'We can't stop them': Town pleads for fewer Instagram tourists

A town which is believed to have inspired the village featured in the hit Disney flick Frozen is pleading for fewer tourists and Instagram posts.

Hallstatt in Austria, which some believe was the basis for the town of Arendelle in Frozen, has a population of less than 800 but receives about 10,000 tourists a day, according to The Guardian.

However, mayor Alexander Scheutz told The Sun the town “is not a museum”.

“We want to reduce numbers by at least a third but we have no way of actually stopping them,” Mr Scheutz told the publication.

Hallstatt's village in Austria is pictured.
The mayor of Hallstatt in Austria said he's trying to reduce the number of tourists to the village. Source: Getty Images (file pic)

On Instagram there are more than 610,000 photos sporting the #hallstatt hashtag.

A cafe owner told The Times their mum “woke up one day and found some Chinese tourists in her bedroom”.

A fire burned through the town’s waterfront in November, prompting a call for tourists to “stay away”.

But the mayor said it didn’t slow down tourists from visiting.

Hotel owner Verena Lobisser told The Washington Post in August tourists regularly stop her for photos.

Sepp Krumböck, who rents boats in the village, told the publication he once saw a drone with a camera on it outside his bedroom window.

A woman poses for a photo at the Hallstatt waterfront in Austria.
A tourist poses for a pic at Hallstatt's waterfront. Source: Instagram/ he_he_52

Mr Krumböck added tourists treat the town like an amusement park.

However, he has no issue with the visitors.

Architect Friedrich Idam described the town as “Instagramable” with tourists quickly snapping one or two pics and “that’s it”.

However, not everyone is annoyed by the influx of visitors.

A woman in a jacket poses for a photo in front of mountains at Hallstatt, Austria.
Not everyone is angered by the influx of tourists with some happy about the money being brought in. Source: Instagram/ helenysu_mochila

‘Money is dividing the town’

One person told The Sun hotel rooms cost between A$570 to $760 while public toilets cost just under $2.

“You do the maths,” the person said.

But Mr Scheutz told Al Jazeera in October he’s concerned money is dividing the town.

"A rift arises between those who profit a lot and those who believe they're not profiting at all," he told Al Jazeera.

It first reached popularity with South Korean tourists when it featured on a travel show in 2006.

A woman poses for a photo at the Hallstatt waterfront with the mountains behind her.
It's been reported about 10,000 people visit the town daily. Source: Instagram/ _soiios_

Such is the popularity of the town among Chinese tourists, a replica of it was built in 2011 in the southern Chinese province of Guangdong.

While some people believe the town was the basis for Frozen, art director Mike Giamio told the ABC in 2014 much of the film’s setting is based off a town in Norway.

However, it stills bears a resemblance to the fictional town of Arendelle.

Hallstatt is also world heritage listed by Unesco noting people have inhabited its valleys between “huge mountains” for more than three millennia.

“The Hallstatt-Dachstein/Salzkammergut alpine region is an outstanding example of a natural landscape of great beauty and scientific interest which also contains evidence of fundamental human economic activity,” Unesco said.

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