Goa touched another milestone in its tourism sector on Tuesday, with the launch of the Hot Air Ballooning services by GTDC. The occasion was graced by Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) Nilesh Cabral, Director of Goa Tourism Ameya Abhyankar and MD, GTDC Nikhil Desai at the GTDC parking lot at Baga.The Hot Air Balloon service was tested in May 2015 and now, with the beginning of the peak season, Goa Tourism is all set to offer its visitors an unforgettable experience. A special test ride was arranged for the invitees during the event.The Hot Air Ballooning safaris are designed by Camping Retreats Pvt. Ltd, a Delhi based agency well known for its high standards of security, safety and customer service in conduct of tiger balloon safaris in India and abroad.
In the introductory phase, two hot air balloons will be operational with tours to Dudhsagar Waterfalls. The Cameroon 180 will be part of the hot air balloon fleet that will be in operation in Goa taking tourists atop Goa’s picturesque landscaping and offering spectacular displays of the state’s tourism sites. The service aims at providing another dimension to adventure tourism in the state, it will also focus on showcasing Goa’s hinterlands and will give tourists an opportunity to explore the rich geography of the state via the sky and the waterways.
Dilip Parulekar, Minister of Tourism, said, “Goa offers a beautiful combination of sun, sand and sea, to witness this from a height is a breathtaking experience and we are sure that tourists will be able to make the most of this. It is our endeavor to provide visitors to the state with unique experiences that encourages them to keep coming back to the state.”Nilesh Cabral, chairman of GTDC, added, “We are very happy to start with the full-fledged operations of hot air ballooning services and we hope that tourists will be able to enjoy Goa’s varied landscape through their journey on a hot air balloon. We have obtained all the required permissions and safety checks for the balloons. We are confident that this will be another feather in Goa Tourism’s cap.”
The entire system meets all the required safety standard and certifications. System certification is from FAA (USA), CAA (UK) and EASA (Europe) has been obtained. Since it is a flying object, it carries the same certification procedure as a regular airplane. In India, this certification is sought from the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).