Tourism in Chernobyl spikes in wake of HBO show’s success

It’s safe to say that the miniseries ‘Chernobyl’ is easily one of HBO’s greatest shows despite its limited 5-episode run. The limited series earned a passionate following that shows in the tourism spike earned by Ukraine’s infamous nuclear disaster site.

Online news outlet Reuters reported that the Chernobyl tours company SoloEast saw an increase of 30% in tourism this May. This compares to tourism rates of the same month last year. Bookings for the next couple of months bumped up by 40% according to SoloEast Director Sergiy Ivanchuk.

Another tour group, Chernobyl Tour, has seen a similar increase in bookings as well. Their director Yaroslav Yemelianenko told Reuters that attendance pike up to 40% since ‘Chernobyl’ debuted. The tourism boom is heavily attributed to the debut of the HBO series last month.

The show gave audiences a compelling portrayal of the harrowing events that took place during Ukraine’s nuclear disaster. It piqued the interest of history buffs and casual watchers alike. The show’s popularity is so effective that it even caused quite the stir in Russia.

Since the show has become a worldwide sensation, it’s no surprise that Putin’s Russia abhors it. Kremlin is struggling to deal with the fact that an American network was able to bring Chernobyl’s story on screen before local media did according to The Moscow Times.

Russian TV network NTV is even promoting its own series about Chernobyl. But here’s the twist, it centers a conspiracy of how American CIA agents sabotaged operations during the nuclear disaster. Director Alexei Muradov has said of the story “One theory holds that Americans had infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and many historians do not deny that, on the day of the explosion, an agent of the enemy’s intelligence services was present at the station.”

Ben Hornery
Ben Hornery
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.
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