Hello dear friends!
June 07, 2022
- Emma Benak
Taiwan’s hot air balloon festival has been ranked among the best in the world and is gearing up for its 12th edition. Due to the pandemic, some restrictions are in place, but tourism industry workers are hoping there will be even greater turnout than last year.
The 2022 Taiwan International Balloon Festival is preparing to take off. A trip in one of the balloons not only takes passengers to thrilling heights, but also offers them breathtaking views of the Luye Plateau in Taitung County.
This year’s festival features hot air balloons decorated with the Formosan black bear’s Hello Kitty and Taiwan mascots, among others. Festival organizers have also collected more than 20 hot air balloons from outside Taiwan, keeping the designs a secret until the festival opens.
Many Taiwanese hot air balloon pilots have struggled to find work during the pandemic and are looking forward to this year’s festival. A pilot says he particularly likes the Hello Kitty hot air balloon because the design includes traditional clothing from his native people.
Last year’s festival was only open to residents of Taitung County, but this year the event will be open to everyone, as long as they have already received three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. The festival will begin on July 2 and will continue for over six weeks.
Tourism industry workers hope the festival will attract many visitors. A hotel manager says that currently half of the hotel rooms are already booked for the festival period, a better turnout than last year.
There are certainly high expectations for this year’s hot air balloon festival, but tourists and staff alike are hoping the event lives up to expectations.