Now, ride hot air balloon for a unique view of Goa
Speaking to The Goan at Assolda on Tuesday after a group of media persons were given a ride on a hot air balloon to demonstrate its capabilities and safety, GTDC Public Relations Officer Deepak Narvekar said many locals and tourists had experienced the thrill of panoramic aerial views on hot air balloon rides which were recently started in the State.
Asked about the safety of these hot air balloons, following rumours that one such balloon had made an emergency landing at Panchawadi, Narvekar said, “Hot air balloon operators are trained professionals and they take every safety precaution.”
Col Mukesh Yadav, advisor at Tiger Balloon Safaris, the company which has collaborated with the GTDC, said Assolda was an ideal area for hot air balloon rides.
“In Goa, Tiger Balloon Safaris is licenced to provide commercial hot air balloon rides which is approved by the civil aviation ministry and we follow strict guidelines laid down by the ministry. Our company has had its presence in Goa since 2001 and we had restricted our activities to north Goa,” said Col Yadav.
“Recently, former GTDC chairman and Curchorem MLA Nilesh Cabral took keen interest in this adventure activity to promote tourism. He took us to places in Curchorem and we felt that Assolda ground was an ideal
area for hot air balloon rides,” he said.
Admitting that hot air balloon rides are an expensive attraction, Col Yadav added, “The present fee is Rs 9,900 per adult and Rs 6,000 for children between 4-9 years. This is an expensive activity because we need to spend on fuel for flying, salaries for technicians/operators, maintenance of the balloon, etc.”
“But the 45-minute ride provides an unparalleled 360 degree aerial panoramic view of Goa that tourists can enjoy.
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