Lion Travel looks to end losing streak

DEMAND RETURN:
The travel company plans to open new offices and hire more staff as it expects demand for air and cruise travel to recover after the pandemic

  • By Crystal Hsu/Staff Reporter

Lion Travel Service Co (雄獅旅行社) said yesterday that it expects to break even this year, ending three consecutive years of losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lion Travel general manager and spokeswoman Ann Lai (賴一青) said the company expects revenue to rise to 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels this year after ramping up its virus operations from 2020 to last year .

Taiwan’s reopening in October last year has allowed overseas travel to recover, Lai said, adding that the reopening has not weakened demand for domestic tourism.

Photo: CNA

“Recovery in air transport capacity will be the biggest uncertainty,” she said.

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Long-haul air transport capacity has returned to 40 to 50 percent of pre-pandemic levels in the United States and Europe, and 30 to 40 percent of pre-pandemic levels in Japan, Lai said, adding that demand for overseas travel in the height would come. the summer.

Prices of foreign package tours have risen 20 to 30 percent from pre-pandemic levels and are unlikely to fall soon, due to tight air capacity, higher hotel rates and other cost increases in the supply chain, she said.

The cost of group tours for the upcoming cheery blossom festival in Japan is 20 to 30 percent higher from pre-pandemic levels, Lai said.

Meanwhile, the cost of domestic travel for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday has risen by 10 percent from pre-pandemic levels, she said.

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Lion Travel would dynamically adjust its packages and prices in response to market changes, she added.

The company has secured 15 percent of all Japan-bound plane seats through charter flights, Lai said.

Lion Travel is also looking at a quick recovery in cruise tour demand this summer, she said, adding that average group fares climbed 20 percent for 24 trips.

The pandemic has prompted the company to evolve into a lifestyle brand, cracking down on cultural tours at home and abroad, she said.

Lion Travel reduced the number of physical offices from 80 to 20 in the past three years to cut losses, but plans to add 10 to 30 offices this year in line with business improvement, Lai said.

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The company would set up offices in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Germany and other places to better integrate tourism resources and serve its customers, she said.

Lion Travel plans to expand its staff to the pre-pandemic level of 3,600 people, up from 2,000, Lai said, adding that it has increased average monthly wages by 15 percent to NT$32,000 this year.

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