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

Hotels

Familiar face returns to Crowne Plaza Terrigal Pacific as GM

Crowne Plaza has opted not to hire a stranger to lead its iconic Terrigal hotel. However, that’s not to say there were a heap of creepy job applicants.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Emirates cans decision to suspend Aussie flights

The UAE’s flag carrier has performed a bizarre backflip, complete with a couple of half-twists and a pike. Meanwhile, the government has introduced stricter rules for returning Aussies.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Norwegian launches agent incentives across all three brands

As the saying goes, all good things come in threes … except if there were four incentives being offered, of course.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Victoria and Tasmania announce further easing of border restrictions

by Huntley Mitchell

The relaxing of domestic border restrictions continues apace, so apologies if we’ve missed any updates here. Our editor’s typing fingers are quite tired and sore.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

WATCH: Intrepid releases heartfelt video to remind the world why we travel

Travel Weekly’s deputy editor cried her eyes out while watching this video. Partly because it’s so beautiful, but mostly because she just really wants to be on the next plane out of here.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Australia’s first Mövenpick hotel opens its doors

Among the offerings at this new Accor hotel is a daily ‘Chocolate Hour’, which we can only assume involves bathing in Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Tourist slammed for daring Instagram video on the edge of 500m waterfall

A 25-year-old influencer has been heavily criticised for taking photos of herself on the edge of a very threatening-looking waterfall. Fair enough.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

CLIA names new global chairman

There’s been a major change in CLIA’s boardroom, and we’re not talking about the new fiddle-leaf fig.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Federal government accidentally advises visa applicants to travel overseas despite COVID-19 pandemic

Looks like someone at the Department of Home Affairs is getting fired after accidentally telling visa applicants to get overseas immediately during a global pandemic.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Savvy agent scores loads of cruise bookings during Victoria’s lockdown

Meanwhile, the only thing Travel Weekly’s editor achieved in lockdown was to eat his weight in potato chips while getting through Netflix’s entire catalogue.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Northern Beaches COVID-19 outbreak led to $7 billion loss for tourism industry: TTF

Avalon residents have reportedly gone back into quarantine to escape the blame for this huge loss to the tourism industry.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Federal government urged to introduce HECS-style loan scheme for small businesses

Could this turn out to be another much-needed funding opportunity for travel agents? Let’s bloody hope so.

Share

CommentComments