Phoenix Tours International Inc (鳳凰國際旅行社) is looking at flat sales this quarter, but expects business to pick up next year, as more long holidays are favorable to high-margin travel routes, a top-ranking official said yesterday.
Revenue is likely to hold steady this quarter compared with the same period last year, as an increase in incentive tours might offset the cooling effect linked to uncertainty over the nine-in-one elections, general manager Benjamin Pien (卞傑民) told an investors’ conference.
The Taipei-based travel agency saw its net income fall 9.4 percent to NT$122.94 million (US$3.99 million) in the first three quarters, despite a 5.4 percent gain in revenue.
The results translated into earnings of NT$2.11 per share, from NT$2.33 a year earlier.
Pien attributed the profit slowdown to discount offers to promote overseas travel packages in the first quarter when a shorter Lunar New Year holiday weakened demand for long-haul trips.
The situation should improve next year when there would be 115 holidays, six of which consist of three or more consecutive days, Pien said.
The upcoming nine-day Lunar New Year holiday in February is especially favorable for long-haul trips to Europe, the US, Australia and other destinations that generate higher margins, he said.
Long-haul routes generated 48 percent of sales as of September, while short-haul trips contributed 25 percent, company data showed. Other routes and income sources accounted for the remaining 27 percent.
Apart from tourism-related services, Phoenix Tours owns stakes in domestic tour bus companies and foreign airlines, and has recently expanded into the restaurant and hotel business, Pien said.
The company in July opened a food court under the Haus Food (好食嗑) brand at ASE WeMall (日月光廣場) in New Taipei City’s Tucheng District (土城), Pien said.
The mixed-use complex features residential apartments, movie theaters, retail space and assorted restaurants that should attract large crowds after residents move into their new homes, Pien said.
“The property management arm might grow into a key growth driver, generating NT$9 million in monthly revenue three years from now,” he said.
In addition, Phoenix Tour is teaming up with a hotel chain to build a resort facility in Pingtung County’s Siaoliouciou Island (小琉球), which might commence operations in 2020, Pien said.
The 60-room hotel is targeting high-end travelers from Taiwan and abroad with room rates of between NT$7,000 and NT$8,000 per night, he said.
Cruise travel should be another bright spot next year, as more foreign cruise operators turn their attention to the Asian market, Pien said.
Cruise products drove 15 percent of sales this year and should contribute more as more routes become available, he said.
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