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Uber to Offer Hot Air Balloon Rides in Turkey in Tourism Push

Uber to Offer Hot Air Balloon Rides in Turkey in Tourism Push
Cappadocia, Turkey, pictured in September 2019. (Photo: Andrew Delmont)

Uber Technologies Inc. will let users book hot air balloon rides over Turkey’s touristic Cappadocia region, the latest step in the company’s push to expand from taxis and ride-hailing into wider travel and tourism.

App users can pay €150 ($159) to reserve one of 20 places on a 1.5-hour sunrise flight 3,000 feet (914.4 meters) above the Unesco-registered volcanic landscape, famous for its cave cities and churches dating back to the 10th century, the company said in a statement Monday.

The area is a major tourist attraction in Turkey, with around 10% of the country’s 44.6 million foreign visitors in 2022 staying there, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This year, Turkey aims to attract a record 60 million tourists.

The balloon service is part of Uber’s vision to grow into what Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi has called “the operating system for everyday life.” It’s launched new travel options mostly in international markets outside the US, offering Tuk-Tuks in India, seasonal boat services in Greece and flight bookings in the UK.

Turkey has become one of Uber’s fastest-growing markets, the company said, with the number of app trips rising by over 50% since last year. The company has more than 30,000 active taxi drivers in nine Turkish cities, with the most in Istanbul.

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