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Beautiful Swiss Town Bans Tourists From Taking Photos

A Swiss town has passed a new bylaw banning tourists from taking selfies, Instagram pics and photos in general in a cheeky marketing ploy that claims the ban is for everyone's own good.

AFP Relaxnews

Updated:June 2, 2017, 10:36 AM IST
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Beautiful Swiss Town Bans Tourists From Taking Photos
Berguen/Bravuogn, sign, no photos allowed. (Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews/ Instagram/ Berguen.filisur)

A Swiss town has passed a new bylaw banning tourists from taking selfies, Instagram pics and photos in general in a cheeky marketing ploy that claims the ban is for everyone's own good.

In the picturesque town of Berguen/Bravuogn, which is situated about an hour away from St. Moritz, visitors who dare to pull out their camera or smartphone to snap photos of the quaint alpine village, mountain peaks and verdant valley floor, face fines of 5 CHF, equal to about $5 USD, for violating the new law.

The reasoning behind the curious new rule?

It's common knowledge that social media can stir feelings of jealousy, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), and depression among users, officials say, particularly when scrolling through photos of stunning travel destinations -- much like their quaint Swiss town.

"The municipality of Berguen/Bravuogn is beautiful. We don't want to make the people outside of the community seeing photos of our picturesque landscape divided over social media unhappy, and invite them to visit and experience Bergün themselves,"said Peter Nicolay, president of Berguen/Bravuogn in a statement.

In addition to scrubbing their own social media accounts of photos that shamelessly showcase the village in all its loveliness, the townspeople came together and made a plea to NASA on Facebook, asking the space agency to delete or blur satellite photos that inadvertently -- and unavoidably -- capture its beauty.

"Dear Nasa, we are a small municipality in Graubuenden, Switzerland," Nicolay said in a video message.

"We have discovered that pictures of our beautiful village are being shared on social media which is making other people unhappy because they cannot be here. That's why we have officially forbidden photography here, because we want everyone to be happy."

One of the biggest tourist draws is the century-old Rhaetian Railway route, a scenic ride that chugs through town along a route that includes dozens of tunnels, covered galleries, viaducts and bridges. The segment is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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