The Disaster as a Factor in the Development of Modern Tourism. A Study Case Based on the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

  • Daniel BAKOTA Jan Długosz University in Czestochowa, Poland
  • Robert MACHOWSKI University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
  • Arkadiusz PŁOMIŃSKI Jan Długosz University in Czestochowa, Poland
  • Aliaksei RAMANCHUK University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
  • Mariusz RZĘTAŁA University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland
  • Lesia ZASTAVETSKA Volodymyr Hnatyuk National Pedagogical University in Ternopil, Ukraine

Abstract

The destination which attracts tourists is the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone established in the area of radioactive contamination within a radius of 10 to 30 km around the plant. The main tourist attraction of the zone is the infrastructure of the inactive nuclear power plant, notably reactor no. 4 covered with a concrete and steel sarcophagus. The abandoned city of Pripyat, called the "ghost town", is also of unique value to tourism. The "Duga" radar station (also dubbed "The Eye of Moscow"), an artefact of the Cold War, also lies within the zone accessible to tourists. These sites, with their mysterious and dark history, are a magnet for an increasing number of tourist groups. In 1995 the zone was visited by 900 tourists. Subsequent years have brought a regular annual growth in the number of visitors to 17,800 in 2013. A decline came in 2014 (8400), which was caused by the political situation in Ukraine (e.g. Euromajdan). The last five years (2015-2019) are characterised by a very large annual increase in the number of tourists, and in some years, an almost a doubling of the humbers compared to the previous year (2015 – 16,400, 2016 – 35,100, 2017 – 46,136, 2018 – 71,869, 2019 – 124,001).

References

[1] Baker, R. J., and Chesser, R.K. 2000. The Chernobyl nuclear disaster and subsequent creation of a wildlife preserve. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 19(5): 1231–1232.
[2] Bakota, D., Zastavetska, L. and Płomiński, A. 2018. The Disaster in Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and Tourism. Condition of and Prospects for the Development of Tourism in the Area of Radioactive Contamination. Annual Set The Environment Protection, 20: 495–511.
[3] Banaszkiewicz, M., Kruczek, Z. and Duda, A. 2017. The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as a tourist attraction. Reflections on the turistification of the Zone. Folia Turistica, 44: 145–169.
[4] Centre for Organisational and Technical Affairs and Information Management of the Exclusion Zone. https://cotiz.org.ua
[5] Choung, E.-H., and Choi, S. 2020. Sorokdo as a combined dark tourism site of leprosy and colonized past. Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, 25(8): 814–828.
[6] Devel, L., et al. 1986. Initial observations of fallout from the reactor accident at Chernobyl. Nature, 321: 192–193.
[7] Development strategy of tourism and resorts by 2026 [in Ukrainian], no. 168. Kiev: Ministry of Ukraine; 2017.
[8] Environmental consequences of the Chernobyl accident and their remediation: twenty years of experience. 2006. Report of the Chernobyl Forum Expert Group “Environment”. Radiological Assessment Reports Series. Vienna: International Atomic Energy Agency; 2006. pp 166.
[9] Evangeliou, N., et al. 2019. Resuspension and atmospheric transport of radionuclides due to wildfires near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 2015: An impact assessment. Scientific Reports, 6: 1–14.
[10] Evangeliou, N., et al. 2014. Wildfires in Chernobyl-contaminated forests at risk to the population and the environment: A new nuclear disaster about to happen? Environment International, 73: 346–358.
[11] Glazko, V. I., and Glazko, T. T. 2011. Laws of anthropogenic (ecological) disasters – The example of the Chernobyl accident. Biotechnology & Biotechnological Equipment, 25(4): 2561–2565.
[12] Goatcher, J. and Brunsden, V. 2011. Chernobyl and the Sublime Tourist. Tourist Studies, 11(2): 115–137.
[13] Hatch, M., and Cardis, E. 2017. Somatic health effects of Chernobyl: 30 years on. European Journal of Epidemiology, 32(12): 1047–1054.
[14] Hatch, M., et al. 2005. The Chernobyl disaster: Cancer following the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Epidemiological Reviews, 27: 56–66.
[15] Havenaar, J.M., et al. 1997. Long-term mental health effects of the Chernobyl disaster: An epidemiologic survey in two former Soviet regions. American Journal of Psychiatry, 154(11): 1605–1607. DOI: 10.1176/ajp.154.11.1605
[16] Hoffmann, W. 2001. Fallout from the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster and Congenital Malformations in Europe. Archives of Environmental Health, 56(6): 478–484.
[17] Howieson, J. Q., and Snell, V. G. 1987. Chernobyl – A Canadian Technical Perspective. Nuclear Journal of Canada, 1(2): 192–215.
[18] Inshe.tv. http://inshe.tv/society/2020-01-26/502898
[19] Jacob, P., et al. 1998. Thyroid cancer risk to children calculated. Nature, 392: 31–32.
[20] Jaworowski, Z. 2010. Observations on the Chernobyl disaster and LNT. Dose-Response, 8(2): 148–171.
[21] Kruczek, Z. 2017. Chernobyl – from disaster to creating attractions in the exclusion zone [in Polish]. Research Papers of the University of Economics in Wrocław, 473: 317–324.
[22] Krupskyi, O. P., and Temchur, K. O. 2018. Media tourism in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone as a new tourist phenomenon. Journal of Geology Geography and Geoecology, 27(2): 261–273.
[23] Kryshev, I. I. 1995. Radioactive contamination of aquatic ecosystems following the Chernobyl accident. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity, 27(3): 207–219.
[24] Labib, A. 2014. Chernobyl disaster. In: Learning from Failures: Decision Analysis of Major Disasters. Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp 97–106.
[25] Lennon, J. J., and Foley, M. 1996. JFK and dark tourism: A fascination with assassination. International Journal of Heritage Studies, 2(4): 198–211.
[26] Lennon, J. J. and Tiberghien, G. 2020. Kazakhstan Gulag heritage: Dark tourism and selective interpretation. International Journal of Tourism Research, 22(3): 364–374.
[27] Main Department of Statistics in the District of Kiev. http://kyivobl.ukrstat.gov.ua
[28] Martini, A., and Buda, D. M. 2020. Dark tourism and affect: framing places of death and disaster. Current Issues in Tourism, 23(6): 679–692.
[29] Miles, W. F. S. 2002. Auschwitz: Museum Interpretation and Darker Tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 29(4): 1175–1178.
[30] Ozer, Selda .U., Gorkem K. Ersoy, and Demet Tuzunkan. 2012. Dark Tourism in Gallipoli: Forecast Analysis to Determine Potential of Australian Visitors. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 41: 386–393.
[31] Pestushkо, V. Y., and Y. P. Chubuk. 2010. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant as a destination for tourists [in Ukrainian]. Geography and Tourism [in Ukrainian] 9: 82–86.
[32] Report on the condition of, threat to, and protection of the environment. Warsaw: Central Statistical Office. 1990. pp 1-337.
[33] Report to the General Assembly. Sources and Effects of Ionizing Radiation. Annex J Exposures and Effects of the Chernobyl Accident. New York: United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation; 2000. pp 451–566.
[34] Report to the General Assembly. Sources, Effects and Risks of Ionizing Radiation. Annex D. Exposures from the Chernobyl accident. New York: United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation. 1988. pp 309-374.
[35] Seaton, A. V. 1999. War and Thanatourism: Waterloo 1815-1914. Annals of Tourism Research, 26(1): 130-158.
[36] Sharma, P., and Nayak, J. K. 2019. Dark tourism: tourist value and loyalty intentions. Tourism Review, 74(4): 915–929.
[37] Shestopalov, V. M., Kashparov, V. A. and Ivanov, Yu. A. 2003. Radionuclide migration into the geological environment and biota after the Chernobyl accident. Environmental Science and Pollution, SI: 39–47.
[38] Snell, V.G., and Howieson, J. Q. 1991. Chernobyl – A Canadian Perspective. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. pp 1–22.
[39] State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management. http://dazv.gov.ua
[40] State Statistics Service of Ukraine. http://kyivobl.ukrstat.gov.ua
[41] Stone, P., and Sharpley, R. 2008. Consuming Dark Tourism: A Thanatological Perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, 35(2): 574–595.
[42] Weiland, N., Steiner, M. and Grosche. B. 2016. Effects on health of the Chernobyl accident: 30 years on. Bundesgesundheitsblatt-Gesundheitsforschung-Gesundheitsschuts, 59(9): 1171–1177.
Published
2020-11-30
How to Cite
BAKOTA, Daniel et al. The Disaster as a Factor in the Development of Modern Tourism. A Study Case Based on the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Journal of Environmental Management and Tourism, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 7, p. 1729-1741, nov. 2020. ISSN 2068-7729. Available at: <https://journals.aserspublishing.eu/jemt/article/view/5726>. Date accessed: 27 may 2022. doi: https://doi.org/10.14505//jemt.11.7(47).14.