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Tourism Boon or Bane? Austria's Hallstatt Faces Resident Backlash


Residents of Hallstatt, a picturesque town in Austria, have taken to the streets to protest against the increasing number of tourists swamping their community. Home to just 700 residents, the tranquil town finds itself bursting with thousands of tourists during the summer months.

A Tourism Hotspot

Once a quaint settlement surrounded by mountains and known for its stunning lake views and historic homes, Hallstatt now sees its population swell to over 10,000 during the peak tourism season. While the boom in visitors has substantially grown the local economy, residents are far from pleased with the congestion and disruption it brings.

South Korean Drama Fuels Interest

A major turning point for Hallstatt's tourist influx came in 2006 when the town featured in a South Korean drama series. This exposure led to a significant increase in visitors, particularly from Asia. The town's popularity reached such heights that a replica was even built in China.



Residents Demand Limitations

Locals are calling for limitations on the daily number of tourists and organized tours, claiming that at times there is no room to walk due to overcrowding. In May, walls were erected at popular selfie spots to manage the crowd, but they were subsequently removed due to public backlash.

Pre-Pandemic Record

Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Hallstatt was breaking records, attracting a staggering one million tourists in a single year. The recent surge in tourism across Europe has led to increased complaints, compelling local governments to take action.



The protest by Hallstatt's residents reflects a broader issue facing many European towns and cities as they grapple with the double-edged sword of increased tourism—a boon for the economy but often a bane for local quality of life.


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