Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

THE ‘most beautiful village’ in Europe wants to charge tourists to visit the social media worthy location.

Lauterbrunnen in Switzerland boasts idyllic panoramic views, Heidi-style chalets, waterfalls and green pastures and has been a hit with day trippers looking for an Instagram worthy photo opportunity.

Lauterbrunnen pictured during autumn has been dubbed Europe’s most beautiful village

The village has become inundated with tourists visiting for the day

The spot has always been popular with tourists, with Lord Byron once visting Lauterbrunnen

The Swiss village is now considering a tourist tax to curb day trip visitors.

A resort manager in Lauterbrunnen, Tom Durrer said: “During the peak summer season, it gets a bit crowded along the village road, as the road is not very wide and there’s only one pavement.”

With a population of 2,400, the small village of Lauterbrunnen struggles to deal with the influx of visitors, with the village receiving approximately 6,000 visitors per day

Speaking to Swiss public radio SRF last year, village priest Markus Tschanz said: “We feel like employees in an amusement park.”

Head of the Institute of Tourism at Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Jürg Stettler said: “Lauterbrunnen definitely has an overtourism problem.

“But it’s not a result of their success but of their interesting ‘Instagrammable’ waterfall, Staubbach Falls.”

The proposed charge, which would be paid through a smartphone app, would be between 5 and 10 Swiss francs ($5.50 to $10.99) and apply to visitors passing through for the day by car.

Lauterbrunnan mayor Karl Näpflin said: “The exception would be guests who have booked an offer such as a hotel or an excursion or who arrive by public transport.”

CEO of Jungfrau Regional Tourism Marc Ungerer said: “The legal basis for such a tax does not yet exist.

“Therefore, it’s far too early to consider what such a tax might look like or how it could work”.

It’s not the only tourist destination that is set to impose a ‘tourist tax’ on day trippers.

Tennerife is also set to adopt measures to regulate the number of visitors by charging tourists, while the city of Portimão on Portugal’s Algarve coast has introduced a €2 (£1.70) fee per night for up to a week between peak seasons through March to September.

Most famously, Venice in Italy charges tourists €5 to visit for the day.

The proposed tourist taxes to control visitors entering and exiting the region comes after a spate of ‘anti tourism’ protests which have plagued holiday hot spots.

Holiday hot spots such as Tenerife, Majorca, Menorca, Ibiza have seen an increase in protests against tourists.

Rosa Dávila, the first female president of Tenerife said: “We must analyze the exceptionalities that can be applied in a territory as fragile and limited as ours.

“What is clear is that Tenerife cannot be a theme park.

“Those who visit us have to value and respect our natural and cultural wealth, our resources, and they have to be clear about the rules for their preservation.

Recently, residents of Binibeca Vell, a popular spot for Insta-worth photos on Menorca, blocked off 22 entryways to the private community after they were fed up with visitors roaming the streets of their village.

Meanwhile, a protest of more that 15,000 people stormed through Majorca’s capital Palma, jeering at travellers.

Campaigners claim mass tourism is causing housing shortages, major environmental damage, and driving down wages.

Margalida Ramis, head of affiliated group GOB Mallorca said “tourist saturation” was responsible for “job and life insecurity,” a lack of housing and “environmental and ecological issues”.

The village is now looking to impose a tourist tax to people only staying for the day

More than 6000 visitors are expected each day

With a population of 2,400, Lauterbrunnan struggles with the increase in tourists per day

The village boasts idyllic views, waterfalls and Heidi-style chalets

The region is home to more than 70 waterfalls


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