Europe

Swiss village wants to ban photos, says it's too beautiful for social media

You won’t be seeing anymore wistful wish-you-were-here posts on social media about this idyllic town in Switzerland. That's because the village has voted to ban tourists from taking photos.

The commune of Bergün/Bravuogn, north of the popular alpine resort town St. Moritz, voted to bring in the new law in its municipal assembly on Monday, according to The Local.

But why? Well, the residents believe it is just far too beautiful and posting photos of it on social media may cause others to feel depressed they are not there.

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“It is scientifically proven that beautiful holiday photos on social media make the viewer unhappy because they cannot be there themselves,” said the village tourist office in a statement. 

The tourist office has already taken down photos of the village from its own Facebook and Twitter accounts and intends to remove them from its official website. The picturesque alpine village has lush, green mountains, rivers and glaciers.

The ban would see offending tourists face a fine of 5 Swiss Francs (about $7), with the tourist office claiming all proceeds going to help protect the landscape

But if the whole thing just whiffs of a marketing ploy to you, you’re not wrong.

Speaking to The Local, the village’s director of tourism Marc-Andrea Barandun admitted that it sort of is.

The law is technically real — it was indeed voted for by the town council but the threatened fine is unlikely to actually be imposed on any visitors. 

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“But in the background of course the idea is that everyone talks about Bergün. So it’s a combination of both — we made the law and also there’s some marketing [aim] behind it,” he said.

This clever ploy hasn’t gone down well with everyone though. Many people have criticized the “ban” on Bergün’s Facebook page.

One commenter said the village should be “ashamed” of its “disgusting” behaviour, adding that there is “no way I’m going to visit this village again!”

Another claimed it was “the worst joke I’ve ever heard."

Only time will tell if the old adage all publicity is good publicity holds true for tourism.