Sat, Apr 13, 2013 - Page 14 News List

Phoenix Tours remains upbeat, despite bird flu and Korean Peninsula worries

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Phoenix Tours International Inc (鳳凰國際旅行社), the only travel agency listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, yesterday remained upbeat about its sales this year, expecting limited impact from the avian flu outbreak in China and the military threat on the Korean Peninsula.

“The company’s sales in the first quarter were in line with expectations,” Phoenix Tours president Anthony Liao (廖文澄) told reporters yesterday.

Phoenix Tours posted NT$701.1 million (US$23.37 million) in consolidated revenue for the first three months of the year, up 12.33 percent from the previous year, according to a stock exchange filing.

With the peak season coming in the second and third quarters, Liao said he remains optimistic about the firm’s performance, without giving any projections.

He said recent tensions on the Korean Peninsula might not significantly impact the tourism sector and damage demand, because most tourists would simply choose another destination.

The Northeast Asia travel market currently accounts for about 10 percent of the company’s sales and South Korean tours make up 3 percent.

The avian flu outbreak may delay some Taiwanese travelers’ plans to visit China in the short term, but demand for cross-strait tours will still emerge later this year, Liao said.

Last year, about 5.6 million people traveled across the Taiwan Strait, up 21 percent from a year earlier, government data showed.

Liao said he also expects increased demand for trips to the US this year due to the inclusion of Taiwan in the US Visa Waiver Program in October last year.

Yesterday, China Express Co Ltd (台灣中國運通) — in which Phoenix Tours has a stake — announced it would be the sole Taiwanese agent for Enterprise Holdings, a worldwide car rental group based in the US.

The deal would help Phoenix Tours offer a more extensive service for travelers planning to visit the US, Liao said.

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