Coloured dots painted the skies above Rio Claro, São Paulo, last week as the city hosted the 21st World Hot Air Balloon Championship, which was being held in Latin America for the first time, with the support of Embratur.
Rio Claro has hosted various important hot air balloon championships in recent years, such as the stage of the Brazil Cup, two editions of the Brazilian Championship, the first South American Championship and the Ibero-American Championship.
“In 2011, the Institute supported fund-raising for the event in Hungary and, in 2012, supported the promotion of the championship in Lithuania.
“It is an honour for Brazil to hold such a beautiful and attractive world sporting competition – one of the main marketing tools to promote the country as a tourist destination.
“Our intention is for this practice to increase, and the championship will certainly contribute to this growth,” highlighted Embratur president Vicente Neto.
Approximately 35,000 people passed through the Rio Claro Aero Club on Sunday 20th July to see the World Hot Air Balloon Championship.
The huge success on the first weekend of the competition, with a massive presence of Rio Clarenses and visitors from several cities across Brazil, was topped off by the large number of people that took to the streets to see the competition between 60 pilots from 22 countries.
Teams from Germany, Argentina, Austria, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, China, United States of America, Spain, France, Holland, England, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, Czech Republic, Russia, Switzerland and Ukraine competed in the championship.
Saturday was the last day of races, while on Sunday there was a spectacular, free entry closing ceremony held at the Rio Claro Aero Club, with flights and an acrobatic show and music programme.