With pastel-coloured houses casting shimmering reflections onto the looking-glass lake and with lofty mountains rearing up on all sides, the Austrian town of Hallstatt is a must-see for tourists across the world.
So beautiful is this little town with a population of 800 people that it received the World Heritage tag. And with that comes the massive influx of tourists -- according to reports, -- it receives over 1 million tourists a year.
Surprisingly, most of the tourists to this scenic place come from China. Hallstatt is so popular among the Chinese that they created a replica of it in 2012, complete with the church and the main square.
While the income from tourism has greatly helped t he town’s economy, the locals are not all happy with the steady influx of tourists to the pristine town.
"The advantages are that we have become financially independent," says the Mayor of Hallstatt, Alexander Scheutz. "We used to be a place that people left... But that's changed. Now we can develop our own projects and offer a lot of our population."
However, the locals don’t agree with the mayor. "We have a lot of short-term visitors who swamp the place," said a resident. "That isn't so good for the people who live here," he added.
To cub the massive amounts of tourism, Hallstatt now plans to reduce the number of tourists buses in the town.