Scotland has its Loch Ness monster and Massachusetts has its Salem witches, but for many years Romania has resisted promoting itself as the home of Bram Stoker's fictional vampire. That's about to change.
After years of resistance, the Romanian Federation of Tourism and Service Employers has decided to cash in on the popularity of vampires by promoting the region of Transylvania as a destination for visitors eager to learn more about Dracula’s homeland. According to a press release, “The Dracula brand existed for a long time, we only need to exploit it and wrap it properly and then sell it in a modern manner…[T]he benefit not only to the tourism in the region, but to our economy in general, [will] be huge.”
What’s the Big Idea?
The title character of the 1897 Bram Stoker novel was reportedly based on a 15th-century Romanian prince known as Vlad the Impaler because of his preferred method of torture. However, while he was certainly bloodthirsty (not necessarily in the vampiric sense), he has long been viewed as a national hero who fought for independence against the Ottomans. Consequently, some citizens have hesitated over the idea of twisting this view to suit a fictional character and legend. However, Doubtful News researcher Sharon Hill thinks it’s past time for Romanians to catch up: “Paranormal/horror/entertainment tourism is big business: consider Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster, the witch trial tours in Salem, Massachusetts, and the UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico.”