Will 'overtourism' ruin Chernobyl?

 

If that doesn't seem like an absurd question, you've missed the effect of the recent TV miniseries on human curiosity (or possibly other emotions). Since the series, agencies running tours to the abandoned towns and reactor have been getting around 40% more bookings.

So many people, in fact, are visiting the site of the 1986 disaster that forced evacuation of an entire region, that some are complaining that too many are coming. A Netherlands visitor told a reporter "There are quite a lot of tourists already here and it does kind of take away the experience of being in a completely abandoned town, so I think if more and more tourists come here that will ruin the experience."

The tours, which mostly leave from Kiev, usually involve a 75-mile bus ride to Pripyat, the main abandoned town, where they see monuments to victims, and the huge metal dome covering the remains of Reactor #4. After lunch in the only restaurant operating in the region, it's back to the bus. Tour sponsors claim that the radiation exposure for the visit is only a little more than would happen in a day at home, but long-term effects are not known.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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