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Swiss town bans tourists from taking photos as part of PR stunt
One Swiss town temporarily barred tourists from taking photos because the scenes were just too beautiful to be posted on social media. The ban was lifted after the commune received international media coverage. (Getty Images)

Swiss town bans tourists from taking photos as part of PR stunt

One Swiss village briefly barred tourists from taking photos of the scenic town because it is just too beautiful for social media.

The town of Bergün/Bravuogn, near Mt. Moritz, voted to pass the new law during its municipal assembly last week, The Local reported. Those who were caught taking pictures could face a $5 fine.

The stated reason for banning photos was because the people who see the images, yet can’t travel to the Swiss commune, might become upset because they cannot experience it first-hand, the town said.

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

Bergün/Bravuogn has a uniquely beautiful landscape, so it could make those who see the photos particularly unhappy, town authorities felt.

“Bergün/Bravuogn is beautiful. We don’t want to make people outside the community unhappy by sharing social media photos of our picturesque landscape, and we cordially invite you to visit Bergün to experience it for yourself,” Mayor Peter Nicolay said. “I am very pleased that the inhabitants of Bergün have the happiness of all people at heart. That makes me very proud.”

But the bizarre ban only lasted a few days. The decision to reverse the new law, which the town later admitted was nothing more than a stunt for attention, came after the policy sparked international media coverage.

Late last week, the commune said it would be giving “special permission” to all tourists to take as many photos as they want without running the risk of being fined.

“The commune never thought this initiative would generate so much media interest,” Nicolay said in a statement. “It seems there is huge interest in Bergün.

“Our village is now world famous for its beauty. Millions of people around the world now know Bergün,” he said.

The mayor noted that the policy would be lifted at the town’s next municipal assembly.

The tourist office said it was “overwhelmed by the success” of the initiative, pointing out that the number of Google searches for the village increased by seven times in just one day.

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