First Advisor

Martha Works

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Geography and University Honors




Tourism -- Romania -- 20th century, Tourism -- Romania -- 21st century, Romania -- Economic conditions -- 1989-, Post-communism -- Romania, Romania -- Politics and government




The fall of communism in December 1989 left Romania in turmoil, reaching all aspects of life. The tourism sector was only one area in which communism had its effect before and after its demise. This paper argues that the tourism sector has felt changes in development, identity and legacy. The reign of communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, the historical context in which tourism has developed and the identity of the Romanian people today are discussed in this paper. From brutality to chaos; slow economic growth to introduction of the European Union; mythological characters like Dracula and 'Dracula’s Castle': Romanian tourism is developing a tourism industry based upon history, culture and struggle. In response, these changes to tourism have been slow and stagnated. Embracing Dracula for theme parks was shot down by the public and government entities alike; investment into hotels and restaurants has lagged; Romanian citizens cry out for sustainable and 'real' tourism. Romanian people today are debating what it is to be Romanian, and how they represent their culture to new visitors. Development of natural and historic treasures is important, but some struggle to make a living. Domestic and foreign investment is slow. Political conflicts in the region affect the view of foreign visitors and in turn are slow to make Romania a 'go-to' destination. The changes in tourism after the fall of communism are tangible. What is unclear is how Romania will use its tourism resources to begin a new chapter in the identity of the real Romania.


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