Yangon January 24
Hot air balloon flights will be made available in new tourist destinations this year in response to a steady increase in number of balloon flyers, said an official of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
Hot air balloon flights will be offered in Shan State’s Inle, Mandalay, Sagaing, Monywa, Rakhine State’s Ngapali Beach and Mrauk-U. Concerned authorities are making preparations for safe flying and preventing impact on the environment as hot air balloon flights are expected to contribute to development of the country’s tourism industry.
Hot air balloon flight has become popular these years and though the market was only targeted for foreign travellers in the past, it has now drawn the interest of rich local flyers.
The service was first introduced in Bagan, the ancient city, offering the flyers the stunning aerial view of the pagoda clusters. Last year, the industry made $ 6.4 million in revenues, catering 23,719 foreign travellers. In 2014, the industry earned $ 4.23 million with 17,802 flyers. In 2013, 11,326 visitors tried hot air balloon flights and the industry saw $ 3.10 million in revenue.
The large majority of flyers are from the US, China, Japan, South Korea, England, Germany and the France.
The Myawady Daily