Disaster Sites Turned Tourist Sites
Whether it's morbid curiosity or the desire to support a local economy in need, there's no denying that disaster tourism can often be big business.. Pictured here: Snow from a nor'Easter storm coats homes burned in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, Nov. 8, 2012 in the Breezy Point neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
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Pictured here: the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which sank off the coast of Italy in January 2012. Thirty-two people died. This summer, tourists lined up to purchase tickets for a ferry that passed by the wreckage.
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From walking tours to bus tours, there's no shortage of ways for visitors to Naples to view the ruins of Pompeii. In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted and buried Pompeii in ash. An estimated 2,000 people died. Underneath all the ash, much of the city remained intact. Pictured here is a statue at the Temple of Apollo.
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The tornado-ravaged city of Joplin, Mo., drew criticism after the visitors' bureau printed a tourist map of sites destroyed by last year's tornado. Patrick Tuttle, the director of the visitors' bureau, said that creating the map was a way to deal with visitors' questions about the tragedy. A total of 116 people were killed in the tornado that ravaged Joplin in May 2011.
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The site of the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City's World Trade Center has become a major tourist attraction. Today stands the 9/11 Memorial Park, a tribute to the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who died there, both Sept. 11, 2001 and in an earlier attack on Feb. 26, 1993. The names of those killed are inscribed around the twin memorial pools in the footprints of the Twin Towers.
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Search for 'hurricane Katrina tours' and you'll have no shortage from which to pick. There's even a three-hour, $48 tour offered by Gray Line Tours of New Orleans. Tourism in New Orleans broke records in 2011, with almost 9 million visitors spending almost $5.5 billion. More than 1,000 people were killed and thousands more were made homeless in the August 2005 hurricane.
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Without (extremely) deep pockets, it's impossible to tour the actual Titanic wreckage.On April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of 1,514 lives. A Titanic museum opened in Belfast and the exhibit "Titanic: 100 Year Obsession" at the National Geographic Museum opened this year in Washington.
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On December 7, 1941 the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, sinking the USS Arizona and other ships. A total of 1, 177 were lost. Two days later, the United States entered World War II. Today, it's one of Hawaii's most visited sites and a place of somber reflection. A variety of tours are offered, some in conjunction with Oahu's other top tourist attractions.