Why Instagram is ruining this village
INSTAGRAM is destroying the fairytale village rumoured to be the inspiration for Disney's Frozen.
Hallstatt is tucked beneath the Salzkammergut mountains in Austria and has been dubbed "the most Instagrammable town in the world".
The Alpine beauty spot is home to just 780 people and has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1997.
The village began to attract crowds after it appeared on a South Korean travel show in 2006.
And the success of 2013's Frozen added to its popularity - ever since it was linked to the fictional town of Arendelle, its popularity has exploded.
Since then, up to 10,000 tourists from across Asia have flocked to the lakeside hideaway every day, with up to a million visitors a year.
Hallstatt now has six times more tourists per capita than Venice.
Sightseers snap selfies, pilot drones and pose for wedding photos in the picturesque town.
Some have even let themselves into local residents' homes to use their toilets.
One cafe owner told The Times: "My mum woke up one day and found some Chinese tourists in her bedroom."
In November, a mystery fire burnt down a significant part of the 16th century waterfront, and the police are now investigating.
Now Mayor Alexander Scheutz has begged the hordes to stay away.
The town even closed roads to put them off but without any luck.
He said: "Hallstatt is an important piece of cultural history, not a museum.
"We want to reduce numbers by at least a third, but we have no way of actually stopping them."
But not everyone agrees - some locals have called the town a gold mine.
"Hotel rooms cost €300-€400 ($A484-$A646)," one person explained.
"Public toilets costs €1 ($A1.60) and 4000 people use it every day - you do the maths."
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission