Abstract: Dracula tourism in Romania combines fiction with history. It is centred on either the fictional Western vampire Count Dracula or the historical Dracula, the fifteenth-century Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler. These two characters are also often conflated, or sometimes even forged together, into one Dracula figure in Dracula tourism. Besides the history concerning the ruler, Vlad the Impaler, through Dracula tourism the guides and travel agencies also tend to offer much more history and tradition of Romania in their tours. In this article I will examine what kind of history is told and what is left out. I am especially interested in the history and tradition (as it is manipulated) that is not connected to Vlad or Dracula. I look at the types and eras of history used and emphasised in Dracula tourism in Romania, and the reasons for the choices. I am also interested in the idea of how the seemingly superficial and fictitious Dracula tourism can be used as a gateway into Romanian history and culture.
Introduction: Dracula tourism in Romania is an interesting combination of history, tradition and fiction. In Dracula tourism tourists visit locations connected to the historical Dracula, Vlad the Impaler, the ones described in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula, and some other locations in Romania that the different tourist agencies want to show to the tourists. There are many foreign and domestic tourist agencies that offer different kinds of Dracula-themed tours around Romania. Although the reaction from the Romanian government towards Dracula tourism has been ambivalent or even hostile towards the fictional side of tourism, the official website of Romanian tourism does have information about both Vlad the Impaler and the fictitious Count Dracula.