The Swiss village of Iseltwald is imposing fees and traffic controls to avoid being over-run by tourists. The village appears in a popular South Korean Netflix series. Since then, the idyllic Swiss town has had to deal with large numbers of tourists coming mainly from Korea but also other Asian countries.
Village authorities have decided to install gates at the entrance of the famous pontoon, which can be crossed for a fee of 5 Swiss francs. Only tourists who spend the night in the village or stop to eat at the restaurant will be exempt from the fees.
It all started in 2019 when Netflix released the new South Korean series, “Crash Landing on You,” in which a wealthy South Korean heiress accidentally lands by paraglider in the demilitarized zone on the border with North Korea. A North Korean soldier helps her to return to the South. According to Swissinfo, up to 12 buses full of tourists landed every day in the small village of barely 400 inhabitants.
In the story, the main character is the North Korean soldier Ri Jeong-hyeok. He was studying piano in Switzerland to become a concert pianist before being forced to join the army. Several flashbacks in the series show him in the famous Swiss village of Iseltwald.
With 1.75 billion views recorded the day after the last episode of the series aired on Netflix in February 2020, this South Korean drama is becoming the biggest hit of its kind. The pandemic became a pause for what would happen later. Thousands of aficionados of the series wanted to visit the locations.
The famous pier that appears in the series is now even referenced on Google Maps as “Crash Landing on You filming location”. Tourists have been flocking from different parts of Asia, including South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. According to local Swiss media, roughly 400,000 people visited the location in 2022.
As of this year, the village will only allow pre-booked coaches, which pay for the parking spaces provided.