The prospects for dark (troubles) tourism in Belfast, NI

Greg Ironside, Kieran James*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Purpose - The purpose of this article is to investigate the prospects of Belfast as a Tourism City with a special focus on dark (Troubles) tourism.

Design/methodology/approach - We use two surveys - one for overseas-based potential tourists and one for Northern Ireland residents; one focus group with potential tourists; and three interviews, one with a Belfast MP and two with tour-guide operators, one from each side of the Northern Ireland divide. This paper is less theoretical than exploratory

Findings - Generally, there is strong and widespread support for the concept of Troubles tourism. Stakeholders must ensure that Troubles tourism is intelligently and sensitively handled and builds up communities.

Originality - This is a relatively new and under-researched area. Belfast has been rarely looked at in urban-tourism studies. Findings have applicability for other post-conflict and divided countries, such as the countries of the former Yugoslavia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-546
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Tourism Cities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 May 2021


  • Belfast
  • dark tourism
  • Northern Ireland
  • Troubles tourism


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