Tourism

Chernobyl nuclear site to become official tourist attraction

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

The President of Ukraine has revealed he intends to turn the area surrounding the Chernobyl nuclear site into a tourist hub.

The move comes after Travel Weekly reported Dark Tourism hot spot Chernobyl was booming, thanks in part to the success of HBO’s mini-series Chernobyl, which examined the nuclear disaster of 1986.

Pripyat in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine, 2016

With Ukraine’s recently inaugurated president Volodymyr Zelensky, an entertainer turned politician, signing a decree for walking trails in Chernobyl, the country has announced its intention to open Chernobyl to the world.

“Chernobyl has been a negative part of Ukraine’s brand,” Zelensky said. “The time has come to change this.”

Tour leaders in the region have seen a 40 per cent increase in bookings since Chernobyl aired in May, with tourists from Kiev travelling more than 100 kilometres to visit the site of the worst nuclear disaster in history.

There has also been a wave of interest from Instagrammers visiting Chernobyl and the abandoned town of Pripyat, drawing criticism from Chernobyl creator Craig Mason for questionable ‘glamour shots’ in the area.

Soviet Radar System Duga near Chernobyl

Zelensky said on Wednesday that the government will create green corridors for tourists, in addition to waterways and checkpoints in the area, as outlined in the signed decree.

“Chernobyl is a unique place on the planet where nature [has been] reborn after a huge man-made disaster,” Zelensky said.

“We have to show this place to the world: to scientists, ecologists, historians [and] tourists.”

Przewalski horses in Chernobyl, Ukraine.
Since the nuclear disaster of 1986, nature has slowly but surely reclaimed the area.

It has also been revealed that past restrictions on filming in Chernobyl will be lifted. The government will also reportedly crack down on corruption by introducing an e-ticket system for visitors to Chernobyl.

“The exclusion zone is … a symbol of corruption,” Zelensky said. “This includes bribes that law enforcers collect from tourists. We will stop all of this very soon.”

President Zelensky’s announcement came during an official inauguration ceremony for the Chernobyl New Safe Confinement (NSC), a dome structure that encases the destroyed reactor.

New Safe Confinement

The NSC, which cost around $2.4 billion to build, was moved into place in 2016 and is designed to prevent further radioactive material leaking from the number 4 reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant over the next century.

It measures 900-feet wide and 354-feet tall and is high enough to cover the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Breaking News

Travel Agents

Flight Centre acquires Aussie travel company

Flight Centre is hoping this latest acquisition will give its Australian leisure business a much-needed boost.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Agent wrap: Agents say G’day to LA, win a trip to New York state + MORE!

If you’re not marching in the climate strike today, you may as well make use of your time in the office by checking out the latest famils and events.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Flavour of the week: Crystalbrook Collection’s new PR, Akaryn Group gets VP of development and operations + MORE!

This week’s industry appointment wrap up is particularly flavoursome, and not just because there’s a man holding a whopping great mud cake as the lead image.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Industry reacts to shock collapse of Tempo Holidays and Bentours

by Huntley Mitchell

The sudden exit of Tempo Holidays and Bentours from the local market has prompted other travel companies to offer support for affected agents and clients.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

“I didn’t do it”: Watch as sightseeing ship strikes World War II vessel on Hudson River

by Christian Fleetwood

A passenger vessel travelling the Hudson River has collided with a decommissioned war vessel. Watch the chaos unfold here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Airbnb offers fans the chance to stay at Downton Abbey castle

Do your clients fancy staying in an ultra-luxe castle for the night with 300 rooms? Help them live out all their royal family fantasies with this.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: LAX’s historic rental car facility, Rail Adventures’ Sri Lanka commission + MORE!

If this week’s Road & Rail Wrap was a meal, it’d be a family-sized banquet, as opposed to it usually looking like chicken stuffing and sides.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: Malaysia’s newest hotel brand, Fairmont’s underwater art installation + MORE!

Looking to cure your post-hump day blues with something other than a bottle of vodka or a block of Cadbury Top Deck? Feel instantly better with our Hotel Wrap!

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline puts its crew on a “low-fat” diet after firing several for being overweight

It’s not clear whether the heavily indebted airline made the decision to save money or to get its crew into shape. Either outcome is not ideal.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean’s biggest challenge “has been the same thing for 50 years”, says vice chairman

by Huntley Mitchell

Travel Weekly recently joined Royal Caribbean’s Adam Goldstein for lunch and conversation. Here’s what we managed to regurgitate… from the chat, that is. Not the ham sandwiches.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Jetstar flight to Bali forced to turn back over windscreen crack

An eight-hour flight to Bali turned into a six-hour flight to Melbourne when pilots noticed something wasn’t quite right with the plane’s windscreen.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Agoda unveils fresh look

Coincidentally, Travel Weekly’s editor is also trialling a new look. However, his cornrows are far less “fresh” than Agoda’s swanky new font and dots with eyes.

Share

CommentComments