Apr 11, 2014

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Hot Air Balloon Fest boosts local economy

by JENNA LUMBANG-PARUNGAO ***

LUBAO, Pamp. – The four-day hot air balloon festival is expected to boost the local economy of this town and nearby areas because of the exodus of tourists from the different parts of the country and abroad.

Director Ronnie Tiotuico of the Department of Tourism (DOT) Central Luzon said this tourism event will benefit local entrepreneurs and some establishments that offer Kapampangan products.

“Even before the opening of the Hot Air Balloon Festival some tourist already booked their accommodation in the City of San Fernando, Olongapo, and Clark. Some jaunt and stroll the area to buy locally-made souvenir items, foods and pastries.

He said half of the stalls in the area of the festival were occupied by local who sells food, pastries, hand-made products, and souvenir items while other ambulant vendors were scene roaming around selling.

Rita Alfonso, a native of this town who sells peanut, corn and quail eggs said this is the highest sales she had since she started this livelihood.

“During ordinary days I only earned P200 or less but now from 4 am to 10 am my profit is already P800 and I’m still selling,” he gladly uttered.

Tiotuico announced that they are expecting hundred thousands of visitors both local and foreigners to witness the take-off of the 35 giant balloons.

“This event is meant to bring people together to appreciate not only the balloons but also the products and other destinations in the province that they can visit after. Tommorrow (today) the presidential sister Chris Aquino and her family will come to witness the festival,” told Tiotuico.

Further, the DOT in the region is expecting 500 million revenue from this four-day balloon flying event.