Austrian tour operators are hoping for a visitor influx to Salzburg as the iconic film ''The Sound of Music'' celebrates its 50th anniversary. Kathi Urban reports.
Known for its unreverred beauty and as the birthplace of famous 18th century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg attracts millions of visitors every year. Amongst them film fans curious to visit the locations where scenes of the now iconic musical film "The Sound of Music" were shot. Based on the writings of Maria von Trapp and her family's escape from the Nazis, the film became a box office hit in 1965. Fifty years on and visitors still come to Salzburg wanting to see some of the film's instantly recognisable spots, such as the Leopoldskron Castle, now a hotel, which served as the Von Trapp residence in the film. SOUNDBITE: "Bob's Tours" Manager, Eviline Truhlau, saying (English): " It was already since 25 years clear that people, especially English-speaking people, are coming because of the movie, you know. And we had the luck thate the owner was married with an American (winks) and he knows about the movie and he said we can make money with that. And so they started in 1976. Since this time we make the Sound of Music tour and it's the best tour we have." Although "The Sound of Music" will always be associated with the hills and mountains of Austria, hotel manager Daniel Szelenyi said the movie does not have quite the same level of popularity at home as it does in other parts of the world. SOUNDBITE: Leopoldskron Hotel Manager, Daniel T. Szelenyi, saying (German): "People know about it and have heard about it but probably not very many people have seen it. The same goes for Germany and Switzerland. The biggest market for the film continues to be America as well as England and then Japan, Korea, India. In England it is shown every Christmas like "Dinner For One" is here on New Year's Eve - it's simply part of tradition to watch "The Sound of Music." As the "Sound of Music" is celebrating its 50th anniverary, tour guides in Salzburg are hoping the hills will be alive once more with tourists wanting to see the place where Julie Andrews sang her most famous line.