Hotel Polissya in 2019. Photo: Emil Filtenborg.

As part of the plan to boost tourism in Chernobyl, it is now possible to rent 700-square buildings for only 11 dollars per month. 

Chernobyl is the most visited place for tourists in Ukraine, and the government has plans about bringing even more tourists into the zone. A new initiative comes from the Ukrainian State Property Fund, which is in charge of the privatization of state assets. 

The State Property Fund now rents out 36 places in Chernobyl, such as 700-square meters buildings, for as low as 11 dollars per month. The goal is to increase the economic activity around the zone and boost tourism, writes Kyiv Post

Thousands of tourists visit Chernobyl every year to see the place where a test in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant evolved into an explosion that would quickly turn into one of the largest man-made catastrophes on the 26th of April 1986 at precisely 01:23:40. As a result, hundreds of thousands were forced to leave and never return, while a disputed number died. 

“Once rented, the state and the fund will not limit in any way investors in their development plans,” said Kostyantyn Koshelenko, deputy chairman of the State Property Fund of Ukraine, according to Kyiv Post at a press tour to the zone. 

Among other things, it will be possible to turn a 16-room building into a hotel or hostel, but there are many different assets and possibilities associated with them. 

“The entrepreneur can use it as an office, workshop, base for a temporary location. Anything they want,” said Koshelenko about one of the assets up for rent. 

Chernobyl needs help

The Chernobyl zone is degrading, and many buildings are on the brick of collapse, threatening the possibility of future generations visiting the area. The Ukrainian government is, therefore, pushing for help with restoration, and one of the main goals is to get Chernobyl accepted to be put on the UNESCO world heritage list.

“We believe that putting Chernobyl on the UNESCO heritage list is a first and important step towards having this great place as a unique destination of interest for the whole of mankind,” said Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko recently. 

To boost tourism, the government has also recently approved commercial flights over the zone for tourists to see Chernobyl from the sky. In addition, the government has also allowed tourists to travel on specific routes on types of Quad bikes, called SHERP. 

“The development of the route is unique because it uses SHERP, which makes it possible to see places that have never been shown before,” said Yaroslav Emelianenko, head of Chornobyl Tours, ”Everyone can sail through the zone in kayaks and ATVs and see the other side – an area where unique flora and fauna have been revived and where radiation is under control. It is an important step in overcoming the nation’s psychological trauma and in enabling the state to realize its enormous tourist potential.”