Cushioned between the rugged Dachstein and Salzkammergut mountain ranges and overlooking a glassy lake, the sleepy alpine village of Hallstatt in Austria is a truly stunning sight.

In today’s modern age, when previously-hidden travel gems can now be showcased across Instagram feeds, issues can arise as small destinations try to cope with throngs of visitors. Hallstatt is one such example, a place whose popularity has also been bolstered in recent years due in part to the fact that it’s rumoured to be the inspiration behind Arendelle from the Frozen movie franchise. As thousands of people descend on the town every day, the mayor of Hallstatt has said that he hopes to cut figures in the future to make tourism more sustainable.

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Tourism in Hallstatt has proven to be a blessing and a curse © Miguel Angel Martín Campos / 500px

Speaking to The Times, Mayor Alexander Scheutz expressed that the town of Hallstatt is an important piece of cultural history, not a museum, and that the current number of tourists that are visiting is causing problems for the village. To address this, plans are in place to implement a new bus system with fewer numbers to help reduce crowd sizes. Slots will be booked in advance under the new structure, and buses that take in more than just one stop may get preference.

Hallstatt, a Unesco World Heritage Site, first became a global sensation when it was featured on a South Korean television show, before a Chinese businessman built a replica of the town in Guangdong Province in 2011. The Arendelle connection proved a further boost to the small town’s reputation. With a population of approximately 800 people, the town has currently been receiving up to 10,000 visitors per day.

In 2019, cities around Europe made special efforts to deal with over tourism in their own ways. In the summer, Rome introduced a fine of €250 for sitting on the Spanish Steps, while it also announced plans to restrict access to the Trevi Fountain. In Amsterdam, bans have been announced on tours through the Red Light District and on beer bikes. 

Read more: Sustainable travel: 6 ways to make a positive impact on your next trip

The 10 best sustainable trips for families 

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