The success of a television series examining the world’s worst nuclear accident at Chernobyl has seen a sharp rise in the number of tourists visiting the site.
One tour agency reported a 40% rise in bookings since the show, made by HBO, began last month. The average price for a tour is €89 per person.
Sergiy Ivanchuk, director of SoloEast tours, told Reuters the company saw a 30% increase in tourists going to the area in May compared with the same month last year. Bookings for June, July and August have risen by approximately 40% since HBO aired the show, he said.
Yaroslav Yemelianenko, director of Chernobyl Tour, said he expected a similar increase of 30-40% because of the show. His company offers a special tour of locations depicted in the series, including the bunker where the initial decision was made by local officials not to evacuate after the explosion.
Day-trippers board buses in the centre of Kyiv and are driven 120km (75 miles) to the area, where they can see monuments to the victims and have lunch in the only restaurant in the town of Chernobyl.
They are then taken to see reactor number four, which since 2016 has been covered by a vast metal dome 108 metres (354 ft) high which envelops the exploded core. The day finishes with a walk around Prypyat.