The authorities of a mountainous village in Switzerland have banned tourists from taking photos because the beauty of the environment could make those who see it online and are not able to visit go into depression.
To deter visitors from taking photos in Bergün, there is a €5 fine for those caught breaking the new rule.
According to a statement by the Bergün tourism authority, “It is scientifically proven that beautiful holiday photos on social media make the viewer unhappy because they cannot be there themselves.
“Bergün 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,” said mayor Peter Nicolay. “I am very pleased that the inhabitants of Bergün have the happiness of all people at heart. That makes me very proud.”
However, it seems unlikely that the village’s new law was really thought up as a way to spare Facebook or Instagram users of the depressing experience of seeing the beauty of the village.
As the news went viral online, many speculated that it was actually a clever marketing scheme, a theory that was at least partially confirmed by the village’s director of tourism, Marc-Andrea Barandun.
“In the background of course the idea is that everyone is talking about Bergün,” he told The Local. “So it’s a combination of both – we made the law and also there’s some marketing [aim] behind it.”