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Small Austrian Town Protests Against Massive Influx of Tourists

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Photo: Small Austrian Town Protests Against Massive Influx of Tourists. Source: Salzkammergut.at
Photo: Small Austrian Town Protests Against Massive Influx of Tourists. Source: Salzkammergut.at

Residents of the quaint Austrian town of Hallstatt are demanding the implementation of daily visitor quotas and a ban on tourist buses entering after 5:00 PM, as reported by BBC.

Hallstatt, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed town, is beautifully situated in a mountainous area overlooking Lake Hallstatt. It is renowned for its fairytale landscapes. The town's permanent population comprises around 700 individuals, while during peak tourist season, up to 10,000 visitors arrive daily.

Hallstatt's popularity surged, especially after it was featured in scenes of a South Korean romantic drama. A replica of the town was even constructed in China. In the year leading up to the coronavirus pandemic, almost a million tourists visited Hallstatt.

Despite the positive impact of this tourist influx on the local budget, the town's residents feel that they have become too numerous in recent times.

In May 2023, locals placed a symbolic wooden fence at the most popular spot for taking photos, obstructing the view of the Alps. However, after a wave of backlash on social media, the fence was removed.

Following this incident, the town's mayor announced intentions to reduce the number of buses passing through Hallstatt by a third.

Currently, the local inhabitants are demanding the introduction of limits on the number of tourists and a prohibition on buses entering the town after 5:00 PM.

As a reminder, Spaniards are engaging in a genuine struggle with British tourists. A group of activists in Spain is placing counterfeit warning signs about rocky shores and the presence of jellyfish to deter tourists from accessing their prime beaches. Other fabricated warning signs claim that bays for vacationers are closed or that reaching the actual beach, just 100 yards (90 meters) away, requires a staggering 2 hours and 53 minutes.

Mallorca remains a favored vacation spot for Europeans. According to data published by Statista, in 2022, the island was visited by 3.9 million Germans and 2.1 million Britons. Additionally, in the same year, the island hosted just under 1.8 million visitors from other regions of Spain.

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