Chornobyl zone tourism falls by 70%

Chornobyl Exclusion Zone tourism numbers have fallen by 70% this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, 24 thousand people have visited the exclusion zone so far, corresponding to numbers of two months last year.

"Despite the restrictions, there are quite a lot of foreigners. The first three months of 2020, before the coronavirus, there were about 80-85% foreigners, the rest were Ukrainians. Now, after the visiting zone was opened on June 1, we have a ratio of 40% of Ukrainians to 60% of foreigners," Maksym Shevchuk, Deputy Head of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management, told Ukrinform.

According to him, the Agency is currently working with the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources on a budget request for 2021.

"We hope that funding will be at the level of the beginning of this year," Shevchuk said.

As reported, 124,000 tourists visited the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone in 2019.

During the revision of the state budget for 2020, the Verkhovna Rada cut funding of the State Agency of Ukraine on Exclusion Zone Management in 2020 by UAH 256.2 million: from UAH 2.936 billion to UAH 2.68 billion.

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