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Keywords:

  • thanatourism;
  • peace tourism;
  • heterotopia;
  • perceived value;
  • Korean Peninsula

Abstract

This paper examines the underlying factors that affected perceived value among South Korean tourists who visited the North Korean Mt Kumgang resort. Results identified emotional, functional and economic values as core elements that directly affected guest satisfaction, which influenced intentions to recommend and revisit. Seen as a peace tourism site when the Sunshine Policy of rapprochement guided inter-Korean strategy, we argue that the resort project is a heterotopia of comparison combining idealized cultural and contradictory political spaces in one place. Understanding this needs Korean ideas that lead to a thanatourism with an indigenous perspective, which is applicable to other non-Western thanatourism-like sites. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.