Thanks To HBO, Chernobyl Is Now A Tourist Destination In Ukraine
By Kelsey Marie
Whether or not you’ve seen the HBO drama Chernobyl; tourists are flocking there to see the nuclear disaster site in real life.
There has been a 30 percent increase in tourism for the past two months which has made Ukraine’s government aware of the effect the show is having on tourism.
The increase in tourism has been so impactful that Ukraine’s government announced Chernobyl will become an official tourist attraction.
To make the area more tourist-friendly, Chernobyl will be getting new walking trails, better cellphone service, new waterways and information points throughout the area.
Even filming restrictions will be lifted.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, says during a speech that it is time to “give this territory of Ukraine a new life. Chernobyl was a negative part of Ukraine’s brand. It’s time to change it.”
The decision was also made in hopes of helping Ukraine to end corruption in that area.
President Zelensky also said in his speech that “security officials are known to accept bribes from tourists in exchange for access to the exclusion zone” — which is the area surrounding the plant and strictly limited for public access.
Zelensky pointed out Chernobyl is a resource for ecologists because of the lack of humans there for decades gave animals and nature the ability to flourish to their full potential.
Although the site was not open for public access, government-approved tours were conducted on the site.
There were risks since the area has elevated radiation levels but tours are conducted using a meter which makes sure visitors are kept away from intense exposure.
If you’re wary of being exposed to the radiation, you can visit the Chernobyl museum in Kiev to learn about the history of the site while staying away from the actual site.
Scientists say it will take about 24,000 years for Chernobyl to be safe for human habitation again.
Kelsey-Marie is an NYC girl who currently lives in Johannesburg, South Africa. You can keep up with her on Instagram at @kelseydashmarie