Uber Technologies Inc. will now allow users to book hot air balloon trips above Turkey’s touristy Cappadocia region, marking the latest step in the company’s attempt to grow beyond taxis and ride-hailing into broader travel and tourism.
The business said in a statement Monday that app users can pay €150 ($159) to reserve one of 20 spots on a 1.5-hour sunrise trip 3,000 feet (914.4 meters) above the Unesco-registered volcanic terrain, famous for its cave settlements and churches going back to the 10th century.
According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the area is a major tourist attraction in Turkey, with around 10% of the country’s 44.6 million foreign visitors staying there in 2022. Turkey hopes to attract a record 60 million tourists this year.
The balloon service is part of Uber’s aim to become what CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has dubbed “the operating system for everyday life.” It has introduced new travel choices, primarily in international markets other than the United States, such as Tuk-Tuks in India, seasonal boat services in Greece, and airplane bookings in the United Kingdom.
According to the company, Turkey has become one of its fastest-growing countries, with the number of app journeys increasing by more than 50% since last year. The company employs around 30,000 cab drivers in nine Turkish cities, with the majority based in Istanbul.