Who visits the apartheid museum and why? An exploratory study of the motivations to visit a dark tourism site in South Africa

Jacqueline Mangwane (Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)
Uwe Peter Hermann (Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)
Antje Inge Lenhard (Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa)

International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research

ISSN: 1750-6182

Article publication date: 2 October 2019

Issue publication date: 29 October 2019

4193

Abstract

Purpose

This paper attempts to fill the gap that exists in research regarding visitor motivations at dark heritage sites. The purpose of this paper is to explore the motivations of visitors to the Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum (HPMM) as an iconic dark site in South Africa to identify what motivates visitation and which demographic variables may have an influence on these motivators.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve the goal of this research, 205 participants completed a self-administered questionnaire using a random sampling technique at the HPMM. A statistical analysis through the use of factor analysis revealed seven motivational factors.

Findings

Novelty and knowledge seeking, remembrance and curiosity were identified as the three main motives for visiting HPMM. Novelty and knowledge seeking was found to be the main motive that contradicted similar research done in other parts of the globe. Escape and relaxation, which is usually found to be one of the main motivators to heritage sites, was revealed to be one of the least motivators for this study. The results also identified significant relationships between demographic and motivator variables.

Practical implications

The findings of this study revealed that people visit the HPMM primarily for novelty and knowledge seeking, remembrance and respect for victims and curiosity. From the results, it is clear that visitors are driven to visit the site for different motives and that these motives, although common amongst visitors, differ from person to person subject to demographic differences. This study provides an improved understanding of dark tourism demand, which is essential for the sustainable development and promotion of sites in South Africa and globally commemorating people’s struggle against injustice and for democracy.

Social implications

South Africa is a country with a cosmopolitan history; however, the history associated with apartheid has only recently become topic of tourism research. This study provides a basis to better understand the type of tourist visiting these sites of historical sites, thus leading to better provision of services to visit such attractions.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to delve into understanding the motivational typology of tourists to a tourism attraction in South Africa associated with the country’s Apartheid-era heritage. It provides an insight into enhancing the current fragmented understanding of dark tourism demand.

Keywords

Citation

Mangwane, J., Hermann, U.P. and Lenhard, A.I. (2019), "Who visits the apartheid museum and why? An exploratory study of the motivations to visit a dark tourism site in South Africa", International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 273-287. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCTHR-03-2018-0037

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Jacqueline Mangwane, Uwe Peter Hermann and Antje Inge Lenhard.

License

Published by Emerald Publishing Limited. This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial and non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode


Introduction

Tourism at heritage sites associated with death, atrocities, disasters or human suffering has witnessed growing academic attention for the past two decades (Ivanova and Light, 2017). An indication of this growth is reflected in the number of studies conducted by numerous researchers (Buda and McIntosh, 2013; Stone, 2013; Korstanje, 2015; Cohen, 2011; Tarlow, 2005; Blom, 2000; Sharpley, 2005; Seaton, 1996). This form of tourism was first mentioned by Foley and Lennon (1996) in the mid-nineties. Foley and Lennon (1996, p. 198) coined it “dark tourism” defined as “the phenomenon which encompasses the presentation and consumption of real and commodified death and disaster sites.” There exists an extensive and contrasting range of terminology that indicates researchers’ growing interest in death-related tourism. This may be illustrated through a brief analysis of dark tourism terms such as “thanatourism” (Dunkley, 2007; Seaton, 1996), “macabre form of special interest tourism” (Warner, 1999), “dark tourism” (Lennon and Foley, 2000), “morbid tourism” (Blom, 2000), “grief tourism” (Sharpley, 2005), “battlefield tourism” (Dunkley et al., 2011) and “war tourism” (Smith, 1998). The generic phrase “dark tourism” has gained broader acceptance in the literature than, for instance, the more technical term “thanatourism” (Buda and McIntosh, 2013). As Biran et al. (2011) reported common usage does not suggest that there is an accepted definition. Podoshen et al. (2015) describe dark tourism as a phenomenon that is not going away but rather one that is gaining momentum in practice, conceptualization and theoretical development.

Dark tourism is known to promote economic and social recovery and rebuilding in places where major disasters have taken place (Xing et al., 2014). It is, however, important to note that there is a need for empirical research into the ways in which dark sites are consumed, both in terms of tourists’ motivations and experience (Sharpley and Stone, 2009). Stone and Sharpley (2008) brought forward their concern about the inattention that exists on the demand side of dark sites. Isaac and Çakmak (2014) also insist that the concept of dark tourism should be based upon the connection of site attributes as well as tourist motivation. Research into the field of visitor motivations at museums includes that by Falk (2011) who developed an identity-related visitor motivation model, and Brida et al. (2013) who did a comparative motivation-based analysis between two museums. Most other studies in this regard focus on visitor education or experiences. Most research on the motivations of dark tourism use very little empirical data but rather focus on conceptual frameworks and arguments (Isaac and Çakmak, 2014). Demand and consumption of dark tourism products has also grown significantly over the years. Sites such as Auschwitz Concentration Camp in Poland received around 1.2 million visitors in 2009, and Ground Zero site in New York has attracted 3.5 million visitors (Kang et al., 2012). The HPMM, located in Soweto, South Africa, receives approximately 140 000 visitors per year according to Gule (2014), a number he said could be higher. It is, therefore, important to understand visitor motivation to ensure that the needs and expectations of visitors are met and to further conceptualize the phenomenon that is dark tourism. The management, planners, public sector administrators and other stakeholders involved in the development of new dark heritage attractions such as HPMM are currently presented with a dearth of information on their unique market profile, which leads to the question: who visits an apartheid museum and why?

Thus, the aim of this exploratory study was to develop a motivational typology to the HPMM as an Apartheid-themed tourist attraction. To achieve this aim, secondary objectives included developing a demographic profile of visitors, determining the main motivational factors and to assess whether there were any significant relationships between these demographic variables and motivator facts. This information will provide a valuable contribution to an increased understanding of who visits this category of visitor attractions and why.

Literature review

According to Mengich (2013), human beings may experience various needs at any time. Mengich (2011) further mentions that a need develops into a motive when it is stimulated to an adequate level of intensity that drives one to act. Mengich (2013) defines motivation as a state of need, a condition that exerts a push on the individual towards certain types of action that are seen as likely to bring satisfaction. An understanding of visitor motivations for travelling contributes to the knowledge of tourism and is universally used as a means for defining and differentiating tourism subgroups (Biran et al., 2011). This is in line with the findings of Hermann and Du Plessis (2014) that state that tourists have different travel motives pertaining to different tourism products and as such each tourism product may attract a unique visitor profile. In addition, this visitor profile within itself may differ based on demographic characteristics, which may cause difficulties for museum managers who do not always take into account the unique demands that may exist within a market profile (Brida et al., 2016).

Understanding tourist motivations to visit sites associated with death and suffering is not easy because of the complexity of the concept (Stone, 2013). Research has been conducted on the dark tourism concept, but visitor motivations are considered an area of dark tourism research that requires further attention because literature in this regard remains fragmented (Stone, 2013). Isaac and Çakmak (2014) state that research into dark tourism motivations is primarily theoretical and conceptual and not necessarily based on empirical investigation. Similarly, Biran et al. (2011) state that motives for visiting death related sites have not yet been fully or systematically investigated, thus providing only a weak conceptualization of this phenomenon. As Seaton and Lennon (2004, p. 82) state: “[T]here are more questions than answers in relation to dark tourism visitor motivation”.

Understanding the demand side of a tourism product, especially motivation, is vital to provide managers and custodians of these products with greater awareness of customer needs, the ability to offer more customized services, creating more memorable customer experiences and obtaining increased repeat business (Huang and Hsu, 2009). The study of motives is especially fundamental to clarifying the nature of visitations to death-related sites (Stone and Sharpley, 2008). Sharpley (2005) notes that to clarify whether dark tourism, a subgroup of the tourism umbrella, indeed does exist, motivation studies are necessary. Therefore, from the aforementioned studies, it is clear that as diverse subgroups of tourism exist, and equally diverse motivations are associated with these sites. As a result, it is important to understand the motivations behind the consumption of dark tourism products. Table I provides a brief outline of the current dark tourism motivation from both an empirical as well as conceptual point.

The list of conceptual dark tourism motivations as indicated in Table I are a combination of both pull and push factors. These findings provide a glimpse of the limited foundations on which the motivational profile of dark tourists is based. Consequently, there is a need to embark on more exploratory research that investigates such motives with practical application to dark heritage sites. Furthermore, research conducted at sites of death and human suffering by scholars such as Stone and Sharpley (2008) state that the reasons for visiting tourism sites with death as a main theme are not completely or thoroughly cross-examined, thus permitting for weak conceptualizations of dark heritage tourism.

Van der Merwe et al. (2011) state that different tourist attractions may possess their own unique market segments, which each display unique sets of motives. This may be because of the unique nature of each attraction (Hermann et al., 2016). As a result, both dissimilar and similar market segments have been found by researchers investigating the motives behind dark tourism. The studies, indicated in Table I, provide broad categorizations of dark tourist motivations, which differ from attraction to attraction. This indicates that there is no uniformity among these sites and that different sites attract different visitors in terms of motivations. However, the motivational factors of the need for education and learning, entertainment, having curiosity aroused, empathy and memorialization seem to stand out as the predominant factors in this regard.

In addition to the above classifications of motivations and the understanding that different attractions may attract different visitors based on demand, there is the possibility that visitors within a site may differ based on demographic differences. For instance, Busby and Devereux (2015) studying the demographic profile of visitors at Anne Frank House, found differences in awareness of the site among visitors based on demographics. Perceptions of tourism amongst members of a single group may also differ based on variables such as age, gender and income (Wang, 2013). In addition, it has been found that level of education and income level have a positive relationship to museum visitation and return visitation (Brida et al., 2016).

Africa has a long history pertaining to the struggle for recognition and freedom of one group over another. South Africa is no exception with the country having endeavored to develop and present its recent history more representatively, especially that history that pertains to the Apartheid era. The South African Government has undertaken considerable effort toward preserving and developing sites of historical significance as well as the construction of new monuments and memorials. This has been especially the case with historical sites commemorating the country’s history associated with the legacy of Apartheid and the struggle for democracy (Marschall, 2005).

The HPMM is a heritage site situated in in Orlando West, Soweto (Johannesburg). It is located two blocks away from where 12-year-old Hector Pieterson was shot and killed on 16 June 1976, during the “Soweto uprising,” a protest against the introduction and use of Afrikaans as the medium of instruction (Gauteng Tourism Authority, 2013). The memorial was erected in the early 1990s and the museum, which houses photographic and audio-visual displays of the struggle of the youth against the injustices of Apartheid, opened in 2002. The museum is an extension of the memorial and it commemorates the 566 people who died during student uprisings during the country’s struggle for democracy (Gauteng Tourism Authority, 2013). The purpose of HPMM as heritage site is to diffuse the sense of disinheritance amongst South Africans, as well as to educate and inform tourists and visitors that the sites belong to everyone who use their resources (Khumalo et al., 2014). The monument and memorial have been included in Soweto tours and are among the top tourist attractions in South Africa.

Research methodology

An exploratory, quantitative methodological approach research was used by means of a structured questionnaire. A self-administered questionnaire was designed for the purpose of this study. The studies by Isaac and Çakmak (2014), Saayman (2011), Biran et al. (2011) and Kang et al. (2012) were used as the basis of this questionnaire. In addition, the literature review assisted in ensuring that that the questionnaire included a broad range of variables to address the objectives of the study. These variables were divided into two categories:

  1. demographic descriptors; and

  2. behavioral descriptors.

The questionnaire was divided into two sections. Section A addressed the demographics and contained close-ended questions. Section B tested the various constructs related to visitor motivations through a five-point Likert scale. Information drawn from both Sections A and B will form the basis of this article. To ensure that the questionnaire was valid, a pilot study was undertaken within the work environment of the researchers. This was done to ensure that the questions were understandable and in determining the time that the questionnaire took to complete. From the feedback received, amendments were made to the questionnaire before it was distributed.

A population refers to any group of participants who constitute the main part of a research interest. For the purpose of this study, the target population was visitors to the HPMM. Because of the unavailability of a sampling frame in this study, purposive sampling was conducted (Zikmund et al., 2010). The sampling units were selected using convenience sampling. Non-purposive convenience sampling was chosen as the most effective means of limiting bias and accomplishing representativeness (Veal, 2006). Jennings (2010) mentions that convenience sampling is known as random sampling or accidental sampling. One questionnaire was handed out per group of visitors after obtaining informed consent. For this study, the selection of the participants was based on their proximity to the researcher and the ease with which they could be accessed. The data collection was carried out between April 2016 and July 2016 by trained fieldworkers.

Research findings

The findings of the study will be discussed in three sections. The first section will provide an analysis of the basic demographic profile of respondents; the second section will provide a description of the motivating factors for visitation, followed by the results of a recession analysis to assess whether there are any significant relationships between variables.

Respondent’s demographic characteristics

Results revealed that 51 per cent of respondents to HPMM are female and primarily between the ages of 25-34 (40 per cent). A large percentage of respondents are single with no children. The majority of respondents have finished high school (29 per cent), followed by those who have a university qualification. Isaac and Çakmak (2014) and Bigley et al. (2010) had similar findings in their studies. The majority of respondent’s hail from urban areas (75 per cent), they are English speaking, it is however important to note that languages represented such as Dutch, German, and Italian were significantly represented. Most respondents come from a household of one person and are financially dependent, earning less than ZAR10 000 (US$770) per month. Respondents predominantly come from the international community (85 per cent) with lower number of domestic visitors. The majority of participants heard about HPMM from friends and family (28 per cent) and were visiting the HPMM for the first time (79 per cent). The majority of respondents were not related or involved with any of the people associated with HPMM, thus having no direct connection to the site. Respondents also indicated that they planned the visit in advance and decided to visit HPMM a week or month in advance.

Descriptive statistics

This section presents the descriptive statistics represented by frequencies, median, standard deviation and mean of the participants’ responses relating to the motivational factors. Participants were asked to rate the motivation factors on how they influenced their decision to visit the HPMM by indicating whether the factors were not important (NI), slightly important (SI), important (I), very important (VI) or extremely important (EI). The descriptive results are presented in Table II.

Factor analysis results

An exploratory factor analysis was used to identify interrelationships among items (indicated in Table II) and group items that are a part of unified concepts. A factor analysis as a statistical technique was used to cluster large numbers of variables as proposed by Bryman (2012) and McDaniel and Gates (2013). This factor analysis revealed seven distinct factors, the results of which are presented in Table III.

Factor 1: Novelty and knowledge seeking.

The motivator factor of novelty and knowledge seeking was identified and included the following motivator variables: to learn something new; to experience something unique; to learn about history and to increase knowledge about sites of human tragedies. This factor scored the highest mean of 3.64. This factor was previously identified by Bigley et al. (2010) as an important motivator for visiting dark heritage sites. This is in line with the findings of this study because this factor included aspects such as “learning about nature.” In the study by Hermann and Du Plessis (2014), education and learning was also revealed as the most important motivating factor; however, their study was on tourists visiting the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa.

Factor 2: Remembrance and respect for victims.

This factor achieved a mean of 3.29 and was identified as a main motivator. The main variables identified within this factor include to pay respect to victims of apartheid; to commemorate the Soweto massacre; to meet people with similar interests and to understand why dark tourism sites are controversial. The findings of this study are in line with Toussaint and Decrop (2013) who found that remembrance was a main motivator in the consumption of dark tourism. Similarly, Toussaint and Decrop (2013) found that remembrance was a main motivator in the consumption of dark tourism.

Factor 3: Curiosity.

This factor was identified as one of the top three motivating factors and included themes relating to curiosity in regard to the HPMM. The main variables identified within this factor included to have my curiosity aroused; museum seemed different from traditional tourism attractions and to see artefacts. This factor was similarly identified by Ashworth and Hartmann (2005) and Tarlow (2005) at other dark heritage sites.

Factor 4: Recommendation and value for money.

The factor recommendation and value for money achieved a mean of 3.05. This factor included friends and family were visiting the HPMM; it is close to where I live; to help me deal with personal death; it was suggested in the media; it reminds me of my own personal suffering; it is value for money and for nostalgic reasons. This factor received the lowest correlation of 43 per cent. Because the previous studies listed in Table I did not identify this factor as significant, it may be considered as a newly identified motivator factor for dark site visitation in South Africa.

Factor 5: Fun and family.

The motivator factor fun and family was identified and following the motivator variables were included: I thought the museum could be fun; to spend time with my family; to obtain a spiritual experience and to participate in an event. This factor scored a mean of 3.02. This factor has not been previously identified as a motivation for visitation to dark heritage sites (Table I).

Factor 6: Escape and relaxation.

This factor received the lowest mean (2.96); thus, it is the least influential motivator indicated by respondents. It included the variables to get away from my daily routine and to relax. This is in accordance with other research that investigated motivation for dark tourism (Isaac and Çakmak, 2014). This motivator was also identified in a number of previous studies as a critical motivator for visiting national parks in South Africa (Van der Merwe and Saayman, 2008; Kruger and Saayman, 2010; Kruger et al., 2014); however, this is the first time it has been noted at a dark heritage site. In their study on motivations at world heritage sites and national parks, Hermann et al. (2016) identified escape and relaxation as a new motivating factor. However, this factor is not regarded as an important motivator to dark heritage sites in South Africa in this study.

Factor 7: Museum attributes.

Similarly, Kruger and Saayman (2010) found that pull factors such as attraction attributes were also motivating factors to other heritage sites. This factor obtained a mean of 2.98. It included the variables: to spend time in a museum and it is a safe place to visit. These results are on par with Toussaint and Decrop (2013) who found that the physical setting of the site was an important motivator.

Regression analysis results

The descriptive results presented in Table II and Table III were further analyzed to determine whether there were any significant relationships between demographic variables, experience variables and factors. This was done by means of an independent samples t-test followed by a follow up regression analysis to explain these significant relationships. The results of these findings are presented in the following two tables. Only results demonstrating significant relationships are presented.

A regression analysis was used to determine whether there were any significant relationships between demographic variables and the seven factors identified through the factor analysis. Results from this analysis found no significant relationships (P = >0.05). It was, therefore, necessary to delve into the individual constructs making up these factors. The results are presented in Table IV.

In the above table it was found that there exists a significant relationship between gender and the need to help deal with personal death. This is because of the p value being less than 0.05; however, all other motivational factors had p-value greater than 0.05, resulting in the overall model with p value greater than 0.05. We can conclude that there is no relationship between gender and this motivational factor 1 (recommendation and value for money) except for the variable help deal with personal death, for which males were more inclined to relate to.

The results indicate that there is a relationship between age and safe place to visit to spend time in museum, to relax and to learn about history. This is because of the p value being less than 0.05; however, all other motivational factors had p-value greater than 0.05, resulting in the overall model with p value greater than 0.05. We can conclude that younger visitors are more inclined to be attracted to such a site because of the motivational variables of safe place to visit, to relax and to learn about history while older visitors are more willing to spend time in a museum.

The regression analysis found a significant relationship between education level and selected motivator variables. This is because of the p value being less than 0.05; however, all other motivational factors had p-value greater than 0.05, resulting in the overall model with p value being slightly greater than 0.05. These respondents with higher levels of education were more inclined to visit the museum to spend time in museum for nostalgic reasons because the museum seemed different and because it was suggested in the media. This finding may be in line with the finding by Brida et al. (2016) who noted that those museum visitors who have higher levels of education are more inclined to visit to elevate their need for status within their social surroundings.

In terms of marital status, those respondents who were married were more inclined to be motivated to visit the attraction because it reminded them of their own personal experience (P = < 0.05, β = 0.899). This may be because the museum displays depict the struggles of family members losing loved ones during the political uprisings during the Apartheid era.

The results found that there is a significant relationship between number of children participants and the need to meet people with similar interests and to understand why dark tourism sites are controversial. This is due to the p value being less than 0.05. however all other motivational factors had p-value greater than 0.05 resulting in the overall model with p value slightly greater than 0.05 due to p value for Experience something unique and to commemorate Soweto massacre slightly greater than 0.05. Respondents who had larger families were more inclined to want to visit the site to experience something unique and to meet people with similar interests.

The results found that there is a significant relationship between which media a respondent first heard of HPMM, the motivator variables of safe place to visit and to have their curiosity aroused. Respondents who had last heard about the museum from family and friends were more inclined to visit the museum because of these two variables. This is due to the p value being less than 0.05; however, all other motivational factors had p-value greater than 0.05, resulting in the overall model with p value greater than 0.05.

The results found that there is a significant relationship related to someone at the HPMM and the motivator that the museum seemed different and value for money. Respondents who were related to someone who experienced the uprisings in 1976 were less inclined to visit the museum because of these two motivators. This is because of p value being less than 0.05; however, all other motivational factors had p-value greater than 0.05, resulting in the overall model with p value greater than 0.05. We can conclude that there is no relationship between gender and motivational factor except that the museum seemed different and value for money.

Implications and conclusions

Dark tourism literature is constrained by a lack of tourist motivation research that seeks to understand more than simply the descriptive conceptualizations of visitor motives. Currently, the majority of tourism literature appears to be lacking in terms of exploratory attempts to cite various scales of motivations for people visiting death-related tourism destinations. Thus, the primary objectives of this study were to identify what motivates visitation to the HPMM and which demographic variables may have an influence on these motivators. Firstly, in terms of demographics, it was found that visitors to the HPMM were well educated, lived in urban areas, were first time visitors to the site, planned their trips well in advance and they were primarily first-time visitors. In addition, a majority of these visitors have no immediate connection to the site in terms of family relation and originated from international source markets outside of South Africa. Our findings, therefore, suggest that the attraction managers may need to relook their marketing strategy should they wish to appeal more to a localized South African market.

In terms of main motivations, the results showed that a combination of intrinsic (novelty and knowledge seeking) and extrinsic (Museum attributes) motives play a role in the decision to visit the HPMM. This finding supports those of Isaac and Çakmak (2014). The results, however, also support Hermann and Du Plessis (2014) position that motivation varies depending on visitor segment as well as a tourism product. Of these motives, novelty and knowledge seeking was the most important, which suggests that visitors go to HPMM to seek knowledge and learn something new. Furthermore, this factor was identified by Bigley et al. (2010) as an important motivator for visiting dark heritage sites. Recommendation and value for money was identified as a new motivator. This may be because of the museum appealing to mostly international visitors who may visit the museum as part of a packaged tour. The findings of the study support the notion by Brida et al. (2016) who identified two main groups of museum visitors, namely, those who intentionally visit such attractions and those who may be considered occasional consumers. In our case, these intentional consumers may be considered those who visit the museum for the first three motivator factors (novelty and knowledge seeking, remembrance and respect for victims and curiosity), while the three later motivators appeal more towards the occasional visitor (recommendation and value for money, fun and family and museum attributes).

The findings also suggest that there are significant relationships (by means of a regression analysis and chi square tests) may exist between demographic characteristics and motivator variables, a diagrammatic representation of these findings are presented in Figure 1.

In Figure 1, one is able to identify where the most significant relationships between motivator variables and demographics lie. This is in line with the findings of Wang (2013) who noted that experiences amongst people within a group may differ based on demographic differences. The findings suggest that gender, age, education level, marital status, numbers of children, source of information on the museum and physical relationship with someone who may have experienced the events that the HPMM commemorates, have an influence on various motivator variables.

This study aimed to enhance the present understanding of visitation to sites associated with death, suffering and tragedies. The results of this study revealed that people visit the HPMM primarily for novelty and knowledge seeking, remembrance and respect for victims and curiosity. From the results, it is clear that visitors are driven to visit the site for different motives and that these motives, although common amongst visitors, differ from person to person subject to demographic differences. This study provides an improved understanding of dark tourism demand, which is essential for the sustainable development and promotion of sites in South Africa and globally commemorating people’s struggle from injustice and for democracy.

It is imperative that more research should be conducted into the field of Apartheid heritage and tourism as there are increased calls to make the country’s heritage attractions more representative. This coupled with an increased growth of tourist arrivals will ensure a more sustainable development of the industry for not only South Africa but other developing countries with a heritage strongly linked to the attainment of liberation and freedom.

One limitation, which was identified in this study, is the fact that most visitors to the HPMM did so as part of a pre-arranged tour. This presents a problem that may have influenced how the motivation variables were rated. Although this study does provide a snapshot into the visitor profile at HPMM, it would be beneficial in future when similar research is conducted or repeated that visitors on prearranged tours be analyzed separately and perhaps compared to independent visitors.

Figures

Significant relationships identified

Figure 1

Significant relationships identified

A List of conceptual and empirical motivations

Authors Conceptual motivations Empirical motivations
Seaton (1996) Pilgrimage, Pride, Moral-witness, Social-experience, Seeking to make a site sacred
Seaton and Lennon (2004) The pleasure of seeing other’s disaster
Ashworth and Hartmann (2005) Curiosity, experience something unique
Tarlow (2005) Curiosity, Feeling of insecurity, Sense of gratitude, Humility and A must visit
Stone (2012) Education, Entertainment, Memorialization and Morality
Bigley et al. (2010) To experience opposing political regime; knowledge/appreciation of history, culture, and security; curiosity/adventure; war and consequences and nature-based tourism
Dunkley et al. (2011) Special interest, pilgrimage, remembrance and validation
Biran et al. (2011) Learning and understanding, famous death tourist site, see it to believe it
Kang et al. (2012) Curiosity and social reasons, learning and obligation
Toussaint and Decrop (2013) Physical setting, activities and meaning created by visitors
Isaac and Çakmak (2014) Curiosity, a must see site, self-understanding, exclusiveness and conscience

Motivation variables

Item Motivation variable NI SI I VI EI Mean SD
1 To learn something new 15 9 65 65 51 3.78 2.40
2 To pay my respects to the victims of apartheid 10 12 70 64 49 3.63 1.06
3 To increase my knowledge about sites of human tragedies 13 19 58 60 55 3.61 1.16
4 To experience something unique 10 23 58 60 54 3.61 1.13
5 To learn about history 14 17 60 63 51 3.59 1.15
6 To educate my children 21 18 75 49 41 3.35 1.20
7 To commemorate the Soweto massacre 23 17 74 56 35 3.31 1.18
8 To understand why dark heritage sites are controversial 21 25 63 66 30 3.29 1.17
9 To have my curiosity aroused 27 27 63 52 36 3.21 1.26
10 To participate in an event 20 36 66 52 30 3.18 1.18
11 To see the artefacts 22 27 75 55 26 3.18 1.15
12 To explore a new destination 34 22 61 55 33 3.15 1.29
13 Museum seemed different from traditional tourism attractions 26 29 66 58 26 3.14 1.19
14 To get away from my daily routine 36 19 66 61 23 3.08 1.24
15 Friends and family were visiting the HPMM 33 28 60 59 25 3.07 1.25
16 It is close to where I live 55 20 53 53 24 3.05 3.12
17 It reminds me of my own personal suffering 36 32 59 45 33 3.03 1.31
18 It was suggested in the media 28 30 78 44 24 3.03 1.18
19 To spend time in a museum 38 25 69 44 29 3.00 1.29
20 It is value for money 35 32 64 46 27 2.99 1.27
21 It is a safe place to visit 31 33 78 38 25 2.97 1.21
22 For nostalgic reasons 38 30 64 49 24 2.96 1.27
23 To meet people with similar interests 33 38 60 54 20 2.95 1.22
24 To obtain a spiritual experience 35 30 68 56 16 2.94 1.19
25 To help me deal with personal death 46 22 59 55 22 2.93 1.31
26 To relax 33 38 76 40 17 2.85 1.16
27 To spend time with my family 44 33 63 43 22 2.83 1.28
28 I thought the museum could be fun 40 46 72 33 14 2.79 1.83
Notes:

NI – not important; SI – slightly important; I – important; VI – very important; EI – extremely important

Factor analysis results

Factor Motivational items Factor loading Mean value Reliability coefficient Inter-Item correlations Percent of variance
Factor 1 Learn something new 0.7200 3.6451 0.7539 0.5837 9.9483
Experience something unique 0.6646
To learn about history 0.6355
Increase knowledge about sites of human tragedies 0.6255
Factor 2 Pay respects to victims of apartheid −0.5151 3.2951 0.7419 0.6436 5.2683
To commemorate Soweto massacre −0.7962
Meet people with similar interests −0.6916
Understand why dark tourism sites are controversial −0.3438
Factor 3 To have my curiosity aroused −0.8374 3.1756 0.7819 0.4312 4.1987
Museum seemed different −0.5151
To see artefacts −0.3950
Friends and family were visiting Hector Pietersen museum 0.7202 3.0508 0.7828 0.4396 24.1483
Is close to where I live 0.7057
Help deal with personal death 0.6216
Factor 4 Suggested in media 0.5965
Reminds me of my own personal experience 0.5647
To educate my children 0.5302
Value for money 0.5062
Nostalgic reasons 0.4831
Factor 5 Museum could be fun −0.7409 3.0234 0.7623 0.5424 4.5962
Spend time with family −0.5499
Spiritual experience −0.4937
To participate in an event −0.3306
Factor 6 Get away from daily routine 0.6962 2.9655 0.7584 0.5620 6.8176
To relax 0.5228
Factor 7 To spend time in museum 0.7716 2.9854 0.7791 0.4507 4.4419
Safe place to visit 0.6958

Regression results

Dependent variable Independent variable Coefficient St. error t statistic p value R Rˆ2 St error of estimates F value p value
Gender Help deal with personal death 1.397 0.552 2.534 0.026 0.83 0.69 0.499 0.936 0.579
Age Safe place to visit −0.800 0.356 −2.246 0.044 0.87 0.77 1.115 1.396 0.276
Spend time in museum 1.254 0.537 2.335 0.038
Relax −1.530 0.631 −2.424 0.032
Learn about history −0.920 0.361 −2.549 0.026
Education Spend time in museum 1.048 0.432 2.429 0.032 0.92 0.85 1.325 2.397 0.056
Explore new destination −0.767 0.420 −1.825 0.093
Nostalgic reasons −0.810 0.346 −2.340 0.037
Help deal with personal death −0.735 0.383 −1.918 0.079
Museum seems different 0.807 0.431 1.875 0.085
Friends and family were visiting HPMM −0.657 0.278 −2.368 0.036
See artefacts −0.910 0.368 −2.470 0.030
Suggested in media 1.095 0.410 2.670 0.020
Educate my children 0.938 0.456 2.059 0.062
Marital status Reminds me of my own personal experience 0.899 0.362 2.483 0.029 0.78 0.61 0,938 0.662 0.821
No. of children Experience something unique 1.408 0.656 2.148 0.053 0.92 0.85 1.325 2.397 0.056
Commemorate Soweto massacre −1.268 0.607 −2.089 0.059
Meet people with similar interest 1.481 0.675 2.195 0.049
Understand why dark tourism sites are controversial −1.961 0.856 −2.292 0.041
First time heard about the HPMM Safe place to visit 0.190 0.085 2.233 0.027 0.42 0.18 2.127 1.333 0.137
Have my curiosity aroused 0.206 0.089 2.329 0.021
Related to someone at the HPMM Museum seemed different −0.229 0.095 −2.399 0.018 0.39 0.15 0.344 1.100 0.139
Value for money −0.198 0.095 −2.049 0.038
To see artefacts −0.165 0.095 −1.732 0.085

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Corresponding author

Uwe Peter Hermann can be contacted at: hermannup@tut.ac.za

About the authors

Jacqueline Mangwane is based at the Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa.

Uwe Peter Hermann is based at the Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa.

Antje Inge Lenhard is based at the Department of Tourism Management, Tshwane University of Technology, Pretoria, South Africa.

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