Residents of Hallstatt, a village similar to Arendelle, protest against overtourism

The village of Hallstat, located in the Austrian mountains, is visited by many tourists. The village is considered to be the inspiration for the animated film, Frozen. However, local residents complained about this. Hallstatt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The village has beautiful old houses lining the shores of a mountain lake with a backdrop of snowy peaks. There are about 800 residents there. However, up to 10 thousand tourists visit the village.

Protests from local residents

Because of this, local residents have recently protested overtourism. This problem is also experienced by many historic cities in Europe. Such as Dubronik in Croatia, Venice in Italy, Bruges in Belgium, Rhodes in Greece, and others.
According to a BBC report, residents of Hallstat protested by blocking the main tunnel road leading to the city in August 2023. They held signs with messages such as “Visitors limits, reclaim habitat” and “Radical limits for mass tourism.” There were also those carrying signs that read “World culture at its end” and “Tourism Yes. Mass tourism No.”

Popular tourism destination

Hallstatt has become quite a popular tourist destination in recent years. Since it was feature in a South Korean film in 2006, it has made many Asian people curious. Even in China, there is a replica of Hallstatt, which was inaugurated in 2012 at a cost of around US940 million or around Rp. 14.9 trillion.
This village became increasingly popular after being associated with the film Frozen which was broadcast in 2013. Many tourists suspect that Halstatt was the inspiration for the fictional kingdom of Arendelle, and at first glance it looks similar. However, the film’s art director said his inspiration was not Austria, but Norway and Canada
This does not dampen the curiosity of tourists visiting Hallstatt. The manager of the Hallstatt tourism board office, Michael Knoll, said that many tourists appeared to be visiting just to take selfies.  But there are too many tourists,” he told The New York Times.

Steps to overcome overtourism

Local residents have taken several steps to combat overtoursim. This includes limiting the number of tour buses allowed to enter per day.
They had installed large wooden fences at certain observation points to prevent tourists from gathering there to take selfies. However, due to protests on social media, the wall was dismantle.
Friedrich Idam, a 62-year-old resident of Hallstatt, said much still need to done to control the quantity and quality of tourists.

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