The 150 hotels in Balanga City and Bataan province were fully booked in April in time for the staging of the Philippine International Balloon Festival in Prado Siongco, Lubao town, Pampanga.
The hot-air balloon festival was held on 10th to 13th April 2014 at a 250-hectare world-class tourism estate with a wakeboard in Barangay Prado Siongco. The venue is some 3 kilometres away from Dinalupihan, the only landlocked town of Bataan.
The event—described as one of the biggest tourism events in Luzon by the Hotel and Restaurants Association of Pampanga—made Bataan Governor Albert Garcia ask for prominent investors to establish “bigger hotels” in Bataan.
In nearby Zambales province, Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino said the decision to transfer the venue of the hot-air balloon festival from the Clark Freeport to Lubao town proved to be more advantageous as it will spread the benefits from Pampanga to the neighbouring provinces of Bataan and Zambales.
The hot air balloon festival was held for the first time outside the Clark Freeport Zone. It drew 35 balloonists from 18 countries.
The event was organised by Pilipinas International Balloon Festival Inc. (PIBF) in cooperation with the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office of Pampanga (ACTO) and with support from the provincial government of Pampanga.