TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese travel agencies will continue to focus on domestic travel this year, as some major agencies suffered a 70 to 80 percent decrease in annual revenue last year due to the coronavirus.
As the pandemic has forced most countries around the world to maintain tight border controls, Taiwanese travel agencies focused on overseas business have suffered greatly, according to a CNA report. Revenue began to drop from February of last year and worsened through May, as international travel ground to a halt. However, in the summer, domestic travel began to take off, breathing some life into the struggling industry.
In 2020, Lion Travel Service Co’s revenue was NT$6.545 billion (US$225,700,000), which was a decrease of 78.3 percent compared to the previous year; Phoenix Tours Int'l Inc raked in NT$492,000,000, a drop of 83.59 percent from 2019; Richmond Int'l Travel & Tours CO earned NT$995,000.000, a dip of 80.72 percent; while Life Travel & Tourists Service Co made NT$1,052,000,000, a drop of 83.51 percent.
Noting that prospects for international travel remain bleak, Lion Travel Chairman Jason Wang (王文傑) said the company will halt its overseas investment and focus on domestic tourism. He urged other travel agencies to stop waiting for a revival of overseas travel and focus on investing in the Taiwan market.
Phoenix Tours General Manager Benjamin Pien (卞傑民) said the company will continue to cultivate the domestic travel market while continuing its strategy of business diversification, such as by expanding its Hausfood food courts and Fitnexx fitness centers.
Richmond will also aggressively look into domestic tours and expect Lunar New Year and the cherry blossom season to increase momentum for its operations, per CNA.