AKIPRESS.COM - Seeing a spike in tourism to a destination that appeared in a popular film or TV show such as Lord of the Rings (New Zealand), The Night Manager (Majorca) or Game of Thrones (Croatia) is nothing new, but the fact that there has been a significant increase in people wanting to travel to Chernobyl after the airing of HBO series Chernobyl, is disturbing.
2km from Chernobyl, the Ukrainian ghost town of Pripyat, which was evacuated after one of the nuclear plant’s reactors exploded in 1986, saw 70,000 visitor arrivals last year. However, according to Reuters, bookings with one Chernobyl tour agency have gone up 40 per cent since the US series appeared on screens this spring.
Various companies specialise in taking tourists to post-apocolyptic sites in the exclusion zone including bunkers, abandoned fairgrounds and derelict buildings, as well as the New Safe Confinement structure built over the remains of the damaged fourth reactor of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. There is also the chance to see the Chernobyl Museum in Kiev, 120km away.
Other stop-offs on the itinerary include the Wormwood Star memorial, the “almost fully buried Kopachi village and it’s kindergarten”, the Red Forest around Pripyat, the Dytyatki checkpoint where there is compulsory radiation control, and the only restaurant in Chernobyl itself (“all ingredients are brought from the outside and ecologically clean”). Excursions cost less than £100.