Authorities in the northern Vietnamese province of Tuyen Quang will organize an International Hot Air Balloon Festival late this month, according to an announcement by the International Balloon Association and the provincial Department of Culture and Information at a conference on Tuesday.
The festival, the first of its kind in Vietnam, is part of a series of activities to introduce and promote tourism in the northern mountainous province this year.
During its run from March 30 to April 3, about 20 hot air balloons from different countries will participate in the festival.
Visitors can purchase tickets for tethered balloon rides at VND200,000 (US$8.7) per person or pay VND4.5 million ($196.6) per person for real hot air balloon flights.
As the hot air balloon representative of Vietnam, Vietjet Air will offer visitors who present the budget carrier’s boarding pass or e-tickets free tethered balloon rides at Nguyen Tat Thanh Square in Tuyen Quang City of the province.
Many tourism businesses expressed their interest and revealed their plans to bring domestic and international tourists to the festival during Tuesday’s conference.
Tran Thanh Vu, CEO of Ho Chi Minh City-based Vina Group Travel JSC, said that the firm is exploring ways to design its own tours to include the hot air balloon experience in Tuyen Quang for its customers.
“We also focus on developing strengths in historical tourism with highlights on the Tan Trao special national relic site, the Na Hang Nature Reserve in Lam Binh District, and street tourism,” said Tuyen Quang deputy chairman Hoang Viet Phuong.
For his part, Wout Bakker, a representative of the International Balloon Association, encouraged the annual organization of the Tuyen Quang International Hot Air Balloon Festival, mentioning Taiwan as a successful example.
A similar international hot air balloon festival in Taiwan increased the number of visitors from 10,000 domestic tourists to the first edition to 1.4 million people coming from around the world after ten years of organization, according to Bakker.