Remember the beautiful town of Arendelle from the iconic Disney film Frozen? For those of you didn’t know, it is a real village that is located in Austria. The small township is known for its beautiful topography, the lake in front and the chocolate-box like houses. Lately, a lot of tourists have been flocking the town that has raised concerns regarding overtourism in the area.
What Is It?
The Alpine village of Hallstatt is nestled in Austria’s Salzkammergut mountains. The small village is so beautiful that it looks like it is straight out of a fairy tale. In fact, it was the inspiration behind the town from the popular Disney movie: Frozen, which was known as Arendelle. The pristine setting, the snow-capped mountains and the crystal-clear waters seem not only dreamlike but quite insta-worthy as well.
How Did It Become So Popular?
According to reports, Hallstatt made it to the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1997. The population of this village is just about 780, ‘but around 10,000 tourists end up visiting this place on a daily basis.’ It is believed that one of the major reasons for the boost in tourism was the ‘protected-site title’. Also, in 2011, a replica of Hallstatt was built in the Chinese province of Guangdong. Post that, it became extremely popular among Asian tourists as well.
In 2013, after the first Frozen movie was released in 2013, and the township had striking similarities to the one in the film, it was reported by the local news that the local body had to start ‘employing bouncers at churches to make sure that the tourists don’t disturb the services.’
Effect Of Overtourism
The town is extremely insta-worthy! If you see some of the pictures have been uploaded on the official Instagram page, it would make you want to travel there too! But unfortunately, it is driving so much tourism that many feel that the township is turning into ‘a theme-park’. According to reports, it has also driven many locals to move out of the town.
In 2019, there was a fire in the village because of which some houses were burnt down. Even that did not stop the tourists from coming to the Hallstatt because they were keen on seeing the damage caused.
However, the money that is coming in from tourism, over a period of time has become a crucial part of the economy. A lot of measures are being taken in order to maintain a balance so that the local life and the beauty is not disrupted or made to be felt endangered at any point of time.
Or else… there will come a time when the tourists will just have to ‘let it go…’