Tunceli launches hot air balloon rides to boost tourism

The eastern Anatolian province of Tunceli, one of Türkiye’s many natural beauties, has launched hot air balloon excursions in anticipation of showing visitors the charming city from a bird’s-eye view.

“We want people to see Tunceli from above, enjoy our rafting, trekking, and ballooning,” Governor Bülent Tekbıyıkoğlu said on the inaugural flight with children, inviting all tourists, both international and local, to visit.

With the onset of warmer weather, Tunceli’s tourism season begins, drawing tourists from Europe and across Türkiye. They explore the wildlife-rich,endemic plant-abundant valleys and engage in water sports like rafting, canoeing, and ziplining. Nature tours in the region’s mountains covered with greenery are also popular.

Last year, the city, with a population of 85,000, welcomed 2 million tourists, around 24 times its residents. The city saw 1 million vehicle entries, according to its license plate recognition system.

Balloon flights will serve in the Ovacık district of the city, providing additional activity. The first of which, coordinated by the Tunceli Governor’s Office and the provincial directorate of youth and sports, was held in the central Mameki Park, led by Tekbıyıkoğlu.

“We wanted to see our city from above with young people. Our young people experienced this with flights,” Tekbıyıkoğlu stated.

From a height of 30 meters, he and the children admired the Pülümür and Munzur streams merging in the city center.

“Tunceli is on its way to become a tourism hub. Tourists call it the city where blue meets green. With rivers merging in the center, it offers a unique scenery. We have introduced balloon flights to showcase this beauty,” Tekbıyıkoğlu said.

“Although our infrastructure needs improvement, we are committed to uncovering and sharing Tunceli’s treasures. We welcome everyone to our city.”

Children shared their excitement about the experience. Yiğit İvancı, 10, said, “It was my first time riding in a hot air balloon. Seeing the city from above was exciting and beautiful.”

Muhammed Ali Atalay, 9, added, “It was very fun, and the view was amazing.”

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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