Andhra Pradesh Tourism organised the first ever international hot air balloon fiesta in the state - “The Araku Balloon Festival 2017” from November 14th - 16th at the picturesque Araku Valley. Mandated to E - Factor - a prominent Indian company that specialises in such endeavours, this unique event was conceptualized with the core objective of giving a fillip to tourism in Andhra Pradesh and to promote Araku as a key destination to visit.
The festival had balloons flying over the beautiful valley region of Araku giving a picturesque aerial view of the uncharted territory. The line-up comprises 16 balloons from different participating countries including India, France, Italy, Australia, Malaysia, Belgium, Switzerland, USA, South Korea, Spain, New Zealand, Brazil and Philippines.
These include three “special shape” balloons featuring iconic characters like 'Iwi the Kiwi,' 'Neptuno' and 'Bee.'
Day 1 of the festival kick started with colourful balloons dotting the skyline of Araku Valley early in the morning. With a large number of locals and media people gathering around to witness the spectacular launch, the lush valley of Araku was buzzing with pleasant action.
The highlights of the festival also include paramotoring displays and nightglows in the evening where about 7000 people from Araku and Vizag were amazed to see such a visual extravaganza. The lucky winners of the draw also enjoyed the tethered balloon flights during evening.
The guests and media persons staying at the ultra –luxury camps were thrilled with excursions to the coffee plantations, waterfalls and tribal villages. They were amazed and excited to know about the tribal culture of the region.
The last day of the Araku Balloon Festival was graced by Andhra Pradesh Tourism Minister Bhuma Akhila Priya. The Minister took a flight herself on the final day and was spellbound with the beauty of Araku as she soared high in the sky in a hot air balloon. She also interacted with the local people of Araku and participated in announcing the lucky draw winners at the festival.
The festival generated tremendous promotions across all media including the digital space.