Leofoo aims for 1.5 million visits after 10% growth

By Crystal Hsu  /  Staff reporter, in GUANSI, Hsinchu

Tue, Sep 25, 2018 - Page 12

Leofoo Village Theme Park (六福村), the flagship property of Leofoo Tourism Group (六福旅遊集團), forecasts 25 percent growth in visits this year after a 10 percent pickup in the first six months, as festival-themed promotions have proved successful at drawing visitors, officials said on Saturday.

“We aim to attract 1.5 million visitors to Leofoo Village this year, which would represent a 25 percent increase from last year, supported by assorted festival-themed packages,” group chairwoman Lulu Chuang (莊豐如) told reporters on the sidelines of World Rhino Day activities.

The goal is achievable, despite fewer than 540,000 visitors in the first six months of the year, as the second half, which includes more holidays, is the high-sales season, Chuang said.

The amusement park in Hsinchu’s Guansi Township (關西), about an hour’s drive from central Taipei, expects visits to reach 20,000 over the three-day Mid-Autumn Festival, thanks partly to a series of World Rhino Day-themed activities, Chuang said.

Animal conservation and profitability can grow hand-in-hand, as shown by resilient earnings performance at Leofoo Village over the summer, compared with a 20 percent decline at similar theme parks following flooding last month, she said.

The theme park posted NT$212 million (US$6.9 million) in revenue in the year to June, while visits increased 8.91 percent to 536,845 from the same period last year, Tourism Bureau data showed.

The Chuangfoo Foundation (莊福文教基金會), an affiliate of Leofoo Tourism and a long-time advocate for rhinoceros conservation, has been keeping 20 white rhinos at Leofoo Village, making it the most successful recovery program in Asia.

The foundation, headed by Chuang’s father, Sean Chuang (莊秀石), has sent workers to South Africa to learn about the animals’ habitat, and held reproduction workshops and other activities to raise public awareness about the consequences of poaching and rhino conservation.

Sean Chuang said he would extend his foundation’s conservation work to indigenous species, such as the Formosan pangolin and the Chinese leopard cat.

Leofoo Resort Guansi (關西六福莊) has benefited from an ecological strategy, with 90 percent occupancy over the summer and during the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday, the firm’s public relations department said.

During the holiday, lodgers and non-guests could make excursions into the rhinos’ habitat, where they were allowed to interact with the giant animals and feed them, guided by animal specialists.

The theme park and the resort are to organize more festive activities for Halloween and other holidays, Lulu Chuang said.

In addition, the facilities plan to court senior citizens and caretakers, allowing them a respite from their daily routines, she said.