Wowcher slammed for ‘distasteful’ advertising of holiday deals to Chernobyl

Wowcher slammed for ‘distasteful’ advertising of holiday deals to Chernobyl


Discount voucher firm Wowcher has been slammed for 'distasteful' advertising of tourist trips to Chernobyl.

The marketplace website is currently offering holidays to the nuclear disaster zone in Ukraine from £169 per person.

In the advertising blurb, 'collapsed schools' and 'run down hospitals' are listed among the top experiences.

A Chernobyl tour is described as 'unforgettable,' allowing you to delve into 'dark tourism'.

The offer for the weekend breaks, which are operated by travel company Viator, comes off the back of HBO's hit Chernobyl drama series which has caused a rise in tourism to the area.

UK-based charities that have helped children affected by the 1986 disaster slammed Wowcher, labelling the company 'insensitive' and claiming it makes light of the ongoing effects of the tragedy.

But Wowcher deny the promotion is distasteful, saying they offer the tours as they believe "it is important to remember these tragic events and commemorate those that died in these atrocities."

The Manchester Evening News reports that the trip says: "You and one other companion can opt to delve into dark tourism, seeing the devastation caused by the 1986 nuclear Chernobyl disaster first-hand with an unforgettable Chernobyl Tour."

Chernobyl Children's Project (UK) offer children affected by the nuclear explosion the chance to holiday in Britain.

Their executive officer said it was a 'pity' that tourists are going to the area 'to take selfies'.

Linda Walker said: "It's wonderful that the drama has brought to attention the ongoing effects of the disaster but it's just a pity so many people seem to be going over there just to take selfies with these places.

"People need to remember there are millions of people still suffering with health problems because of the explosion and more than 100,000 have died as a result.

"We continue to see children being born with cancer because of the radiation and people should be sensitive to that before taking up this offer.

"They should think about what actually happened and be considerate to the victims who continue to suffer as a result of the disaster."

John Buckby, from Chernobyl Children's Lifeline, added: "I have to say this is certainly not something that would appeal to me.

"Why on earth would you want to go on holiday to look at something so tragic?

"When you see images on the news of schools that are exactly how they were left 30 years ago it's really shocking to watch.

"I just cannot understand why someone would want to go out there specifically to see that."

The Chernobyl Disaster took place on April 26, 1986 when a nuclear reactor exploded unexpectedly.

It is believed that up to 100,000 people may have died in the years since the tragedy as a result of ongoing radiation.

Wowcher's offer has also caused disgust on social media with one user describing it as 'one of the most distasteful adverts I've ever seen'.

A spokesman for Wowcher denied that the promotion was distasteful.

They said: "We do not believe that promoting tours of Chernobyl is distasteful or makes light of the ongoing effects of the disaster.

"The HBO series 'Chernobyl' has revived interest in Chernobyl and, in particular, in the clean-up efforts that followed the disaster.

"In the same way that we may promote holidays that visit other historically important areas such as trips to New York which include tours of the site of the World Trade Centre, or trips to Japan which include a day in Hiroshima, we offer these tours as we believe that it is important to remember these tragic events and commemorate those that died in these atrocities."

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