Magazine article Insight on the News

Romania Hopes to Sharpen Its Teeth on Tourism. (for the People)

Magazine article Insight on the News

Romania Hopes to Sharpen Its Teeth on Tourism. (for the People)

Article excerpt

The problem was how to bring long lines of tourists to Romania to spend lots of money. The solution: a theme park devoted to Romania's favorite son, Dracula. It's surprising some enterprising fellow hadn't thought of it before, but it's now high on the list of things that have to be done to restore a once-beautiful country pauperized by decades of misrule under the widely detested communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena.

The big debate is how to go about creating such a theme park in a tasteful but intriguing way. In November, tourism minister Dan Matei Agathon placed the "concept" before the public, explaining that plans called for locating the park in Sighisoara, the town in Transylvania where the real-life Vlad Tepes -- better known as Vlad the Impaler -- was born.

Vlad was the 15th-century Romanian noble whose cruel and vicious ways scholars believe inspired the Dracula legend. Agathon, according to the Associated Press, claimed that the theme park, estimated to cost about $30 million, would bring hundreds of thousands of tourists to Romania and create more than 3,000 jobs. …

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