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The Daily Volcano Quote: ethical problems in volcano tourism 14 June 2011

Posted by admin in daily volcano quote.

Viewing volcano tourism through a dark spectrum lens raises some interesting ethical questions. For example, how soon after a major eruption is it acceptable to put on display the remnants of a disaster that has caused loss of life? In the case of Pompeii, several millennia have passed since the deaths of the town’s inhabitants and any ethical or moral outrage at treating those deaths as spectacle has passed by. Similar behaviour at the site of a very recent disaster would be considered ghoulish at best, but would attract some tourists.

N. Petford, J. Fletcher & Y. Morakabati, ‘On the economics and social typology of volcano tourism with special reference to Montserrat, West Indies’, in Patricia Erfurt-Cooper & Malcolm Cooper (eds.), Volcano and Geothermal Tourism: Sustainable Geo-resources for Leisure and Recreation (London: Earthscan, 2010), p. 92.

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1. Andrew Cooper - 14 June 2011

On the other hand those tourists can bring money into an area that may sorely need some business opportunities and employment. Money that can greatly aid in recovery from the disaster.

Just so long as visitors are not hindering any recovery efforts or in danger from further eruptive activity?

2. parclair - 15 June 2011

I just wanted to say how valuable you are to the discussion about volcanos. It’s really great to have you back in action!

3. admin - 15 June 2011

Thanks Parclair!

Andrew, that’s a fair point: it’s a balancing act. ‘Tourism’ under the those conditions can be a positive thing, if properly managed.

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