Between May 9-11, 2001 the Transylvanian Society of Dracula organized its yearly symposium on "The Controversial Voyevode Vlad Dracula, the Impaler" (Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania).
The participants in the symposium took note of the intention of the Ministry of Tourism to materialize the "Dracula-land" project.
Given the similitude of the preoccupations, the Transylvanian Society of Dracula issues the following Statement:
The Symposium appreciates the general idea of the Ministry of Tourism, Romania, to use the name of "Dracula" as spearhead of its promotional campaign, a name which does catch the attention of the public and of the mass-media worldwide.
At the same time, the Symposium recalled the existence of a generalized confusion, since 1972, between Dracula the vampire (a category of the folkloric supernatural) and Vlad Tepes-Dracula (a historical category), - with major implications on Romanias folklore, culture and history. The confusion, which serves neither the foreign visitor, nor the Romanian civilization, requires more efforts of clarification on the part of well-meaning Romanian and foreign bodies.
A culturally-correct approach to the "Dracula-land" project is essential. An incorrect approach will bring about a split in the tourist offer, and the various companies and institutions will take sides - raising question marks with the markets and the public, leaving room for doubt and suspicion.
An absolute priority should be given to the protection of the Romanian authentic assets of history and civilization - much more important, in the long run for the success of the Romanian tourism.
Here is the opinion of Prof.dr. Elizabeth Miller (expert in Dracula studies, writer, president of TSD/Canada), participant in the Symposium:
"The major concern is with the substance of this theme park.
Will it be solely an entertainment site focusing only on the vampire of fiction and fantasy? If so, it will be of little or no interest to Romanians, who view the vampire fantasy as an import with little connection to their own culture. Even Western tourists, who are becoming more sophisticated in their interests, may only find a replica of what they already had.
If, on another hand, Dracula-land will include both Draculas, then it is imperative that a clear distinction be made. This could best be handled through a physical separation within the park itself.
The facts above point to the necessity that the Ministry of Tourism open the project to public debate.
It is inconceivable that the "Dracula-land" project be developed without the contribution of the Ministry of Culture, of the institutes of folklore and history of the Academy.
The Transylvanian Society of Dracula continues to be prepared to offer the experience of its members, the knowledge of its scholarly events - for the success of the project.