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Delft Blue maker attracts fewer American and Japanese visitors

Weak currencies a problem

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

DELFT, the Netherlands Ė Famed earthenware maker Royal Porceleyne Fles, one of the oldest earthenware companies still in operation, will be targeting a different market. The authentic Delft Blue producer is attracting fewer American and Japanese tourists and those who tour the premises spend fewer euros, due to their weakened currencies. Instead, the centuries old firm wants to attract tourists from other EU countries.

The Porceleyne Fles thinks it can win tour operators over to add its Delft factory to their tour itineraries. The company, which creates hand-painted Delft Blueware from scratch and offers plant tours to groups of visitors, experienced a nine percent drop in revenue in the first six months of 2007 from the same period a year ago. Net earnings remained fairly stable, however. Once the areaís flowering bulb season is over, business drops off significantly. The firmís ledgers usually show red ink in the second half of the year.

Although a very attractive tourism destination which is popular particularly among Asians with a porcelain tradition, the company is relatively small, and the cyclical tourism industry can be prone to factors beyond its control.

The Delft Blue maker which was founded in 1653, is a publicly owned firm and is listed on Amsterdamís stock exchange.