Hallstatt, Austria: How the inspiration for ‘Frozen’ handles overtourism

(CNN) — When a restaurant, lodge, avenue, city or metropolis turns into “Insta-well known,” it appears to be it is only a issue of time just before overtourism follows guiding.

The Alpine village of Hallstatt, nestled in Austria’s Salzkammergut mountains in the district of Gmunden, appreciates this only too well: a cascade of chocolate-box buildings surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lapped by crystalline drinking water, it is really straight out of a fairytale — and straight off your social media feed.

The population of this UNESCO-shielded spot is just 780, but its tourist numbers reportedly achieve some 10,000 readers a day.

Element of its appeal, past countless selfie options, is Hallstatt is rumored to be the inspiration for Arendelle, the fictional location of Disney’s “Frozen” motion pictures.

And it really is specially well-known between Asian vacationers, fueled in component by the truth there is certainly a Chinese replica of the village, crafted in the Guangdong province in 2011.
Now, the village is making an attempt to perform out how to deal with the inflow of readers, with Michelle Knoll, workplace manager for Hallstatt’s tourism board, telling CNN Journey there will be a “emphasis on excellent tourism in the long term.”

Fairytale environment

Hallstatt is positioned in a lovely location.

ALEX HALADA/AFP by way of Getty Photos

Hallstatt, which was developed up close to the salt mining sector, first arrived at widespread prominence in the early 19th century when it was “learned” by intimate writers and artists, as struck by the beauty of Baroque architecture as the Instagrammers are nowadays.

The initial “Frozen” movie was unveiled in 2013 but the village has been balancing on the edge of breaking place for some time. In 2017, The Regional Austria described that the village was employing “bouncers” at church buildings to cease tourists disturbing companies.
Even now, as with any vacationer hotspot, the inflow of villagers is a double-edged sword. In 2019, mayor Alexander Schuetz informed Chinese website Information.cn that “the tourist dollar has turn out to be an indispensable section of the town’s economic climate.”
The Disney movie "Frozen" was supposedly inspired by the beautiful landscape of Hallstatt.

The Disney movie “Frozen” was supposedly impressed by the beautiful landscape of Hallstatt.

Walt Disney Shots

Volodymyr Mazurok runs a community of Austria-centered Instagram accounts, which include @Hallstatt_Gram, that showcase traveler’s shots.

Mazurok tells CNN Travel that “shots of Hallstatt, in comparison to other metropolitan areas, acquire remarkable selection of likes and views.”

Knoll claims it was Hallstatt finding additional to UNESCO’s Planet Heritage record in 1997 that marked the get started of the tourism influx.

“Hallstatt grew to become more and much more renowned,” she says. “A lot of new shops, guest homes and attractions opened.”

Social media intensified the growth.

“When another person posts a nice photograph of Hallstatt on Instagram, his followers will also possibly want to go there,” states Knoll.

She details out the social media impact isn’t going to just stem from people, Hallstatt’s tourism boards run social-media primarily based advertizing strategies on Instagram and Fb.

Morgan St. Pierre, a instructor from Connecticut, frequented Hallstatt with her relatives in Easter 2018, though she was researching overseas in Europe. They weren’t conscious of the ‘Frozen’ link, but stopped off for lunch and to see the views.
As a lover of images, St. Pierre suggests she was eager to “seize the essence of the village.”

But that was not normally easy.

“It was honestly tricky to consider certain photos without having acquiring other visitors in the background as nicely,” she tells CNN Journey.

Lowering tourist figures


Areas of Hallstatt experienced fire problems in November 2019.

FOTOKERSCHI.ATAFP-through-Getty-Illustrations or photos

“They had to get the job done to take care of the harm and thus it was greater, to have a lot less tourists here in Hallstatt,” says Knoll.

Still, she claims, a lot of arrived anyway. They desired to see the hurt.

“So the mayor [said] formally that it would be wonderful if they really don’t take a look at Hallstatt until finally the injury is mounted,” she clarifies.

“The situation with tourism is very controversial. It is similarly a blessing and a curse for the locals,” says Mazurok. “On the one particular hand they have a massive financial gain from tourism. But it arrives at a charge of privateness and convenience.”

St. Pierre claims she was struck by a sensation that Hallstatt was “under-geared up for the amount of tourists that were there, especially on a holiday getaway weekend.”

When she visited Amsterdam and Venice, St. Pierre discovered there were being tons of visitors, but they tended to be accomplishing pursuits. In Hallstatt, most people were just having images.

“I would really like to go again to Hallstatt in the summer time to get pleasure from the lake much more and see what summertime in Austria is like, but I would be hesitant simply because I know how several people there were in the chilly months,” she states. “[I] can only envision how numerous a lot more people today there would be in the spring or summer months.”


It is not often this tranquil when the travellers descend.

ALEX HALADA/AFP through Getty Photos

Knoll suggests the nearby local community middle is performing to handle the stability. The very first stage? Applying a new bus method in May perhaps 2020.

It will, she suggests, reduce “the variety of buses and also the number of guests here in Hallstatt.”

“The buses will e-book a slot in progress and then they can go to Hallstatt. Buses who have a reserving at the city, either an overnight keep, or a ship cruise, a visit in a museum, get preference,” Knoll explains.

Quality around quantity


Hallstatt is now concentrating on “good quality tourism.”

Pixabay / Imaginative Commons

There have been reviews of indignant Hallstatt locals experience driven out by site visitors in a method not dissimilar from the dissent stemming from Venice, Dubrovnik, Amsterdam and other European facilities of overtourism.

Mazurok lives in Salzburg and suggests he likely wouldn’t reside in Hallstatt: “It is challenging to stay in a city which is handled as a concept park,” he claims.

Knoll life about 6 miles from the village, in nearby Terrible Goisem, but she has relatives in Hallstatt, and she has seen the affect.

“On [the] one particular hand, several inhabitants of Hallstatt [make their livelihood] from the tourism right here. Many of them are doing the job in the tourism sector or rent their personal rooms for holidaymakers to keep there,” she suggests.

“On the other hand, at times it can be a little bit demanding to have so quite a few attendees in your hometown. Also the prices at supermarkets are far more high-priced than in other towns close by.”

The alternative, she suggests, is a target on “good quality tourism,” with the new bus method the initial stage.

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