They just can’t “let it go.”
Tourists to the tiny Austrian village of Hallstatt are reportedly overwhelming the community with their sheer numbers. The charming hamlet believed to have inspired the fairy-tale city featured in Disney’s wildly popular “Frozen” franchise, and has been described as “the most Instagrammable town in the world” — but the local mayor is still baffled regarding how to best address the growing influx of visitors.
Hallstatt is home to a population of about 800 people, and yet the lakeside village welcomes as many as 10,000 tourists per day, The Guardian reports. Placed on the mainstream map after being featured on a South Korean travel show in 2006, Hallstatt truly shot to stardom when linked to the fictional town of Arendelle after “Frozen” premiered in 2013, according to The Sun.
They just can’t “let it go.” Tourists to the tiny Austrian village of Hallstatt, pictured, are reportedly overwhelming the community with their sheer numbers.
Lately, the UNESCO World Heritage site is said to have been swarmed with selfie-snappers, wedding party photo shoots and even piloted drones. For context, the small Alpine town in the Salzkammergut Mountains has been receiving six times more tourists per capita than Venice, Italy.
Now, Hallstatt mayor Alexander Scheutz is searching for answers regarding how to best welcome sightseers in and around the community.
“Hallstatt is an important piece of cultural history, not a museum. We want to reduce numbers by at least a third but we have no way of actually stopping them,” Scheutz said, per The Sun.
Though Hallstatt’s booming tourism certainly comes with benefits like ample funding for schools and year-round customers for once-seasonal businesses, consequential issues include litter, irritating drone activity and a more expensive local economy.
“Locals feel as though they are living in a theme park,” The Guardian claims. “In November, a fire destroyed a large chunk of the waterfront, yet still the tourists came.”
This image released by Disney shows Elsa, voiced by Idina Menzel, from left, Anna, voiced by Kristen Bell, Kristoff, voiced by Jonathan Groff and Sven in a scene from the animated film, “Frozen 2.” (Disney via AP)
Though Scheutz is reportedly exploring plans to reduce the number of tourists buses to Hallstatt, the ultimate fate of “the most Instagrammable town in the world” remains to be determined.
Since its premiere on Nov. 22, Disney’s “Frozen 2” has made over $1.32 billion to become the highest-grossing animated movie of all time, Fox Business reports. The flick surpassed the original “Frozen,” which netted $1.27 billion, and “Incredibles 2,” which drew $1.24 billion worldwide.