a woman sitting on a rock

There’s a limit to what you should “do for the gram'”…

A popular photo can bring fame, fortune and Instagram glory – but one unsure step and that “dare to dream” photo attempt can end in tragic and untimely death. People really do die each and every year attempting the perfect travel selfie, and as tourism numbers surge, these awful stories are on the rise. To make even the best selfies safe, Ireland is the first, but surely not the last country, proposing “selfie seats”, aimed at making the perfect capture stress free.

a cliff with a body of water and a cliffAccording to Irish Paper The Southern Star, Jim Daly, Junior Minister of the country’s Health Ministry has requested “selfie seats” be installed in top photo vantage points, after tragedy recently struck on the idyllic Cliffs Of Moher, where a college student fell to their death capturing an image.

The idea is to create well known, mapped out selfie spots where you can queue for the perfect angle, without any risk. Keeping people “on the path” and providing a sturdy but highly admirable vantage point would help boost safety yet still encourage the cheapest form of destination awareness. That’s the “selfie” by the way.

Let’s just hope there’s a timer on each selfie session, because some tourists have clearly failed to get the “etiquette” memo. We’ve all got places to go and things to see!

Daly argues that the “selfie” is one of the most cost effective tourism marketing tools for any country, and allowing travelers to capture the most compelling angles without risking safety is a win-win for all. The selfie seats would also designate curated hashtags and geolocation tools which would make it easier to share and for others to know “where”.

Safety is crucial and better tips for where to take perfect photos would be great, but would a selfie chair ruin what was once an untouched natural backdrop though? It’s hard to picture summiting a mountain after a grueling hike, only to find a harness chair in the way of a clear capture – but hey – safety first. a woman sitting on a rock overlooking a valleySelfie seats have proven popular in many of Asia’s top destinations, and after recent tourist tragedies in India, California and now Ireland, the idea is gaining traction. Rich with picturesque hill stations and Himalayan backdrops, India has experienced more selfie related deaths than any other country.

With any hope, new measures to cap tourism overcrowding and innovative, if not goofy ideas such as selfie seats will ensure that “doing it for the gram” never becomes “dying for the gram”. The next best destination is always one great photo away, so don’t miss it. 

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. My perspective has always been pretty Darwinist: If you ignore the signage and die as a result, there’s certainly no one else to blame. “When in doubt, don’t be stupid” might be a good motto to follow. Maybe this sounds cold, but I’ve seen so many people do amazingly stupid things, some of which they should have rightfully died for, that I prefer to save my concerns for people who follow directions.

  2. @Christian,

    I agree. Fortunately, I suffer from acrophobia. Darwinism prevails. “Beauty fades. Dumb is forever.”


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