The flow of tourists to the Chernobyl exclusion zone in 2019 after the release of the mini-series “Chernobyl” can be increased twice compared to 2018 – up to 150 thousand people, the Director of the Chornobyl Tour of Chernobyl and the Association of tour operators Yaroslav Emelianenko.
“This year we expected to reach 100-110 thousand tourists due to normal demand growth at the Chernobyl tourism, while last year there were 70 thousand of tourists. But given the release of the series, you can go for 150 thousand people”, – said Emelianenko in comments to the Agency “Interfax-Ukraine”.
According to him, 90% of tourists are foreigners, despite the fact that the cost of the tour for citizens of Ukraine is three to four times cheaper.
The expert noted that due to the complex preparation of guides and the specifics of the topic of Chernobyl, increase the number of tour operators offering tours to the exclusion zone, should not be expected.
The head of Subcommittee of the Verkhovna Rada on issues of tourism, resorts and recreation, people’s Deputy Anna Romanova said the current increase in the number of applications for tours to Chernobyl 30%. “Today, the increased number of applications for a visit by approximately 30%. But you need to understand that the boom is expected later. Yesterday came the latest series, many have yet watched the series and potential wishing waiting for the right moment to visit Ukraine, are studying the possibility,” – said Romanov.
She also believes that the complexity of training guides and specific topics can limit the increase in the number of tour operators.
“Now it is about five high-quality tour operators. Growth can be, but it is a good quality. The Chernobyl topic is the most complex tourism product in Ukraine and, perhaps, in the world. It is a work in difficult conditions, with special training guides. The guide needs to know several languages, be knowledgeable in physics, radiology, history of the Soviet Union. The tour lasts 12 hours, tourists come from all over the world, it is often scientists or students of world-renowned universities, they ask specific relevant questions. It is therefore very important to the quality of work with tourists, transportation, radiation, radio, audio, video printing, and more,” – emphasizes the MP.
In addition, with increasing flow of tourists there is the problem of limited bandwidth of the checkpoint of the Chernobyl zone and load locations.
“There is the notion of bandwidth of the Chernobyl zone. It is not rubber, and we have to manage the groups, to breed for different places, to expand routes. With the growth of the turnover in urgently preparing new guides, we prepare the new location in conjunction with the administration of the Chernobyl exclusion zone. It is planned the opening of new crossing points for the entry of more tourists. We are also building new routes, including water, kayaks, and other parts of the Chernobyl zone, which is now closed,” – said Emelianenko.
He also added that in conjunction with the Department of tourism of the Kyiv city state administration is working on the creation of package tours, including the tour to the places of filming of the series.