From Costa Concordia to the Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight, Tragedy Tourism is on the Rise
The capsized Costa Concordia (Photo: European Commission DG/Flickr)
It’s a new, ghoulish trend — the ultimate rubbernecking — bad news is now establishing unlikely tourist destinations.
The Costa Concordia cruise ship, which ran aground off Italy’s Giglio Island on January 13, 2012, killing 32 people, is such a place.
The stranded vessel became a morbid tourist attraction, and led to an influx of day-trippers who wanted a closer view.
Just one week after the disaster, more than 10 times the usual number of weekend island visitors filled up ferries for a first-hand look, according to a USA Today story at the time.
Costa Concordia onlookers (Photo: Laura Lezza/Getty Images)
The half-submerged craft was advertised in nearby Santo Stefano as “a chance to see the stricken cruise ship as the ferries pass within meters of the Concordia, meaning tourists can take photos of the vessel,” according to the Daily Mail’s report from 2012.
In preparation for this Monday's re-floating of the ship (it's being towed to Genova to be dismantled for scrap), authorities made plans to block the expected onlookers. “To prevent the Concordia-mania’ from interfering with the operation, authorities [established] a security area around the cruise ship,” reported Yahoo News Italy. “Also, a no-fly zone [was] set above the route that the Concordia will follow.”
The Costa Concordia isn’t the first catastrophe to have caused what some call tragedy tourism.
The missing Malaysian Airlines flight has sparked a possible tourism boom. (Photo: Glenn Beltz/Flickr)