Local voices: Tony Rees, Marketing Manager for Bristol Balloons and Bath Balloons

A unique perspective on Bristol and Bath from someone whose job it is to soar above the cities

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Tony Rees

Proudly Bristolian, Tony has worked and travelled around over the years, but always seems to land up (no pun intended) back in the city. He started off in the electricity supply industry R&D, before moving to promotion of historic places as visitor attractions and event venues in the early 1990s, and then another 20 years after that, changing career to commercial, passenger-carrying ballooning with Bristol Balloons.

November 28th, 2019

What do you do for Bristol Balloons and Bath Balloons?

Marketing manager is my title, however, in smaller organisations it means your working portfolio is as big as a balloon. I do everything and anything, from balloon sponsorship, customer websites, social media, right up to the meet and greeting of passengers and dealing with phone bookings, questions and queries, of which no two are the same.

Bath balloons - view over city from above Bath Balloons

What do you think makes Bristol and Bath so special?

Two wonderful cities, very close geographically and yet very, very different from one another. The histories, heritage, music and comedy scenes are some of the best. Food, diversity and choice is amazing, the shopping...my best advice is leave the credit card at home, I always spend too much!

What are the must-do activities for first-time visitors to Bristol and Bath?

Don’t try and do everything in one go, before you even arrive think of when you can return to delve beneath the surfaces or behind the doors. On your first visit, try a walking tour or find a themed route so you know where everything is, that way subsequent visits are more fulfilling. Again, don’t try and do all the ‘must sees’ in one go, give yourself time to relax and stroll, to soak up the cities, particularly around the docks in Bristol or the Georgian shopping alleyways in Bath.

Can you describe Bristol and Bath in three words? 

Unexpected, unique & vibrant!  

What is it like to fly over the two cities? Do you prefer one over the other?

Balloon flights are sometimes compared to ‘magic carpet rides’ and they are quite that. You gain a wonderfully different perspective on the sights of the cities from above, giving ideas of where to visit in the future. If you visit one city and fly, go to the other on your return and fly again, the differences are wonderful and magical. I’m often asked to express a preference for a flight Bristol or Bath; well, Bristol, you could fly right along the Harbour, past Temple Meads and out eastwards over the countryside, from Bath, fly by the Royal Crescent, then either north over Lansdown and onto the southern reaches of the Cotswolds or south over small villages to the edge of the Mendip hills and beyond. If you really do have only one opportunity, flip a coin, but ensure you book your flight!

Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Balloons Bristol Balloons

·What can we look forward to from Bristol Balloons in months to come?

A little period of hibernation at the moment, although the hardy can fly if they’d like a private flight for two or three on a cold crisp - and hopefully dry - morning, nothing can quite beat it. From March, the big balloon season opens again and you will see the familiar sights of balloons gliding on high. If you do, give them a wave, add it to your presents wish-list and you never know, one day you could be toasting with us after your flight!

And if you'd like to fly with us during Bristol International Balloon Fiesta 2020 (6-9 August) - which is truly magical - be sure to contact us two to three months beforehand to secure the flight you want, before all the places get sold out. 

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