Get ready to be blown away by hot air balloon
By Princy Alexander | ENS | Published: 05th October 2013 08:54 AM |
Taking into consideration the immense adventure tourism opportunities in the state, the Kerala Tourism Infrastructure Limited (KTIL) is planning to introduce tethered hot air balloon facility in Kochi and Munnar. The project which was mooted by the KTIL a few months ago was recently accorded government sanction.
According to S N Anil Kumar, KTIL MD, the government has sanctioned `1 crore for the project and a slew of other innovative tourism products.
“The estimated cost for the hot air balloon facility is Rs 60 lakh, which includes purchase of the balloon and appointment of a licenced pilot and other aspects. The proposal will be forwarded to the Director-General of Civil Aviation for approval. We expect to kickstart the project within the next six months,” he said.
The KTIL has currently identified two tourism hotspots --Munnar and Kochi -- for the introduction of the facility. It will be implemented in Kochi on a trial basis. The project will be introduced in Munnar later.
“Munnar already boasts of certain seasonal hot air balloon activities. The tethered air balloon can be used in Munnar on a later basis,” Anil Kumar said.Experts cite that tethered balloons are securely anchored to the ground through ropes.
However, it gives the balloonist the feel of actually floating in the air.
The ride will last for a few minutes and the balloon will float at a high altitude.
“In our state, especially in the cities, it is impossible to introduce floating hot air balloons as it poses several safety risks, including hitting mobile towers and also high wind turbulence. Since Kochi needs a major boost when it comes to adventure tourism, we have decided to implement this project here in the city,” the officials said..