Commodification of War or Conflict Transformation in Practice?

Tourism and International Relations
Feargal Cochrane

Tourism in the aftermath of war is an inherently political endeavor, pre- senting both challenges and opportunities for societies emerging from violent conflict. This relates in part to the fact that tourism inevitably collides with the legacy of conflict and frames its narrative, while at the same time providing new resources that, while likely to be contested, are also much needed. In fact, over time, the conflict itself can become absorbed into a consumable tourist commodity that sanitizes the conflict into a form of heritage. This can lead to perceptions that the visceral, painful, and traumatic experience of violent conflict is being cheapened and airbrushed into an anodyne form that misrepresents the actual lived experience of conflict.