Hot air balloon tours in the sky of central Turkey’s popular tourism destination Cappadocia have become a major draw card for tourists.
“120,000 people have explored Cappadocia from air in the first half of this year,” said Yakup Dinler, head of the Cappadocia Touristic Entrepreneurs Association (KAPTID).
“The contribution to the economy of these 120,000 people was €18 million ($20.5 million approximately),” he added.
Dinler said expected that a total of 300,000 people would experience hot-air balloon tours by the end of this year which would realise € 40 million ($45.6 million) income.
He said that following a bad year of Turkey’s tourism which was affected by several terror attacks and a deadly coup attempt in 2016, the tourism sector had shown signs of recovery in the current year.
"There is a slight increase [in the number of international tourists] compared with the last year,” he added.
Dinler said that there are 25 hot air balloon agencies in Cappadocia which provide job facilities for nearly 2,500 people.
Cappadocia, located in the Anatolian region of Turkey, is preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is famous for its chimney rocks, hot air balloon trips, underground cities and boutique hotels carved into rocks.
To get the authentic experience, tourists from all over the world prefer to experience Cappadocia’s landscapes and peak-like rock houses up in the sky.
Keeping the hot air balloon tour guides under strict control will offer tourists comfort, safety and will contribute to the region`s economy.
The hot air balloons are also being tracked by a GPS system, allowing the speed limit and distance of the air balloons to be detected.
Cappadocia is also famous with its authentic Turkish restaurants but also offers samples of international cuisine in dozens of dining spots.
The region has also been used as a natural film set for many film producers in the past.