The 11th edition of the Taiwan International Balloon Festival has ended in Taitung. In the past 10 years, more than 7.5 million people have attended the festival, which helped shape the “Hot Air Balloon Economy,” and brought 20 billion New Taiwan dollars ($723 million) in added business.
Hot air balloons have brought vitality and international attention to Taitung. The Travel Channel deemed The Taiwan International Balloon Festival as one of the world’s top 12 hot air balloon festivals. Taitung County also topped Booking.com’s list of the Most Welcoming Regions on Earth in 2021.
“The Balloon Festival has surpassed Taitung’s most ambitious expectations. It’s now become our best vehicle to promote Taitung to the world,” a spokesperson for the organizers said.
Since the 2021 Taiwan balloon festival was impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Taitung County’s hot air balloon team joined to conduct the event alone at Luye Highland from August 14 to September 12.
“This year it was not possible to invite foreign hot air balloon pilots to join this event in Taitung. Despite this, the Taitung County unveiled three new hot air balloons. These grabbed the attention of fans from all over the world,” the spokesperson said.
The balloons included the Hello Kitty hot air balloon wearing traditional blue Bunun clothes, a 19.2-metre tall hot air balloon modeled after Taipei mascot, Bravo – a Formosan black bear – and the Dawn hot air balloon designed by Taiwan fashion designer Sabra Andre.