Instead of the most terrible accidental nuclear explosion in history, tourism has developed.
The success of the HBO Chernobyl drama seems to be increasing the tourism industry in the region. According to Reuters, bookings by Chernobyl tourists have increased by around 40 percent since last year.
HBO debuted on May 6 in the first episode of Chernobyl. Compared to May 2018, tourism company SoloEast recorded a 30% increase and bookings for June, July and August increased by around 40%, said company CEO Sergey Ivanchuk. [5 strange things you don’t know about Chernobyl]
After the reactor explosion at Chernobyl in 1986, radioactive particles spread rapidly in the area and around 200,000 people were evacuated and moved. Authorities have announced that the so-called “prohibited area” will be 30 km from the site of the blast, leaving deserted, uninhabited cities to this day.
In 2010, however, the exclusion zone was open to tourists and the Ukrainian authorities stated that long-term radiation was “insignificant”. Since then, the popularity of Chernobyl tourism has increased, and the HBO series may be even more attractive for destroyed destinations, “tour guide Victoria Brozco told Reuters.
“Radiation makes the area very attractive,” said Ukrainian tour operator Chernobyl Tour on its website, the company’s day tour. According to Reuters, visits to companies included important visits to the HBO series, such as bunkers, where local authorities initially decided to postpone evacuation.
On day trips to Chernobyl tourists usually see the victims’ monuments. the house is free and overgrown; a scary and abandoned amusement park; and the exploded reactor, now fully enclosed by a 105-meter high metal dome, told Reuters.
The Chernobyl Tours website calls the prohibited zone “safe for visitors”, although the company acknowledges that some areas in the restricted area still have high levels of radiation that can pose a risk.