Who came first – Dracula or the Tourist? New Perspectives on Dracula Tourism at Bran Castle
Keywords:Romania, Transylvania, Dracula Tourism, Destination Image, Co-Creation of Experiences, Heritage Tourism
The emergence of the Dracula figure within popular culture has caused strong associations to vampire myths with the Romanian region of Transylvania. Bran Castle, set on the southern borders to Walachia has somewhat become a centre for ‘Dracula Tourism’, being connected not only to the fictional Dracula, but increasingly also to the historical legend of the ‘Dracul’ Vlad. In her study, Banyai (2010) examined post visitors’ images held of the Castle and the compliance of these images with tour guides on-site interpretations, identifying an imbalance between the images held and interpretations provided. This study takes its point of departure from her qualitative records and attempts a supra-analysis of these by further elaborating upon destination images being influenced by popular culture and by extending upon her framework when discussing visitors’ co-creations of experiences at Bran Castle. Findings reinforce the richness and variety of images held by visitors as well as by other stakeholders of tourism. It is furthermore highlighted that the discrepancy of images held may not necessarily need to be addressed since this rather adds to the overall experience and the contested space (some may even refer to this as the ‘mystic’ space) of Bran Castle. Rather, recommendations are made to better align images and servicescapes originating in the immediate surroundings with those represented at the Castle.
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Copyright (c) 2011 Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.