Chernobyl to be named official tourist attraction after HBO series
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Ukraine's president is looking to give Chernobyl, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, "new life" as a tourist attraction as the site sees an influx of visitors following the hit HBO miniseries about the 1986 incident.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky signed a decree Wednesday changing the "exclusion zone" at Chernobyl into a "green corridor" for tourists, according to an announcement on his office's official website. 

"Until now, Chernobyl was a negative part of Ukraine's brand," Zelensky said Wednesday during a visit to Chernobyl. "It's time to change it. Chernobyl is a unique place on the planet where nature revives after a global man-made disaster, where there is a real 'ghost town.' We have to show this place to the world: scientists, ecologists, historians, tourists."


According to the announcement, tourist routes, including waterways and checkpoints, will be developed at the site. New checkpoints will be built, and existing ones will be restored and upgraded. 

Restrictions prohibiting visitors from taking videos also will be lifted. 

Ukraine will "promote tourist Chernobyl during international events," the statement said. 

Chernobyl saw in an influx of visitors after the success of HBO's "Chernobyl," a series dramatizing the story of the accident that reportedly killed at least 31 people in the immediate aftermath of the explosion of a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power station. 

The explosion sent a radioactive plume across Europe. According to the United Nations, nearly 50,000 square kilometers of land were contaminated with radiation following the explosion. The number of people killed by the incident remains disputed. 

While radiation levels are higher than normal in the area, thousands of tourists already visit Chernobyl each year. 

Victor Korol, director of SoloEast, a tour company which has been offering trips to parts of Chernobyl, said in June that the company had seen a 35 percent rise in bookings due to the show. 

The writer and executive producer of "Chernobyl" urged tourists to be respectful of the site last month after viral photos faced some backlash for appearing to disrespect those who suffered because of the incident.