Who would have guessed that Hollywood itself would play a leading role in global tourism? These six incredible film locations have been thrust into the public eye thanks to the movies shot there. Guest blogger Bryn Wied picks out the most weird and wonderful…
1. Petra, Jordan
The “Lost” city of Petra was forgotten for hundreds of centuries, and even after it was rediscovered in the 19th century, it was largely unheard of until blockbuster flick Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade put the gorgeous prehistoric city on the travel map. Of course, the movie’s depiction isn’t entirely accurate, but most would argue that the temple, tombs, and stone carved facades are much more beautiful in reality.
2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Cambodia hadn’t been the site of any films for nearly half a century until Lara Croft came along. Thousands of people every year flock to the country to see the famous ancient temple of Angkor Wat and the beautiful Cambodian culture for themselves. Before Lara Croft, Cambodia had endured years of political turmoil and was largely off the radar as a tourist destination.
3. Salzburg, Australia
The Sound of Music has played such an important role in putting Salzburg on the map not just because it was a hit movie, but because it was based on a true story of the real life Von Trapp Family who lived there. Fans of history and film can find plenty of places within Salzburg that pay tribute to both; the city hosts several famous Sound of Music tours that take visitors around many of the now famous locations, from the Leopoldskron Palace to the Nonnberg Convent.
4. Doune Castle, Scotland
Scotland’s Doune Castle welcomes thousands of tourists each year, most of whom are there to see the filming locations for the famous Monty Python and the Holy Grail. While the castle itself isn’t the most well preserved or biggest in the British Isles, it is without a doubt one of the more popular ones to visit, all thanks to the 1970s classic film.
5. Alnwick Castle, England
The Harry Potter film series has created a slew of famous landmarks for an entire generation (think King’s Cross Platform 9 ¾ or the Reptile House at London Zoo). But without a doubt the most famous site is Alnwick Castle, which was used as Hogwarts for the first two movies. The castle has become such a famous attraction for Potter fans that visitors can now participate in broomstick and wizarding themed activities within the castle grounds.
6. New Zealand
Surrounded by miles of ocean and reachable only by expensively priced airfare, visitors have to want to visit New Zealand in order to travel there. Thanks to Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series, the islands have seen a huge increase in tourism. Many come specifically for the multi-day Lord of the Rings tours that take visitors around the different filming locations, such as the hobbit town in Matamata and Takaka Hill.
Author Bio: Bryn Wied is an outdoor enthusiast and serious travelaholic. She explores every inch of the globe with her favourite travel buddy/hubby Matt. Matt and Bryn live in California where they blog, surf, snowboard and raise kids in between road trips and camping adventures. They are regular contributors to the excellent trekeffect.com.