Phoenix Tours is upbeat on cruises

By Amy Su  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Apr 18, 2013 - Page 13

Phoenix Tours International Inc (鳳凰國際旅行社) is looking to cruises to boost its revenue this year.

While cruise tours account for just 4 percent to 5 percent of the company’s sales at present, it forecast such tours would increase revenue by between 20 percent and 30 percent this year.

“The cruise tour sector has shown consecutive growth over the past 20 years,” Phoenix Tours chairman Jimmy Chang (張金明) told a press conference yesterday.

Phoenix Tours and Best Way Travel Service Co Ltd (百威旅行社) have chartered two June tours organized by Italian cruise organizer Costa Cruises — a brand under Costa Crociere, after Phoenix co-chartered two tours organized by Royal Caribbean Cruises with three other firms last year.

Phoenix said a seven-day cruise from Keelung with stops in Kagoshima, Japan; South Korea’s Busan and Cheju, and Shanghai, China, would start from NT$29,900 (US$1,000) per person.

Chang said he expects bookings for the two tours to reach at least 80 percent to 90 percent of capacity, adding the ship can carry a maximum of 2,500 passengers.

Phoenix Tours posted NT$624.12 million in revenue for the first three months of this year, up 12.33 percent from a year earlier.

For this quarter, Chang said sales and profitability would likely stay flat from a year earlier because of uncertainties around the world, including the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday.

Buhdy Bok, Costa Crociere vice president for Pacific Asia and China, said his company wants to increase its presence in Asia because it is one of the world’s fastest-growing travel markets.

Costa Crociere has planned 117 cruises out of Asia this year, up 1.1 fold from last year, to cope with rising demand, Bok said.

The company was optimistic about the long-term prospects in Asia, because Asian tourists accounted for less than 10 percent of global cruise travelers last year, he said.