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Sector mourns the passing of balloon safari pioneer and industry icon, Bill Harrop
Sector mourns the passing of balloon safari pioneer and industry icon, Bill Harrop

​The Minister of Tourism, Mmamoloko Kubayi, extends condolences to the family and associates of a great industry pioneer of commercial balloon flying in South Africa, Bill Harrop.

Mr Harrop was the founder of the longest established and world-renowned tour operator in the country, Billy Harrop’s Original Balloon Safaris. In recognition of his excellent contribution to tourism in the country, he amongst others scooped first prize in the South African Tourism Welcome Awards 2006.

He began operating back in 1981 and has taken to flight many travellers on countless and magical aerial sight-seeing experiences over the Magalies River Valley.

“He was a vibrant soul and played a significant role in the tourism industry over many years as a mentor and guide. He strove to provide excellent, safe and reliable service to both local and international travel enthusiasts looking for some real adventure. As we mourn this great icon, we will always be encouraged by his devotion and immense contribution to the sector and to the country in general,” said Minister Kubayi.

Mr Harrop served on committees of the Southern African Tourism and Safari Association, the Magalies Meander, and the Balloon and Airship Federation of South Africa.

He also served two years as the National President of SKAL International (a worldwide body of travel and tourism management professionals).

May his soul rest in peace and his pioneering spirit remain our inspiration.

For media enquiries, contact:

Hlengiwe Nhlabathi-Mokota
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism
Cell: 064 754 8426