Adventure Tourism

Tourists can now enjoy hot air balloon flight in Nepal

Hot air balloon getting ready for flight (Photo courtesy: News.CN)

Nepal tourism has initiated hot air balloon travel for the adventure seekers in Pokhara, in Gandaki Province of Nepal on November 17, 2018.

The inaugural flight was attended by Prithvi Subba Gurung, the chief minister of Gandaki province.

“The hot air balloon will definitely contribute to the tourism of Pokhara. I believe that it will enable the tourists to spend more days in the city to indulge in such recreational and adventurous activities. It’s a positive start,” said Gurung on the occasion.

He further shared that the balloon flight is expected to contribute to their mission to attract 2 million foreign and domestic tourists to the province in 2022.

The event is organized by Balloon Nepal Pvt. Ltd with an investment of 15 million Nepali rupees after receiving authorization from Nepal’s Civil Aviation of Authority; with two balloons bought from a Spanish company.

“Through the balloon flight, one can feel the majestic Himalayan ranges and the beauty of Pokhara closely. We want to support the tourism of the country through this recreational aviation activity,” said Prabin Maharjan, Company Secretary of Balloon Nepal.

Local kids watching the installation of balloons (Photo courtesy: News.CN)

Maharjan said that as the first step, the company is starting its commercial operation from Dhampus, a village located some 22 km away from Pokhara. The flight will enable the passengers to have a view of five mountains – Annapurna, Dhaulagiri, Fishtail, Mardi and Himchuli.

“Pokhara valley is beautiful and people can see the stunning views of mountains from the top, so I think it’s a perfect destination for ballooning,” said Balloon Pilot Nitesh Parheik, who has been working in this industry since last few years.

Three commercial flights were held on the first day, while hundreds of people booked the tickets. For nationals, the flight costs Rs 11,000 (about USD 100) while it costs USD 160 for a foreign tourist.

Air sports is quiet popular in the Himalayan country, especially in the lake city Pokhara, which has been the major attraction for tourists. Besides hot air balloon, Pokhara hosts air activities like paragliding, ultralight flights and sky diving among others.