DOT celebrates first run of Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

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    The Department of Tourism (DOT) hailed the successful opening day of the Flying Carnival 2020 on Friday, March 6, 2020.

    Flocked to by over 45,000 spectators from March 6 to 8, the Flying Carnival 2020 is the first time of the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) to stage its highly-anticipated signature sports aviation event outside Clark, Pampanga, its venue partner for 22 years.

    “We hope that with the success of this event, we can encourage the development of tourism establishments in Carmona, particularly hotels, which can cater to attendees of the future editions of the Flying Carnival, and other sports and leisure attractions in the area,” said DOT Region IV-A Officer-in-Charge Marites Castro.

    Castro also mentioned that DOT initiatives are in place to help the Calabarzon region recover after the Taal volcano eruption earlier this year.

    “We are very thankful to the organizers of the PIHABF, now that they are here in Calabarzon. Events like the Flying Carnival 2020 are very important in boosting the country’s domestic tourism, which is now the DOT’s main direction as announced by our Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat,” added Castro.

    As a precautionary measure amidst the global health scare brought about by the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), organizers have installed thermal cameras and closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) at the event gates to closely monitor visitors’ temperature and identification before entry.

    “We would like to share ballooning and aviation to everyone around the Philippines, and I think this is the first step,” said the PIHABF Event Director Captain Joy Roa, who mentioned the group’s plans to take the event to other parts of the Philippines in the coming years.

    Staying true to its “A weekend of [almost] everything that flies” tagline, the Flying Carnival 2020 featured paragliding and kite flying activities, aircraft displays, different species of birds, paramotor and drone racing events, and a special Night Glow show on the evening of March 8, akin to the drone show at the Closing Ceremony of the Philippines-hosted 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games).