The first impression of dark tourism is that it is unethical and dehumanizing. The fact that you have chosen a disaster hit site for your holiday vacation is likely to meet with negative responses from the inhabitants who have managed to survive the catastrophe at the cost of losing their near and dear ones and property unless your trip is focused on some constructive mission benefitting the sufferers. As such, thantourism must not always be viewed from a negative angle. In fact, you have a lot of activities that would contribute towards rebuilding a society shattered by a quake, war or civil strife.
Reconstruction is the key word, and the million dollar question is how far you would be prepared to mobilize resources through a combined team effort to make good the damage already sustained by the locals belonging to the Dark tourism destination. You cannot certainly bring back the dead friends and relatives to life, but you can definitely make a concerted effort in rebuilding what have been razed to the ground changing the quality of life of the people towards a better future. With a little effort and spirit put in, you can always help the survivors to shake off the trauma and start a new lease of life resting on a solid platform of purpose and optimism.
For example, if the cleaning of debris and removal of rubble is underway in a town suffering recent air raids and bombardment, you can always extend your helping hand with a little compassion and determination to speed up the renovation process. You can always reach out for the poor infant who has lost his parents in the hands of alien troops or to a widespread disaster. You can feed the child with your own hands and do the same to the countless victims of a famine for that matter.
This little act of charity would go a long way winning the hearts of people hit by fate and would certainly get you an entry ticket through the gates of heaven! Well of course the word ‘you’ is implied in a plural sense. The effort given by a single thanatourist would be as insignificant as a drop amid the mighty ocean. Efforts should come in a combined pool in order to have any significant and positive impact on the lives of the poor wretches writhing in agony and gloom. Your zeal and whole hearted effort could well bring a ray of hope in their otherwise devastated future. You can certainly bring back the lost luster that once made them beam with confidence and happiness.
If the thanatourists desire to improve the lives of the tragedy hit people or their descendants, they can well do it. Call it an act of charity or whatever even if each of them contribute a couple of dollars it can bring back smile to their faces which had been long lost. Their response to the visiting tourist would be full of gratitude and friendship. This would be a real constructive activity, which a tourist can initiate in order erase at least a small fraction of the nightmare that had been haunting the locals since past a couple of decades perhaps.
Constructive activities can be well organized by the ministry of tourism of the disaster hit country. Since the ministries enjoy certain administrative power, they are in a better position to run an activity directed at the welfare of the strife torn zone. A chunk of welfare money would come from the tourist entry tickets to tragedy museums and disaster sites. Money flowing in would find a use in providing the basic amenities of food, clothing and shelter and improvement beyond.