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Hallstatt, Austria, is seriously popular

Up to 10,000 daily visitors swarm its streets in search of the perfect photograph. Photos: Getty/Instagram

The tiny town in Austria that wants tourists to go away

Kristine Tarbert
Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer

The mayor of a tiny Austrian village on the banks of a picturesque lake has begged tourists to let it go and stop visiting simply to get the perfect photo.

Tourists are getting an icy reception from the locals in Hallstatt as up to 10,000 daily visitors swarm its tiny streets, rumoured to be the inspiration for the village of Arendelle in Disney’s Frozen.

The village, tucked beside a lake and in the shadows of the Salzkammergut mountains has a Lutheran church that stands in for Elsa's castle and first rose to popularity after appearing on a a popular South Korean show in 2006.

It didn’t take long for Instagrammers and influencers to arrive, with the hashtag #Hallstatt already being used over 615,000 hits on Instagram.

With a population of just 780, Hallstatt has seen a steep rise in visitors from China, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and South Korea and now receives over 1 million visitors per year.

One hotel owner told the Washington Post: “It's a catastrophe. Many visitors seriously think this is a theme park.”

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