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Taitung balloon festival attracts over 1 million visitors this year

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Photo courtesy of the Taitung County government

Taipei, Aug. 16 (CNA) The annual international balloon festival in Taitung County concluded Monday evening after attracting more than a million visitors since the start of the event in early July.

A total of 1.23 million people visited the 2022 Taiwan International Balloon Festival that opened July 2 in the Luye Highlands in Taitung, according to figures released Tuesday by the Taitung County Tourism Department.

The festival featured 20 hot air balloons from abroad that appeared in Taiwan for the first time, including two shaped like the Japanese cartoon characters Yakultman and Kumanon, and one from the United States in the form of Elvis Presley, the event organizer said.

There were also nearly a dozen balloons from Taiwan, such as the mascots OhBear from the Tourism Bureau and Bravo from the Taipei City government.

Taitung County Magistrate Yao Ching-ling (饒慶鈴) said the festival, which was held for a 12th year, featured unique light shows displayed through the use of drones for the first time ever.

Just a day after the hot air balloon festival concluded, an international skydiving event opened Tuesday at the same venue over the Luye Highlands and will last until Aug. 24, the Taitung City government said in a statement.

The event will feature jumps by 10 professional skydivers from Taiwan, Russia and Ukraine, it said.

According to the county government, there will be three jumps each day -- morning, midday and afternoon.

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