HBO's 'Chernobyl' producer urges tourists to exercise 'respect' after viral selfies at disaster site
© Getty Images

The executive producer and writer behind HBO’s show “Chernobyl” on Tuesday cautioned tourists to be respectful when posting pictures from the site of the nuclear disaster.

Craig Mazin said on Twitter that it was wonderful that the miniseries has sparked a wave of tourism to the Zone of Exclusion inside Ukraine, but urged visitors to respect the site and victims of the disaster.

“If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there,” Mazin wrote. “Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed.”

Mazin’s remark comes after a viral Twitter post highlighted Instagram pictures taken in the now-abandoned Soviet town of Pripyat, as well as inside the nuclear plant that was the site of the deadly 1986 explosion.

While the viral post from user @komacore appeared to misidentify whether the users were paid influencers, it sparked a conversation about tourism in the exclusion zone which still contains high levels of radiation.

Local guides told CNN that there has been a spike in visitors coming to the town, roughly 69 miles north of Kiev, since Mazin’s show was released last month.

"We have seen a 35 percent rise in bookings," said Victor Korol, director of SoloEast, a tour company which has been offering trips to parts of Chernobyl.

"Most of the people say they decided to book after seeing this show. It's almost as though they watch it and then jump on a plane over."

Korol said one of the most popular attractions is the Ferris wheel at Pripyat’s deserted amusement park.

The Auschwitz Memorial and Museum in Poland made a similar plea for respect in March, telling visitors to stop taking photos on the train tracks at the site of the former Nazi death camp.

“When you come to [Auschwitz Museum] remember you are at the site where over 1 million people were killed,” the museum wrote on Twitter. “Respect their memory.”

“There are better places to learn how to walk on a balance beam than the site which symbolizes deportation of hundreds of thousands to their deaths.”