Chernobyl series has led to increased visits to the exclusion zone

Not just anyone can visit Chernobyl.

They tried to extinguish reactor number 4 by dusting but failed. (A scene from the HBO miniseries.)They tried to extinguish reactor number 4 by dusting but failed. (A scene from the HBO miniseries.)(Source: Courtesy of HBO)

The HBO miniseries Chernobyl has become one of the best-ranked TV shows in history, with a 9.7 rating on IMDb.

The success of the show has also increased tourists' interest in visiting the locality, despite high radiation levels, the Sme daily reported.

“The visits to our website have surged by hundreds of percent,” Michal Krajčíř, spokesperson of the Chernobylwel.come travel agency, told Sme.

Slovaks are not as interested

The reactor of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded on April 26, 1986. The leaders of the Soviet Union first wanted to conceal the disaster, admitting it occurred only on April 29, 1986, when Scandinavians measured higher radiation levels.

The power plants' surroundings have become an exclusion zone, and, in turn, an interesting destination for certain types of tourists, Sme wrote.

About 75,000 people officially visited Chernobyl last year. The travel agencies first expected the number to increase to 100,000 visitors this year, but the number may actually be higher.

“We expect it will be by tens of thousands more,” Krajčír told Sme. “It’s more intensive than in the previous seasons. The series confirmed that people are interested in this topic.”

Read also:Power, politics and catastrophe: HBO’s Chernobyl is explosively real

The Chernobylwel.come agency has the most clients from Germany and the UK.

Meanwhile, travel agencies from Slovakia that organise trips to Chernobyl have confirmed the rising interest in the destination. However, the numbers are still low, Alexandra Řezníčková, spokesperson for the Invia travel agency, told Sme.

Neither Satur nor Dobrá Cestovka reported a much higher interest in travelling to the area.

How to get to Chernobyl?

Travel agencies often offer a visit to Chernobyl as part of a package tour around Kiev, where tourists can find accommodation.

People interested in visiting Chernobyl have to be older than 18 years and should have official permission, which is arranged by the travel agency. They have to tour the place with an official guide. It is prohibited to visit the place on one’s own, Sme wrote.

Moreover, people entering the power plant need to have special clothes that cover the whole body, special footwear and a cap, according to the daily.

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