Lithuania enjoys boost in tourism following Chernobyl TV series
HBO's Emmy-nominated TV series Chernobyl has boosted tourism not only at the site of the nuclear disaster in Ukraine, but also at locations in Lithuania.
The Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant in eastern Lithuania has doubled as Chernobyl during filming. Similarities with the design of the Chernobyl reactors made this an authentic filming location. Ignalina's plant closed down fully in late 2009 as a requirement ahead of Lithuania joining the EU, and began offering tours, which have seen a massive increase since the release of the Chernobyl TV show. During a tour, visitors must wear protective clothing and follow safety instructions. They will visit the reactor and be able to see the control stations. This dark tourism destination reports that tours of the facility are now almost booked through to the end of the year.
Filming also took place in the neighbourhood of Fabijoniskes in Lithuania's capital Vilnius. The large grey housing blocks here, dating from the Soviet-era, provided an atmospheric backdrop, and were used to represent the town of Pripyat near Chernobyl, which was evacuated the day after the disaster.
Whilst filming locations often result in a significant boost in tourism for local economies, they can also encourage too many visitors. Locations used in the filming of the TV series Game of Thrones included Northern Ireland, Iceland, Croatia and Morocco. Dubrovnik in Croatia has since raised concerns about overtourism and has since applied limits on entry to cruise ships.