Norfolk interest in Chernobyl trips surge but tourists urged to be 'respectful'
PUBLISHED: 14:07 12 June 2019 | UPDATED: 14:07 12 June 2019
A travel agent has urged people to remember the "devastating impact" of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster after a surge in interest from Norfolk holidaymakers.
Broadland Travel Worldchoice is currently offering 15% off a trip to the Ukranian site - but owner Nick Lee has urged customers to remember the death and destruction caused by the 1986 disaster.
Mr Lee said: "We've definitely had more enquiries than we've ever had for Chernobyl because of the television programme. In the past five years I can think of only a couple of instances, prior to the show airing."
The HBO series tracks the disaster in the city of Pripyat. The nuclear accident lead to potentially thousands of people dying - experts still cannot agree on the final figure.
However John Gittus of the Royal Academy of Engineering told the UK government there could eventually be around 10,000 fatalities.
The current offer to visit the site includes a four-night trip to Ukraine with flights and accommodation included.
The discounted price is £730 which includes an overnight stay in a purpose-built facility in Chernobyl.
"It's a changing trend of seeing people taking trips for cultural interest as opposed to going for a good time," said Mr Lee.
However, only 14 people are allowed on the Chernobyl tour per week.
"I think it's the best way to do it because it stops people packing in just for the sake of it," Mr Lee said. "This was a devastating disaster and you don't want to see a similar situation to Everest, which is getting very busy, with people packing on at every chance available."
Chernobyl tourists have hit headlines recently with Instagram influencers slammed for taking posed pictures at the disaster-struck site.
Craig Mazin, who wrote and created the HBO series, said: "If you visit, please remember that a terrible tragedy occurred there. Comport yourselves with respect for all who suffered and sacrificed."
Mr Lee added that purely by seeing destination names in the media, customers will have their interest piqued.
"It's a very unfortunate reason to visit somewhere but because of sad events such as the Second World War we see Auschwitz enquiries increasing around the memorial times of year, as well as increases in D-Day tours and so on," he said.
The £730 Chernobyl tour is available from the travel agents which are based in North Walsham.
The trip for this price takes place in November.