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Traffic into Europe
21 June 2019
EF* forecasts there will be 262mn +3.8% air seats to Europe on sale in Q3. Other forecasts:
-Istanbul has a 5.5% market share, +10.0% capacity growth, +11.2% bookings. EF credits the new airport (although not fully open) and lowering concerns about security. We are surprised controversial re-run elections in the city next week, did not reduce this optimism.
-Other fastest-growing. Budapest share 2.0%, capacity +10.0%, bookings +5.9%. Dubrovnik 0.6% +8.4% +16.2%. Valencia 0.8% +8.5% +15.6%.
-Others; fastest capacity-growth. Lisbon +7.8% (market share 2.7%), Munich +6.0% (4.3%), Seville +16.7% (0.4%), Vienna +12.6% (3.9%).
-Longhaul bookings; fastest growth. Barcelona +13.8% (8.1% share), Dubrovnik +16.2% (0.9%), Madrid +7.0% (7.4%), Valencia +15.6% (0.2%).
*Notes:
-ECM=European Cities Marketing, FK=Forward Keys, EF=ECM-FK report on arrival and booking trends.
-From the Air Travellers' Traffic Barometer, produced by EF.
-FK analyses 17mn flight booking transactions daily from major global reservation systems.

Travel business updates
20 June 2019
[] ARC (the Airlines Reporting Corporation, handling financial settlements between US-based travel agencies and airlines), reports for May: air tickets sold US$9.22bn +4.8%; average US roundtrip ticket US$511 +$13; passenger trips 27.4mn +3.5% (domestic - +2.7%, international +4.7%); EMD (electronic miscellaneous document) sales US$7.4mn -16%; EMD transactions +3.4%.
[] Luxembourg-based Corporacion America Airports, which operates 52 airports mainly in Latin America (in Europe in Armenia and Italy), reports passengers-handled in May at 6.66mn +3.3%, YTD 33.7mn +3.4%.
[] HNN reports that InterContinental Hotels targets to grow the portfolio of Six Senses, which it bought in 2018. It now has 18 resorts plus 17 in the pipeline. It targets 60 in 10 years, which would be +12.8% annual average growth rate.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels 9-15 June: occupancy -0.6% to 73.7%, average room rate +1.9% to US$134.59.
[] In June, Student Universe sales US-Europe grew* +7% and Europe-US +15%. It says US-E air fares are 7.7% lower*; E-US not given. Fares on two routes detailed: US-Greece/Spain -19% lower.
*Notes:
-Possibly an estimate as the month has not finished, or bookings to date; SU does not clarify.
-The Euro has fallen -3.4% over the past year. That would account for some of the fall in US fares - and may indicate higher fares E-US.

More meetings counts
19 June 2019
ICCA* has issued more data on its report for 2018. We include some baseline data here, but brief because ICCA’s data is based on single-year counts.
  Our main analysis is based on multi-year results. We are motivated by those working in the MICE segment of the travel business – who tell us that single-year figures can be misleading. As a result, we calculate average-annual totals based on 5-year periods - to balance out distortions caused by unusually-big or -small events in one year.
  Surprisingly, the industry itself still works on annual figures! Even more surprising is that in 2013 ICCA said it was following our lead and tracking results in 5-year averages. Despite that, all its analysis and observations continues to be based on single-year figures!
  Our report on this topic is due to be included in the August issue of our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know report, published by Travel Business Analyst. This contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

  Some excerpts from ICCA’s single-year data:
-Barcelona counted most participants, although, as reported earlier, Paris counted most meetings. No3 in participants is Vienna, then Munich, Berlin. This highlights the problem with single-year counts; on a 5-year count, Munich would not only be below Berlin, but about No8 - see WYSK. Munich is No35 in meeting numbers. Two big medical conferences - 32,858 and 27,700 participants - made 2018 an exceptional year.
-The US remains in the top country, Spain overtakes Germany to become No2, then France, Canada.
-Main topics are Medical Science (share 16.9%), Technology (14.2%), Science (13.5%).
-Spend on international meetings was US$12.4bn (we calculate +3.8% from ICCA-rounded €11bn and +4%).
*Notes:
-ICCA’s counts are meetings of associations (and follow precise definitions), and thus are just one segment of the big MICE business. We have not seen estimates, but we would be surprised if ICCA’s segment was more than 20% of the total. Why do these counts attract so much interest? (Possibly, we answer ourselves, because no other worldwide trade body tracks the whole MICE business.)
-Until 2009, ICCA gave us additional information for our analysis, but has refused this since. Full data is reserved for ICCA members; a policy with which we agree, even if it causes us some difficulty. As a result, however, our coverage is now limited to meetings numbers, rather than adding commentary on attendance numbers as well.
-ICCA was initially an abbreviation for the International Congress and Conventions Association. Then it used ICCA as a name, which it described as The International Meetings Association. It has now reverted to almost the same – ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association.

Magic mushrooms
18 June 2019
France-based Magic Stay* which, despite its name, specialises in short-term apartment rentals for business travellers, has raised more money - US$3.37mn (at US$1 to €0.89). Earlier fund-raising rounds: US$1.69mn early-2018, US$1.12mn end-2016, another US$1.12mn end-2014, and US$562k when launched early 2014.
  The apartment portfolio of the 5-year-old MS is not clear, and not currently published. In some earlier reports it noted 150,000 apartments in 90 countries, but in others – at the same time – it noted 130,000 ‘accommodations’ – which include apartments, studios, villas – in 110 countries. We have no easy way of confirming either.
  MS has never published any operating data.
  MS says the new funds are to ‘accelerate its international expansion’. Before it was to support ‘strong growth’ in the France market before ‘going global’ from end-2018. International expansion was planned to start in 2015.
*We believe ‘Magic’ is the wrong word for a BT site, although MS has already changed its name from Magic Event.

City visitor counts
17 June 2019
Tourism Economics, part of Oxford Economics (unrelated to the university), is one of the groups that report visitor arrivals into cities worldwide. Current findings include:
-Forecasts 630mn +4.7% international visitors this year into its top-300 destination cities.
-Forecasts 803mn in the six years to 2025, which we calculate would be slower +4.1% AAGR (annual average growth rate).
-Top sources put as China, US, UK. We believe TE has overstated the UK count - partly because of the distortions caused by travel documents - being used instead of place of residence. We calculate that by residence, Germany is 15% bigger than the UK.
-TE forecasts Macau will be No3 city in 2025 (top-2 and current ranking not published) +4.4% over 2019 (other figures not published).
-Kuala Lumpur No6 +3.7% up from No10 (date not given when it was that share). Reported as overtaking New York, Singapore, Tokyo. This illustrates TE’s misinterpretation. If Singapore followed the same methodology as Malaysia in terms of counts, its visitor count would be 40% bigger than Malaysia’s; as it is, Singapore’s visitor-count is generally shown as about 20% smaller.
-Bangkok +3.5%; no other data or ranking given.
-Other forecast rankings, without data, in 2025, in Asia - New York 7th, Tokyo 8th, Shenzhen 9th, Singapore 10th, Guangzhou 14th,  Shanghai 20th. In Europe, London 1st, Istanbul 13th.
-Travel spend, excluding airfares, forecast to be US$1.5tn +5.7% in 2019. And US$2.2tn in 2025, which we calculate would be a +6.6% AAGR.
-In 2019, top-5 destinations forecast to be Macau US$39bn, Hong Kong US$27bn, New York US$26bn, Bangkok US$22bn, Shenzhen US$22bn.

TBA Tracking: Indices, Travel Stocks
14 June 2019
The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index in May for US hotel companies was 4645 +4.9% (over previous month). YTD, the stock index was +14.1%.
  The ‘TBA Travel Stocks Index’ for May, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows: World 210, Asia Pacific 89, Europe 188, US 351.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Airline Stocks Index’ for May, from the current editions of our Travel Business Analyst newsletters, was at 192.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Hotel Stocks Index’ for May, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 163.
  The worldwide ‘Net-Value Travel-Tech Index’ for travel stocks of OTAs (+Amadeus) in, from the current edition of our monthly Net Value report, was at 130.
  The ‘China Travel Stock Index’ of China stock prices (from China companies quoted in Hong Kong and New York, as well as Shanghai), in May from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 94.
Notes: The Baird/STR hotel index is based on 1000 at February 2000. The TBA Hotel and Airline stocks indices are based on 100 at December 2000, the ‘TBA All-Travel Index’ 100 at December 2006, the ‘Net-Value Travel-Tech Index’ 100 at December 2014, the ‘China Travel Stock Index’ 100 at December 2018. Or when first listed if later.

Travel business updates
13 June 2019
[] ACI reports March airport passenger throughput +2.0% in Asia Pacific and -0.3% in the Middle East. Q1 Asia Pacific +3.4%, Middle East +1.1%. Others in March:
-In China, +1.1%.
-In India -2.7%.
-In the Middle East, Dubai, the airport in the region, was -4.2% as.
[] A new Phocuswright report reports that gross bookings for the 13 Asia Pacific markets its covers were US$418.1bn +7% in 2018. That puts the region well above Europe and the US; no data.
  Of that US$418.1bn it reports the online share is 44% - US$182.2bn. We estimate - from PCW data - growth at about +21%.
  We estimate - from PCW data - that the 2022 total market will be US$480bn +3.5% AAGR (annual average growth rate), and online US$260bn +9.3% AAGR.

Outbound from Russia
12 June 2019
Global Data*, a data and analytics company, forecasts outbound travel from Russia will grow from 45.3mn in 2018 to 50.2mn in 2023.
  It puts that at +10.4%, although our calculator calculates +10.8%, and that the AAGR (annual average growth rate) would be +2.08%, which looks slow.
  However, GD says that AAGR (it calculates +2.05%) would be better than the -0.28% achieved over 2014-18.
  (It reports -31% 2016 over 2014, then +43% 2018/16, +4% 2020/18, +6% over a 3-year 2023/20.)
  Two other findings - that raise questions:
-62% of millennials are likely to travel abroad this year. This looks too high. Millennials are not precisely defined, but Pew counts those born between 1981 and 1996. We estimate that might be 40% of Russia’s population, thus 58mn - more than the total outbound-travel forecast for 2023.
-Those aged 55-64 have no holiday plans. Obviously some do.
*Notes:
-We have found in other reports that GD sometimes misreads/misinterprets/misreports core travel data.
-At press time, GD had not answered our request for clarifications.

Hotel pipeline, Europe
11 June 2019
Hotel Management and Lodging Econometrics report:
-Europe’s hotel construction pipeline is 1670 +22% hotels with 254,600 +19% rooms. Rival STR shows 1454/187,198; growth NA because new methodology.
-That comprises 844/133,620 under construction, 480/72,588 due to start construction in the next 12 months, 346/48,392 at early planning. Growths not given for this and all of following.
-Due to open this year 390/53,241, in 2020 426/61,490.
-Overall pipeline, countries - Germany 319/57,152, UK 261/37,910, France 188/22,537, Portugal 121/12,190 Poland 91/13,748.
-Overall pipeline, cities - London 78/13,285, Paris 60/9255, Dusseldorf 53/10,347, Lisbon 39/3457, Hamburg 31/6101 rooms.
-Overall pipeline, hotel groups - Accor 256/35,073, Marriott 208/33,395, Hilton 172/26,466, InterContinental 147/24,483. These four companies take a 47% share.
-Overall pipeline, hotel brands - Ibis (Accor group) 134/16,901, Moxy/Marriott 64/11,422, Holiday Inn Express/InterContinental 72/10,900, Hampton/Hilton 70 10,790, Holiday Inn/InterContinental 33/7541, Garden/Hilton 43 6416, Courtyard/Marriott 33/5758, Novotel 25/4246, DoubleTree/Hilton 23/2985, Mercure/Accor 28/2918, Residence/Marriott 17/1607, Indigo/InterContinental 13/1554.

Travel business updates
10 June 2019
[] ACI reports Q1 Europe airport passenger throughput +4.4%. Others:
-March. EU +4.1%, non-EU +2.9%.
-Q1. Airports/markets (EU), and order, selected by ACI. Austria +21.6%, Estonia +13.3%, Sweden -4.1%, Denmark +0.9%, Belgium +1.9%, Netherlands +1.8%. Berlin Tegel +32.4%, Vienna +24.6%, Tallinn +13.3%, Dusseldorf +12.5%, Milan Malpensa +10.6%, Palma +10.2%, Athens +9.5%, Luxembourg +9.3%.
-Q1. Airports/markets (non-EU), and order, selected by ACI. Turkey -3.7%, Iceland -8.8%. Moscow Sheremetevo +17.6%, Moscow Vnukovo +13.2%, St Petersburg +14.7%, Minsk +15.7%, Tbilisi +11.2%, Kiev +15.2% Antalya +13.2%, Sochi +12.9%.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels 2-8 June: occupancy -1.3% to 72.0%, average room rate +0.5% to US$132.40.

WTO on visitor spend
7 June 2019
WTO (World Tourism Organization, which it abbreviates to UNWTO) reports travel spend was US$1.7tn +4% in 2018. It defines this as ‘exports from international tourism’.
  WTTC, the rival lobby group for the travel business, counts all the travel business. It reported US$8.8tn +3.9%.
  Other WTO findings:
-The total grew faster than the +3% of merchandise exports.
-Accounted for 29% of global service exports and 7% of overall exports of goods and services.
-Visitor spend was US$1.45tn +4%. WTO calls this ‘consistent’ with the +6% growth in visitor arrivals, but for us this means that per-visitor-spend fell substantially.
-International passenger transport US$256bn; WTO does not give the growth rate, which usually means it fell.
-Regional visitor spend. Asia Pacific +7% growth, Europe +5%, Middle East +3%, Americas flat.
-Sub-regional visitor spend. Central/Eastern Europe +9%, Northeast Asia +9%. No others given.
-Growth size is also given for what WTO calls leading source markets, but this information less value without noting size. WTO puts France +11%, Russia +11%, Australia +10%.
-China’s spend put as largest, at US$277bn +5%, the US US$144bn +7%.
-For others, just growth given, and no reason for the order - we do not think it is size. UK +3%, Italy +4%, Germany and Korea ‘rather flat’ (we do not know what this means), Spain +12%.

Macau outlook
6 June 2019
Research & Markets* (RM), a company, forecasts for Macau:
-In 2025 ‘revenue’ from international visitors will be US$15bn. We believe this means the same as visitor spend, and that ‘international’ excludes visitors from neighbouring China and Hong Kong.
-There will be 2mn MICE visitors in 2025.
-Growth not given for these two measures.
-RM notes that China, Hong Kong, Taiwan ‘remained’ Macau's top-3 visitor sources. Period not given, but we presume 2018. Our database shows these three have a 91% market share (of which China was 71%). Unlike some of the other figures here, these include China and Hong Kong, meaning that even some data within this section may not be comparable with some other.
*Notes: We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – most apparently due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, RM had not answered our request for clarifications.

US hotel business updates
5 June 2019
STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels:
[] 27 May through 2 June occupancy +0.6% to 64.5%, average room rate +1.0% to US$124.16.
[] STR with Tourism Economics - here, ST - have lowered their forecast for this year. The data:
-2019 occupancy +0.1%, average room rate +1.9%.
-What ST call overall performance - measured as revpar (revenue per available room) - for 2019 has been lowered from the +2.3% forecast this February to +2.0%.
-2020 occupancy -0.2%, average room rate +2.2%.

TBA Tracking: May travel stocks’ ups and downs - another bad month
3 June 2019
Travel stock prices (Asia Pacific, Europe, US) in May. Airlines: biggest growth, Jet (India) +8%; biggest fall, China Southern -26%. Hotels: Millennium & Copthorne +12%, Marriott -17%. Tech: LastMinute +23%, cTrip -18%. China travel stocks (new): HNA (airline, not group; China quote) -8% (sic), China Southern (HK quote) -26%. Others: Amex -2% (sic), Thomas Cook -20%.
  Previous month: Airlines: biggest growth, Jet Blue +14%; biggest fall, Norwegian -13%. Hotels: Dusit +21%, Jinjiang -8%. Tech: eDreams +15%, Amadeus -5%. China travel stocks (new): HNA (airline, not group; China quote) +0.5%, Jinjiang (HK quote) -8%. Others: Disney +19%, Thomas Cook -13%.
  TBA Travel Stocks Index: World 210, Asia Pacific 89, Europe 188, US 351. Index previous month: World 228, Asia Pacific 97, Europe 197, US 390.
  NVTT (Net Value Travel Tech) Stocks Index: 130; previous month 132.
  Stockmarkets. Biggest growth, India +2%; biggest fall Hong Kong -9%. Previous month: biggest growth New York-Travel Weekly +12%; biggest fall Shanghai -0.4%.
Comments:
-Yet another bad month. More travel stock prices fell than grew. In two sectors (China stocks and Others) the fastest growth stocks were actually those that fell least.
-There are not many companies that are above their end-2017 price (not end-2018, because there was a big fall towards the end of 2018) - Asia Pacific 1 (out of 27 we track), Europe 6/23, US 9/23.
-As usual, some oddities. The fastest-growing airline stock was Jet Airways, despite the fact that it has actually stopped flying! However, its shares are still changing hands, presumably with investors calculating the gains and losses from liquidation.
-Travel-tech stocks once again had a mixed month. Even Booking (nee Priceline) was down badly, -9%. Fortunes may be turning for LastMinute, up +23%. But that cannot be said for Trivago, still falling, and almost half its end-2017 price.
-Star performer was InterContinental Hotels - albeit because others were so dull. Its +3% is admittedly slow, but it is +8% above its end-2017 price.
-China (which now also includes Hong Kong in terms of stock sentiments), suffered most - presumably because of the trade war that the US has started with China. The Hong Kong market fell most, but Shanghai also fell heavily, -6%.
-Stockmarkets had a particularly-bad month. Only 4 grew, of the 25 we track; all of those were AsPac markets.
  Info from Travel Business Analyst. Details in next month’s editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.

Hotel business updates
31 May 2019
[] Hyatt plans 21 more hotels in Asia Pacific* by end-2020, which would be +25%. Brands: 2 Alila (an independent brand that Hyatt took over in 2018), 6 Andaz, 6 Grand, 7 Park.
*Notes: Hyatt includes part of the Middle East in this definition. Although most of the eastern part of Turkey is considered geographically to be in Asia - actually Asia Minor - the countries that Hyatt includes in its ‘Asia’ are not. And parts that are in Asia - such as that ‘Asian’ eastern Turkey - are not included in Hyatt’s list!
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:

-US hotels 19-25 May: occupancy +0.9% to 71.2%, average room rate +2.1% to US$133.81.
-Top-3 hotel groups in North America are Marriott 886,308 rooms, Hilton 703,238, Wyndham 546,716. Top-3 brands Hampton (part of Hilton group) 227,581 rooms, Holiday Inn Express (InterContinental) 203,792, Courtyard (Marriott) 147,462.

Travel business updates
30 May 2019
[] Greece’s DMO reports air arrivals April +18.7%, YTD +13.0%. Bank of Greece all arrivals March +9.1%, YTD +7.8%; spend +32.2%, +37.2%.
[] IATA (International Air Transport Association):
-Reports April RPKs +4.3%, ASKs +3.6%, load factor 82.8% +0.6pt. RPKs by region - Asia Pacific +2.1%, Europe +7.6%, Middle East +2.6%, North America +4.4%. International RPKs +5.1% - Asia Pacific +2.9%, Europe +8.0%, Middle East +2.9%, North America +5.5%. Domestic RPKs +2.8% - Australia -0.7%, Brazil +0.6%, China +3.4%, India -0.5%, Japan +3.4%, Russia +10.4%, US +4.1%.
-Forecasts 2019 RPKs will be +5.0% (they were +7.4% in 2018) - Asia Pacific +6.3% +9.5%, Europe +4.9% +7.5%, Middle East +2.0% +5.0%, North America +4.3% +5.3%.

    [] The US DMO reports that visitors from China in 2018 were 2.9mn -5.7% - the first fall since 2003.
  The DMO still forecasts growth this year, +2% to 3.3mn, then to 4.1mn in 2023. We calculate that would mean +7.17% annual average growth rate, possible for the China market in normal times - except that these are not normal times.

China domestic/outbound
29 May 2019
Research & Markets* (RM), a company, reports on China’s domestic and outbound market. Some findings:
-74% choose city breaks, 70% sun-beach-holidays as holiday destinations. No clarification if this is domestic, international, or total; RM rounded.
-57.5% of domestic travel is for leisure, 69.2% of international in 2018.
-Transport costs, US$249bn in 2018, were the largest domestic travel spend. No share given.
-International spend forecast to be US375bn in 2022 +11.3% AAGR (annual average growth rate, presumably from 2018).
-Retail spend, largest share, forecast to be US$115bn in 2022; AAGR not given.
*Notes: We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – most apparently due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, RM had not answered our request for clarifications.

PATA’s misunderstandings
28 May 2019
PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association), detailing data in its recently-released annual statistical report on the region, illustrates its misunderstanding of the data it has collected.
  Its headline highlights one fact - that the region’s fastest growth was the number of visitor arrivals in Laos from Myanmar. Indeed, growth is big - +677%. But does PATA know that could be growth from, say, 50 visitors in 2017 to 400 in 2018?
  For this reason, we have not excerpted much:
-81% of arrivals into Asia were from Asia. 
-For the first time, PATA notes that counts for China and Hong Kong include some that would not normally be visitors. We have been saying that, and estimating the numbers, for 20 years. Although PATA is in a better position to estimate the numbers, it does not.
-Venezuela (yes) is listed as having the fastest annual average growth rate - albeit for arrivals in Chile and Peru.

World arrivals Q1
27 May 2019
WTO (World Tourism Organization, which it abbreviates to UNWTO) reports for Q1:
-Visitor arrivals +4%; Americas +3%, Asia Pacific +6%, Europe +4%, Middle East +8%.
-Americas. Caribbean +17%; other regions not given.
-Asia Pacific. Northeast +9%; other regions not given.
-Europe. Southern and Mediterranean +5%, Central and Eastern +5%; other regions not given.
-North Africa +11%.
-Forecasts +3-4% for all-2019.

Travel business updates
24 May 2019
[] ARC (the Airlines Reporting Corporation, handling financial settlements between US-based travel agencies and airlines), reports for April: air tickets sold US$9.05bn +5.9%; average US roundtrip ticket US$499, flat; passenger trips 27.7mn +4% (domestic - +4.2%, international +3.9%.); EMD (electronic miscellaneous document) sales US$8.5mn +23.7%; EMD transactions +4%.
[] Luxembourg-based Corporacion America Airports, which operates 52 airports mainly in Latin America (in Europe in Armenia and Italy), reports passengers-handled in Q1 at 20.4mn +2.6%.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:
-Middle East hotels occupancy +4.1% to 74.6%, average room rate -7.1% to US$148.28:
-US hotels 12-18 May occupancy +0.8% to 70.8%, average room rate +1.4% to US$134.36:
-US hotels April occupancy +0.3 at 68.0%, average room rate +0.9% to US$131.85
[] Travel Mole reports India’s airline seat sales in April were 10.9mn -4.5%.

ITB China
23 May 2019
Some data from ITB China (ITBC), held in Shanghai 15-17 May (most growth calculations are ours, from ITBC data published in 2018):
-Total attendees 17,000 +13.3%.
-Conference attendees 4000 +0.0%, speakers 120 +0.0%, topics 70 +0.0%.
-Buyers 850 +6.3%. 40% from 2nd- and 3rd-tier cities. No data in 2018 - just 73% from outside Shanghai.
-Exhibitors 800 +14.3% from 84 +5.0% countries.
-Buyers circle, new in 2019 - 30 agents from 400 agencies.
-Media 300 +15.4%.

ICCA on 2018 meetings
22 May 2019
ICCA* has issued its report for 2018. We include some baseline data here, but brief as ICCA’s data is based on single-year counts.
  Our main analysis is based on multi-year results. We are motivated by those in the MICE segment of the travel business – who tell us that single-year figures can be misleading. As a result, we calculate average-annual totals based on 5-year periods - to balance out distortions caused by unusually-big or -small events in one year.
  Surprisingly, the industry itself still works on annual figures! Even more surprising is that in 2013 ICCA said it was following our lead and tracking results in 5-year averages. Despite that, all its analysis and observations continues to be based on single-year figures!
  Our report on this topic is included in the June issue of our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know report, published by Travel Business Analyst. This contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

  Some excerpts from ICCA’s single-year data (our calculations on growth):
-12,937 +3.0% meetings.
-Top-3 countries, largest first, US +0.6%, Germany -5.9%, Spain +5.5%. Of note among others, France +14.4%, UK -3.0% (is that Brexit-related?).
-Top-2 from Asia Pacific (only two in published top-10) Japan +18.8%, China +19.4%.
-Top-3 cities Paris +11.6%, Vienna -9.5%, Madrid +7.8%. Of note among others, Barcelona -16.4% (is that Catalonia-troubles related?), London -15.3% (is that Brexit-related?).
-Top-2 from Asia Pacific (only two in published top-10) Singapore -9.4%, Bangkok +22.7%.
*Notes:
-ICCA’s counts are meetings of associations (and follow precise definitions), and thus are just one segment of the big MICE business. We have not seen estimates, but we would be surprised if ICCA’s segment was more than 20% of the total. Why do these counts attract so much interest? (Possibly, we answer ourselves, because no other worldwide trade body tracks the whole MICE business.)
-Until 2009, ICCA gave us additional information for our analysis, but has refused this since. Full data is reserved for ICCA members; a policy with which we agree, even if it causes us some difficulty. As a result, however, our coverage is now limited to meetings numbers, rather than adding commentary on attendance numbers as well.
-ICCA was initially an abbreviation for the International Congress and Conventions Association. Then it used ICCA as a name, which it described as The International Meetings Association. It has now reverted to almost the same – ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association.
-A report on this topic in our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know report, published by Travel Business Analyst, contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Travel business updates
21 May 2019
[] Luxembourg-based Corporacion America Airports, which operates 52 airports mainly in Latin America (in Europe in Armenia and Italy), reports passengers-handled in April at 6.5mn +1.8%, YTD 27.0mn +3.4%.
[] Greece’s DMO reports air arrivals Mar -0.2%, YTD +7.7%. Bank of Greece all arrivals Feb +4.0%, YTD +7.0%; spend +29.6%, +41.1%.
[] Ireland's growth in visitors will slow over 2018-23, forecasts Global Data (GD). After +3.8% over 2014-18, GD forecasts +3.8% 2018-23.
  Its counts show 6.8mn in 2014, 9.3mn +7% (GD rounded) in 2018, and it forecasts +3.9% this year, to 9.7mn. Growth from the UK, leading market, will fall from +6.8% in 2018, to forecast +1.7% this year.
  GD says markets in Europe (GD does not include the UK in Europe, although it is) accounted for a 76% share.
  Also noted is a forecast +7% this year (GD rounded).
[] MKG* reports Jan-Apr hotel occupancy in Europe* +0.2pt, and what appears to be average room rate (MKG’s description is ‘average price’) +1.5%.
*Notes:
-No definition given for ‘Europe’; we presume it is a list of destinations from which MKG collects data.
-MKG (a France-based hotel consultancy; name origin unknown) focuses on hotel revpar (revenue per available room), which has little marketing value to those outside the hotel business. As a result, we reduce our report to measures other than revpar.

[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels 5-11 May: occupancy -0.3% to 68.3%, average room rate +1.2% to US$131.72.

PATA on 2018 counts
20 May 2019
PATA* reports for 2018:
-Arrivals 699.6mn +7.7%.
-Over 2014-18, Southeast Asia gained 1.34pts of share, North America lost 1.55pts.
-China counted most visitors, 161mn, 22.6% of the Asia Pacific total. However, this includes some movement that we would term ‘excursionist’, particularly land-traffic between China, Hong Kong, Macau. As PATA gives no additional information, it is not possible to determine what share this land-crossing traffic represents.
-AAGRs over 2014-18, Japan +24%, Vietnam +18% respectively. (PATA rounded.) PATA also includes Cyprus in this section. Cyprus is actually an island in the Mediterranean Sea, but PATA erroneously reports it as being in (geographically-non-existent) 'West Asia'.
*Notes:
-PATA=Pacific Asia Travel Association. PATA’s 39 destinations include many not usually associated with Asia Pacific – such as Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, US, and sometimes Cyprus and Turkey (yes; but, ironically, not Turkey-recognised North Cyprus). PATA’s data should thus be read with that qualification in mind. PATA gives no support (including response to questions) to subscription publishing groups such as ours, and so we are unable to clarify what may be misleading.
-PATA also shows percentage growth in some destinations. We have not shown this because as we have remarked before, a growth from 150,000 visitors to 300,000 is an impressive-sounding +100%. Likewise, growth in numbers. We would show both these if PATA reported the actual figures.
-PATA has reported other data - such as growth without the total - but not actionable data, and so we have not shown these.
-The point of our analysis is that PATA seems to make this seem like a publicity exercise and not to inform
.

TBA Tracking: Indices, Travel Stocks
17 May 2019
The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index in April for US hotel companies was 4886 +5.3% (over previous month). YTD, the stock index was +20.1%.
  The ‘TBA Travel Stocks Index’ for April, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows: World 228, Asia Pacific 97, Europe 197, US 390.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Airline Stocks Index’ for April, from the current editions of our Travel Business Analyst newsletters, was at 217.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Hotel Stocks Index’ for April, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 172.
  The worldwide ‘Net-Value Travel-Tech Index’ for travel stocks of OTAs (+Amadeus) in April, from the current edition of our monthly Net Value report, was at 128.
  The ‘China Travel Stock Index’ of China stock prices (from China companies quoted in Hong Kong and New York, as well as Shanghai), in April from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 121.
Notes: The Baird/STR hotel index is based on 1000 at February 2000. The TBA Hotel and Airline stocks indices are based on 100 at December 2000, the ‘TBA All-Travel Index’ 100 at December 2006, the ‘Net-Value Travel-Tech Index’ 100 at December 2014, the ‘China Travel Stock Index’ 100 at December 2018. Or when first listed if later.

Travel business updates
16 May 2019
[] IATA (International Air Transport Association) reports for March RPKs +3.1%, ASKs +4.2%, load factor 81.7% -0.9pt. RPKs by region - Asia Pacific +1.9%, Europe +4.9%, Middle East -3.0%, North America +4.9%.
  International +2.5% - Asia Pacific +2.0%, Europe +4.7%, Middle East -3.0%, North America +3.0%.
  Domestic +4.1% - Australia -3.2%, Brazil +3.2%, China +2.9%, India +3.1%, Japan +4.2%, Russia +14.2%, US +6.3%.
[] Reports from ITB on China:
-A survey found that 62% of respondents forecast culture travel from China will grow 30% over the next three years. Given the complexity of the term ’culture travel’, this finding may not have much marketing relevance
-China's sports travel market forecast to grow 25-30% over next three years (period not given; we presume 2019-21). Forecasts it will be worth US$237bn (Y1.5tn) in 2020 (growth not given; different to growth period given before; seems a hopelessly-high figure, accounting for perhaps 100mn travellers); 72% of travel agents report that sports travellers 'primarily' travel in groups of friends.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels 28 April - 4 May: occupancy +1.2% to 69.1%, average room rate +2.3% to US$133.43.

TBA Tracking: Travel Traffic Indices, Europe, US
10 May 2019
Europe
Our Europe ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current Europe edition of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2019: Feb +5%E; Jan +3.8%P. 2018: Dec +4.4%.
US
Our US ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2019: Feb +5%E; Jan +4.5%P. 2018: Dec +6.8%.
  (Percentage change over previous year. E=estimate, P=provisional.)

TBA Tracking: Travel Traffic Indices, Asia Pacific, world
9 May 2019
Asia Pacific
Our Asia Pacific ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current Asia Pacific edition of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2019: Feb +6%E; Jan +4.4%. 2018: Dec +4.0%.
World
Our world ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2019: Feb +6%E; Jan +4.7%P. 2018: Dec +5.4%.
  (Percentage change over previous year. E=estimate, P=provisional.)

TBA Tracking: Index, China travel stocks
8 May 2019
The April ‘China Travel Stock Index’ of China stock prices (from China companies quoted in Hong Kong and New York, as well as Shanghai), from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows 121. (Base 100: December 2018.)

TBA Tracking: April travel stocks’ ups and downs
7 May 2019
Travel stock prices (US, Asia Pacific, Europe) in April. Airlines: biggest growth, Jet Blue +14%; biggest fall, Norwegian -13%. Hotels: Dusit +21%, Jinjiang -8%. Tech: eDreams +15%, Amadeus -5%. China travel stocks (new): HNA (airline, not group; China quote) +0.5%, Jinjiang (HK quote) -8%. Others: Disney +19%, Thomas Cook -13%.
  Previous month: Airlines: biggest growth, Jet Airways +21%; biggest fall, Norwegian -24%. Hotels: NH +7%, Wyndham -10%. Tech: cTrip +28%, Trivago -14%. Others: Eurotunnel +4%, Thomas Cook -18%.
  TBA Travel Stocks Index: World 228, Asia Pacific 97, Europe 197, US 390. Index previous month: World 222, Asia Pacific 100, Europe 194, US 371.
  NVTT (Net Value Travel Tech) Stocks Index: 132; previous month 128.
  Stockmarkets. Biggest growth New York-Travel Weekly +12%; biggest fall Shanghai -0.4%. Previous month: biggest growth India +8%; biggest fall Istanbul -10%.
Comments:
-Among airlines, Wizz wozz alzo gudd, +13%. India’s Jet was actually lowest, -50% (yes), but it has stopped flying and seems likely to shut down, and so that is a special price.
-Among hotels, Wynn was also good, +19%. And two giants showed impressive growth - Choice and Marriott, both +12%.
-Among Others, TUI also did well - strangely the opposite of its direct competitor, Thomas Cook. TUI was +13% in its Germany quote, +16% in its UK quote.
-Among travel-tech, a fall for Amadeus, -5%, is unusual. To be the fastest faller is even rarer.
-Among stockmarkets, Kuala Lumpur’s also fell 0.4%, but fractionally below, where Shanghai was fractionally above.
-We have started a China-travel-stocks-track - of China companies, not just China quotes. Our quotes are from Hong Kong and New York as well as Shanghai markets. Oddly, HNA, the airline part of the trouble HNA group, is doing better in China, +0.5%, than the group is doing in Hong Kong, -3%. In HK, trading in HNAG shares is currently suspended.

  Info from Travel Business Analyst. Details in next month’s editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.

TBA Tracking: Indices, airline and hotel stocks
6 May 2019
Airline stocks worldwide
The April ‘TBA-100 Index’ of airline stock prices worldwide, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows 217. Previous month 214. (Base 100: December 2004 or when first listed.)
Hotel stocks worldwide
The April ‘TBA-100 Index’ of hotel stock prices worldwide, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows 172. Previous month 164. (Base 100: December 2000 or when first listed.)

Travel business updates
3 May 2019
[] Hilton added 10,000 +7% rooms net (after those leaving/shutting) in Q1; it targets +6.5% for all-2019. Other updates:
-Opened 12,100 rooms (growth not given), and signed for 29,300 more rooms.
-Pipeline 371,000 rooms, of which 200,000 are outside the US.
-Inventory 5704 hotels/914,633 rooms.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:
-On Canada hotels Q1 occupancy -0.5% to 56.7%, average room rate +1.2% to US$111 (C$148.68).
-On US hotels 21-27 April occupancy -1.4% to 68.9%, average room rate -1.4% to US$128.66.

Airline baggage revenues
2 May 2019
Car Trawler, a consultancy that provides online car rental distribution systems, and Idea Works, a consultancy specialising on airlines' ancillary revenue* (CI) have produced more data on baggage revenues` for FSAs*.
  (We published, and questioned, some CI findings on AAR in the April issues of our monthly-report WYSK: What-You-Should-Know.)
  Some excerpts:
-Worldwide revenue from baggage fees were US$28.1bn in 2018. CI puts growth at +110% since 2014. We calculate that would be a high +20.3% AAGR (annual average growth rate).
-Share has near-doubled from 1.8% in 2014 to 3.2% in 2018.
-In Asia Pacific and Middle East all major airlines listed include baggage with all fares, in Europe (exception Turkish) and North America (exception Southwest, although CI should not have included this airline as it is an NFA, not an FSA) most airlines have a mixed policy.
*Notes:
-Ancillary revenue (in the travel business usually used only for airlines although it could be used for other sectors) is generated by extra activities and services - for airlines this would be anything in addition to the air fare. Activities for airlines could be commission from hotel bookings, sale of frequent flyer points to partners. A big problem for measurement is that some airlines - usually NFAs* but now often all types of airlines - count baggage transport and food as extra (= ancillary), and others do not.
-FSA = full-service-airline. Offering first/business/economy, travel agency bookings, meals/bookings/baggage/cancellations included, etc. As its name indicates – full service.
-NFA = no-frills-airline. We believe that among the many essential elements that make a successful NFA are: shorthaul point-to-point routes; market freedom in terms of fares, routes; single aircraft type; where relevant, competition against parent airline allowed; extremely-low fares when bought at least three months in advance, say US$25; one fare at one time (no wholesale rates, travel agency commissions, etc); no refunds; no (free) service frills; single economy-class cabin; no (free) seat selection; two toilets for 150-seat aircraft; 25-minute turnaround time; cabin crew do daytime cabin cleaning; name and flight change charged at least US$25 each; no trade shows; plenty of consumer advertising and promotion; and much more. Developments in technology are making some of these ‘requirements’ less important.
-At press time, CI had not answered our request for clarifications.

China and India reports
1 May 2019
Research & Markets* (RM), a company forecasts:
-The direct contribution of India’s ‘tourism’* business to GDP will grow from (a rounded) US$98bn in 2018 to US$106.9bn this year. That would be +9.1%, which looks high. It also forecasts ‘travel services’* will grow +12% (rounded) this year, and hotels* +13.2%.
-China’s ‘outbound tourism market’* (we presume ‘outbound traveller spend’) will be US$365bn in 2025. Share of top-5 destinations (Hong Kong, Thailand, Japan, Vietnam, Korea; we presume in order of size, although Macau is missing) was 35% in 2018 - but RM notes of ‘Chinese outbound tourists’, so this may not be spend.
*Notes:
-RM’s commentary is about India’s inbound business (its ‘cultural and geographical diversity’), whereas the term ‘industry’ properly includes domestic and outbound. But inbound-visitor spend is only about US$30mn, and so what RM’s figure includes is unclear.
-There is no indication what RM includes in India’s ‘travel services’ or hotels (just room revenue, or other revenue such as F&B as well?).
-RM does not give current totals of China spend, or how the figure is measured. WTO totals spend by travellers from China in destinations, and counted US$258bn in 2017. That would mean a 4.4% AAGR (annual average growth rate).
-We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – most apparently due to imprecision in its editorial commentary.
-At press time, RM had not answered our request for clarifications.

TBA Tracking; China outbound - monthly
30 April 2019
We estimate that outbound travel from China, including travel to Hong Kong and Macau, grew +24% in the latest month. The earlier month was +15%, then +14%, +10%, +5%. Details in the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.

Songkran in Thailand
29 April 2019
Thailand’s DMC reports on the visitor business during its Songkran holiday period, 12-16 April:
-Revenue from international arrivals and domestic travel US$672mn +15% (at US$1 to B32.8).
-International arrivals 543,300 +8%, spending US$311.9mn +14%.
-Domestic ‘trips’ 3.27mn +3%, spending US$361.0mn +7%.
  The DMC does not explain how it obtained the domestic travel data. This is usually based on arrivals at hotels (data provided by the hotels, and thus technically not ‘trips’ but ‘arrivals’), and spending by surveys or the Bank of Thailand.
  We calculate these DMC figures to:
-US$574 per international visitor.
-US$110 per domestic trip.

Travel business updates
26 April 2019
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:
-On Middle East hotels Q1 occupancy +0.9% to 71.0%, average room rate -8.8% to US$148.43.
-On US hotels 14-20 April occupancy -6.2% to 65.7%, average room rate -1.9% to US$128.79.
[] PCW (Phocuswright) report on Europe’s three largest markets:
-Germany 43mn outbound travellers, 61% of adults.
-UK 33mn 60%.
-France 32mn 59%.

Our outlook for travel
25 April 2019
The following is extracted from our input for an external report.
[] Assessment of travel business in the past four months compared to what we would expect for that period:
-Equal.
Our outlook for this period was not positive, and this has been the outcome. There seem to be more negative (or uncertain, which is almost the same) factors than positive ones. And this seems to be slowing growth in travel, and in some cases, slowing.
  Overall growth, according to WTO data, seems to be continuing as normal. But are there factors that require additional analysis (such as shorter trips, which may show up as bigger spend, because per-day spend is higher for shorter trips than for longer ones)?

[] Assessment of travel business in the next four months compared to what we would expect for that period:
-Equal.
Same reasoning. Outlook has not been positive, and this seems unlikely to change in the next 12 months. Again, there are too many negative factors, and too many circumstances that may get worse.
  If only one or two negatives, that would not be a problem, but if there are more (we could count 10), there is a mathematical chance that at least one will 'explode'.

Travel Canada-US
24 April 2019
Global Data forecasts travel from Canada to the US will fall from 23.3mn in 2013 to 14.9mn in 2022, falling at a -4.8% AAGR (annual average growth rate).
  Other GD data:
-Visitor numbers fell from 23.3mn to 18.9mn over 2013-18, a -4.1% AAGR.
-33% of Canada (residents? GD reports ‘Canadians’) have no holiday plans.
-23% take city breaks.
  We report on US official data:
-US data and forecasts on arrivals from Canada - 21.1mn +4% in 2018, 22.3mn +2% 2020, 23.7mn +3% 2022.
-That would represent +3.2% 2017-22.

Hotel business updates
23 April 2019
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:
-On US hotels Q1 occupancy +0.4% to 61.8%, average room rate +1.1% to US$129.02.
-On US hotels March occupancy flat at 68.4%, average room rate +0.6% to US$132.66.

Russia outbound travel +6%
22 April 2019
Russian nationals made 44mn +6.1% outbound trips in 2018, according to Romir (with some government, some survey, and data).
  Apart from border destinations (no data), top-5, were Turkey 5.72mn +26%, Germany 1.30mn +5%, Thailand 1.17mn +7%, Italy 1.09mn +22%, Spain 0.96mn +3%.
  Top-5 leisure destinations were Turkey 4.50mn, Thailand 852,000, Italy 805,000, Spain 780,000, and UAE 749,000. Growth not given.
  Other findings:
-Nine of top-10 destinations are known (at least in part) for their beach/seaside attractions.
-Of leading leisure destinations, 88% visit Tunisia for leisure reasons; Montenegro 82%; Greece 80%; Bulgaria 79%; UAE 78%.
-No visa required (considered an important factor) for Korea, Montenegro, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Vietnam.
-Seaside/water destinations mostly attract youth aged 18-24, the most active travel sector of the market. 53% are interested in such destinations.
-Of those above-60 years, 10% will visit seaside/water destinations.
  For this year:
-36% will visit a destination for its beach (or other waters) attractions - plus 16% ‘may’ go, 48% ‘will not’ go.
-17% (18, 65) to a cultural destination to visit sites such as museums, monuments etc. People aged 35-44 are more interested in this, 23%.
-16% (14 70) to an ecotourism destination (including hiking, fishing, rafting). Men chose this 22% compared with 11% for women.
-14% will visit a health resort - most popular among those above-60 years and those with high income (not defined).
-8% (10 82) to ski resorts; 15% of those aged 18-24.
*Notes:
-More in Romir’s Russian Tourism Market Report.
-A full report on this topic in our WYSK: What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Travel business updates
19 April 2019
 [] ARC (the Airlines Reporting Corporation, handling financial settlements between US-based travel agencies and airlines), reports for March: air tickets sold US $9.3bn +3%; average US roundtrip ticket US$487 -$10; passenger trips 29.2mn +3.3% (domestic +2.7%, international +4.3%); EMD (electronic miscellaneous document) sales US$7.9mn +4.6%; EMD transactions -8.4%.
[] Luxembourg-based Corporacion America Airports, which operates 52 airports mainly in Latin America (in Europe in Armenia and Italy), reports passengers-handled in March at 6.85mn +2.6%.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels 7-13 April: occupancy +2.4% to 69.9%, average room rate +4.4% to US$136.25.

TBA Tracking; Asia Pacific visitor arrivals
18 April 2019
Our calculation of AsPac visitor arrivals for latest-month December, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows +8.1%; previous month +8.0%; all-2018 +8.6%.

TBA Tracking: Market Monitor, April
17 April 2019
An extract from the Market Monitor in current issues WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst – which also includes monthly growth data for principal travel companies in the three regions. Percentage change unless noted otherwise. E=estimate, P=provisional, TBA=Travel Business Analyst.
[] TBA Travel Industry Index, World: 2019: Jan +5%E. 2018: Dec +5.2%P; Nov +5.7%.
[] TBA Travel Industry Index, Asia Pacific: 2019: Jan +4%E. 2018: Dec +4.1%P; Nov +4.4%.
[] TBA Travel Industry Index, Europe: 2019: Jan +4%E. 2018: Dec +5.4%P; Nov +6.0%.
[] TBA Travel Industry Index, US: 2019: Jan +4%E. 2018: Dec +5.4%P; Nov +5.6%.
[] World airline stocks index, on 100: 2019: Feb 223; Jan 227. 2018: Dec 211. TBA.
[] World airport passengers, intl: 2019: Jan +5.7%. 2018: Dec +6.3%; Nov +6.8%. ACI.
[] World air traffic, RPKs: 2019: Jan +6.5%. 2018: Dec +5.3%; Nov +6.2%. IATA.
[] World hotel occupancy, pts: 2018: Dec +2.7; Nov +0.1; Oct +0.6. TBA.
[] World hotel rooms planned: 2019: Feb +4.4%. 2018: Oct +15.1%; Jul +5.9%. STR/TBA.
[] World hotel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Feb 183; Jan 180. 2018: Dec 170. TBA.
[] World travel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Feb 224; Jan 227. 2018: Dec 206. TBA.
[] World travel-tech stocks index, on 100: 2019: Feb 124; Jan 125. Net Value.
[] World visitor arrivals: 2018: Dec +3.9%; Nov +3.9%; Oct +5.2%. WTO.
[] US air international passengers: 2018: Sep +7.2%; Aug +6.7%E. gov.
[] US hotel occupancy, pts: 2018: Dec +0.1; Nov +0.2. Smith.
[] US hotel rooms planned: 2019: Feb +4.9%. 2018: Oct +6.2%. STR.
[] US resident departures, overseas: 2018: Dec +10.9%; Nov +12.3%.
[] US travel agency sales: 2019: Feb +2.8%; Jan +3.2%. ARC.
[] US travel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Feb 380; Jan 388. TBA.
[] US visitor arrivals (2017 restated Sep 18) : 2018: May +7.7%; Apr +3.1%.
[] AsPac airlines seat sales: 2018: Dec +5.6%; Nov +6.1%; Oct +5.9%. AAPA.
[] AsPac airport passengers, intl: 2019: Jan +7.1%. 2018: Dec +5.1%; Nov +5.3%. ACI.
[] AsPac air traffic, RPKs: 2019: Jan +8.5%. 2018: Dec +6.4%; Nov +6.3%. IATA.
[] AsPac hotel occupancy, pts: 2018: Dec +1.2; Nov +3.0; Oct -1.0. TBA.
[] AsPac hotel rooms planned: 2019: Feb +2.5%. 2018: Oct +13.6%; Jul +15.4%. STR TBA.
[] AsPac outbound travel, estimate: 2018: Dec +11.4%; Nov +11.4%; Oct +8.4%. TBA.
[] AsPac travel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Feb 98; Jan 98. 2018: Dec 96. TBA.
[] AsPac visitor arrivals: 2018: Dec +4.5%; Nov +4.6%; Oct +4.3%. WTO.
[] Europe airlines seat sales: 2018: Dec +7.8%; Nov +7.5%; Oct +7.7%. TBA.
[] Europe airport passengers, intl: 2019: Jan +5.6%. 2018: Dec +7.6%; Nov +8.0%. ACI.
[] Europe air traffic, RPKs: 2019: Jan +7.4%. 2018: Dec +7.8%; Nov +8.8%. IATA.
[] Europe hotel occupancy, pts: 2018: Dec +5.3; Nov -2.8; Oct +2.5. TBA.
[] Europe hotel rooms planned: 2019: Feb +11.0%. 2018: Oct +8.9%; Jul +30.2%. STR TBA.
[] Europe travel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Feb 194; Jan 194. 2018: Dec 175. TBA.

TBA Tracking: Net-Value Travel-Tech stock prices and index
16 April 2019
Our NVTT stock index (Net Value Travel Tech), which measures stock prices of OTAs, platforms, and Amadeus, was at 128 in March. Previous month 124.
  The NVTT includes three companies quoted in Europe, and five in the US - one of which, cTrip, is China-based, and another, Trivago, is Germany-based. Base-100 end-2014 or when company started listing.
  Comments:
-cTrip growing fastest at +28%, and Trivago slowest at -14%.
-Three companies are still below their base listing price - cTrip, Travelport, Trivago.
-Two are below their end-2018 price - Travelport, Trivago.
-A surprising four are below their end-2017 price - cTrip, eDreams, Expedia, Trivago.
  Data from the current edition of our monthly Net Value report, published by Travel Business Analyst. Full-review of these and other stocks, in the next edition of our Net Value report.

TBA Tracking: Seat sales by World’s top-3 no-frills-airlines
15 April 2019
Our calculation of seats sold monthly by the leading NFAs (no-frills-airlines) in the world’s three main regions has been compromised. US-based Southwest has joined Air Asia in reducing corporate transparency, and now reports only Qs. Only Ryanair (of the top-3) continues to publish monthly data, which for February was +8% (but see *Notes).
  Q4 ’18 for the three: Air Asia +12%, Ryanair +9%, Southwest +3%. Data from WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.
  Starting from now, we are forced to report Qs only for the three.
*Notes. Ryanair includes traffic for Lauda Air in the current-year totals, but not for the previous year. We have made the adjustment, and thus the growth we show for (the group) Ryanair is lower than the group’s own data.

TBA Tracking: Travel Traffic Indices - US, Europe
12 April 2019
Travel Traffic Index, US
Our US ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2019: Jan +4%E. 2018: Dec +5.4%P; Nov +5.6%.
Travel Traffic Index, Europe
Our Europe ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current Europe edition of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2019: Jan +4%E. 2018: Dec +5.4%P; Nov +6.0%.
(Percentage change over previous year. E=estimate, P=provisional.)

TBA Tracking: Travel Traffic Indices - Asia Pacific, world
11 April 2019
Travel Traffic Index, Asia Pacific
Our Asia Pacific ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current Asia Pacific edition of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2019: Jan +4%E. 2018: Dec +4.1%P; Nov +4.4%.(Percentage change over previous year. E=estimate, P=provisional.)
Travel Traffic Index, world
Our world ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2019: Jan +5%E. 2018: Dec +5.2%P; Nov +5.7%. (Percentage change over previous year. E=estimate, P=provisional.)
(Percentage change over previous year. E=estimate, P=provisional.)

Travel business updates
10 April 2019
[] Luxembourg-based Corporacion America Airports, which operates 52 airports mainly in Latin America (in Europe in Armenia and Italy), reports passengers-handled in 2018 at 81.3mn +6.1%.
[] Marriott targets operating 1000 hotels in Asia Pacific by end-2020; it currently has 710. That would be an 18.8% annual average growth rate.
  This year it targets adding 100 hotels.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels 31 March-6 April: occupancy +0.4% to 68.7%, average room rate +1.5% to US$130.79.

TBA Tracking: Stock Indices - travel, airline, hotel
9 April 2019
Travel stocks
The March ‘TBA-100 Index’ of travel stock prices, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows: World 222, Asia Pacific 100, Europe 194, US 371. (Base: December 2006.)
Airline stocks
The March ‘TBA-100 Index’ of airline stock prices worldwide, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows 214. Previous month 227. (Base 100: December 2004 or when first listed.)
Hotel stocks
The March ‘TBA-100 Index’ of hotel stock prices worldwide, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows 164. Previous month 180. (Base 100: December 2000 or when first listed.)

TBA Tracking: Indices, Travel Stocks
8 April 2019
The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index in March for US hotel companies was 4642 -0.9% (over previous month). YTD, the stock index was +14.1%.
  The ‘TBA Travel Stocks Index’ for March, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows: World 222, Asia Pacific 100, Europe 194, US 371.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Airline Stocks Index’ for March, from the current editions of our Travel Business Analyst newsletters, was at 214.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Hotel Stocks Index’ for March, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 164.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Hotel Stocks Index’ for March, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 128.
Notes: The Baird/STR hotel index is based on 1000 at February 2000. The TBA Hotel and Airline stocks indices are based on 100 at December 2000, the ‘TBA All-Travel Index’ 100 at December 2006, the ‘Net-Value Travel-Tech Index’ 100 at December 2014 – or when first listed if later.

Travel business updates
5 April 2019
[] Hyatt forecasts it will grow from 19 cities in India to 27 by end-2020 - with 14/2100 more hotels/rooms.
[] IATA (International Air Transport Association) reports February RPKs +5.3%, ASKs +5.4%, load factor 80.6% -0.1pt.
-RPKs by region - Asia Pacific +6.3%, Europe +7.3%, Middle East -0.9%, North America +4.2%.
-International RPKs +4.6%, ASKs +5.1%, load factor 79.5% -0.4pt. Asia Pacific RPKs +4.2%, Europe +7.6%, Middle East -0.8%, North America +4.2%.
-Domestic RPKs +6.4%, ASKs +5.8%, load factor 82.4% +0.5pt. RPKs in Australia -1.7%, Brazil +5.8%, China +11.4%, India +10.0%, Japan +2.5%, Russia +10.1%, US +4.5%.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels:
-24-30 March occupancy +4.2% to 69.5%, average room rate +0.9% to US$131.77.
-17-23 March occupancy +0.2% to 69.6%, average room rate +0.2% to US$133.65.

Flat UK hotel sales
4 April 2019
PWC* (international accountants nee Price Waterhouse Coopers) forecasts a flat year for UK hotel deals - although it reports growth, and its figures show a fall! For 2018, it reports US$8.57bn (at US$1 to £0.77) +36%, and it forecasts (apparently for this year) +10% to US$7.79bn.
  Clearly, because figures can vary so much in one year - sometimes due to special cases - the industry should follow what some in the MICE industry, and we, do. That is to calculate growth in 5-year averages - to balance out distortions caused by unusually-big or -small deals in one year.
  PWC also reports some operational data:
-Forecasts London occupancy growth +0.3%, ARR (average room rate) +1.4% for the next two years, taking it to US$196 +1.3% this year and US$199 +1.3% in 2020.
-Supply (we believe this data is just London) grew +2% in 2018, and PCW forecasts +4% in London this year.
-Regions (ie, everywhere outside London) occupancy this year -0.1%, ARR +0.5%, taking it to US$95.
-In 2020 it forecasts regions occupancy -0.1%, ARR +0.8%, although it gives the same figure as this year, US$95.
*Notes: At press time, PWC had not answered our request for clarifications.

Outbound - China, US
3 April 2019
[] Global Data forecasts outbound spend of 'Chinese travellers'* will be US$375bn in 2022, from US$244bn in 2018 (and US$295bn in 2020) an +11.3% AAGR (annual average growth rate) and +12.6% 2020-22. For this year it forecasts +9.7% to US$268bn.
*Notes: We presume GD is forecasting for all residents in China not just China nationals or ethnic Chinese.
[] The US has re-released US outbound travel data for 2018. The main figures are unchanged:
-Total nationals (thus excluding non-citizen residents) 93.0mn +6.1%.
-North America (Canada, Mexico) 51.3mn +3.8%.
-Overseas 41.8mn +9.0%. Shares: Europe 19% +1pt; change not given for rest - Asia 7%, Middle East 3%.

Hotel growth - Asia Pacific, Europe
2 April 2019
Research & Markets* (RM), a company, reports:
  On hotels in Asia Pacific:
-2017 hotels 63,616, a +4.8% AAGR (annual average growth rate) over 2013-17.
-Forecasts 81,234 in 2022, a 5.0% AAGR (which calculates to the period 2017-22).
-RM gives fastest category growth without actual totals, reducing the value of that information. It reports a +6.8% AAGR, fastest, for luxury hotels over 2013-17, and +4.2% for midscale, slowest.
  On hotels in Europe:
-2017 hotels 188,898, a +0.7% AAGR over 2013-17.
-Forecasts 204,925 in 2022, a 1.6% AAGR (again which calculates to the period 2017-22).
-Category growth, also without totals - a +3.3% AAGR, the fastest, for luxury hotels over 2013-17, and +0.2% for budget, slowest.
*Notes: We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – most apparently due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, RM had not answered our request for clarifications.

Questions on Italy outbound
27 March 2019
Global Data* forecasts that outbound trips from Italy will be 36.2mn in 2022, a +2.6% AAGR (annual average growth rate; we calculate +2.7%) from 32.6mn in 2018 (and 34.5mn in 2020).
  Unfortunately, the reasons that GD gives for this growth are bizarre. Some examples:
-Growth in 'low cost airlines, which reduce travel costs'. But these, particularly Ryanair, have been around for 20 years, and there has even been a fall in recent months (of lower-fare airlines), although countered by a bankrupt Alitalia lowering its fares to bring any money in.
-'An overwhelming interest' for travel and different experiences. No comment, although we do not understand 'overwhelming' in this context. More than the market can handle?
-GD says the two main factors for decision-making for holidays are 'affordability and accessibility', and that both have been 'boosted' by airline competition.
-GD forecasts domestic trips will fall over 2020-22, but gives no data apart from adding that that the total number has been near double arrivals in the past decade. Our database indicates just over 60mn arrivals in Italy in 2018, which would mean GD is working on 120mn domestic 'arrivals' (arrival counts are made in different categories, so it is not possible to be more specific on this; we have no data but Germany, for example, is about 150mn).
-GD notes that this fall is 'potentially due' to issues such as ‘overtourism’ in Italy, 'causing' Italians (and presumably non-Italian residents) to travel internationally.
-GD says local visitor boards in Italy should introduce 'specific' (special) deals and incentives to 'maintain [the travellers'] interest'. Presumably, though, this would worsen the 'overtourism' that GD reports is causing a fall?
-Growth in income for younger travellers. We are not qualified to comment on that.
*Notes:
-We have found in other reports that GD sometimes misreads/misinterprets/misreports core travel data.
-At press time, GD had not answered our request for clarifications.

ITB Berlin falling
13 March 2019
Key measures for last week’s ITB Berlin (ITBB) travel trade exhibition appear to show static or falling results.
  However, organisers Messe Berlin (MB) do not always report the same category of data every year, and some are rounded over a few years - 60,000 public visitors every year 2015 to 2018, and in some years before that.
  And the number of measures is falling. MB has published as many as 17 separate measures on ITBB; for 2019 it published five.
  But potentially of more concern for MB is an apparent denial that not all is going well. The following are some of MB’s public statements on ITBB 2019:
-‘Robust and resilient.
-‘International demand remains stable.
-‘Increase in trade visitors.
-‘Uninterrupted growth at a high level’.
  Apart from the trade-visitor count, we cannot see how MB can create such positive comment. The following are our calculations on MB data for this year, compared with our database for 2018 results:
-Zero growth in exhibitors - 10,000.
-Fall, -2.7%, in countries represented - 181.
-Fall, -5.9%, in total visitors - 160k.
-Growth, +3.2%, in trade visitors - 114k.
-Great fall, -22.5%, in public visitors - 45k.
  Note, however, that MB has not published this 45k (we calculated it), and it may be related to MB’s reporting of imprecise data in earlier years.
  In addition, this year there was a separate public travel show in Berlin at the same time - Berlin Travel Festival, March 8-10, Fri-Sun - although obviously BTF did not have the same volume of ITBB.
  Surprisingly, BTF was partly funded (‘supported’, which has no clear definition) by MB, although it certainly competes with the two public days of ITBB, Saturday and Sunday. We presume there will eventually be an adjustment - will ITBB be just three trade days, and the new show will take over from the last two days of ITBB, on the weekend?

WTTC reports on the UK and US
7 March 2019
WTTC*on the travel businesses in UK and US:
UK
-Travel GDP growth +1% (we assume 1.0) in 2018, below its +6.2% in 2017, and below +3.9% 2018 world average. European Union (which includes UK*) +2.7%. WTTC adds that China was +7.3%, India +6.7%, Thailand +6% (6.0?).
-US$304bn (at US$1 to £0.77) (travel GDP?) in 2018. WTTC reports all other markets (except France) wrongly; we have corrected its data - US is US$156bn, China US$148bn, Japan US$359bn, Germany US$337bn. Below the UK are Italy US$269bn, France US$260bn, Spain US$206bn.
-UK 2018 visitor spend US$36.9bn -9.7%. This indicates that visitor spend represents about 12% of total travel GDP.
-Forecasts 2019 growth +1.4%, compared with world +3.6%, EU +2.4%.
US
-Travel in 2018 worth US$1595bn +2.2%, 7.8% of GDP.
-Visitor spend US$198.8bn -0.9%.
-‘Chinese travel’ (we presume WTTC means visitor arrivals in the US from residents in the China mainland, excluding Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan) flat; +23% average annual growth rate over 2008-18. 
-Visitors from China 4% share of US visitors, 11% share of visitor spend.
*Notes:
-A full report on this topic in our WYSK: What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
-WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), a lobby group for the travel business, has its own methodology for calculating the turnover of the travel business including not just inbound, outbound, and domestic travel, but other industries involved in the business. For instance, if 0.5% of the world’s cars go into the car-rental business, that measure would be calculated into the turnover of the overall travel business.
  Unfortunately, WTTC is not always clear that its data is related to this grand total, and often its commentary appears to be related to just one sector – often, the inbound visitor business. In addition, it sometimes uses the terms ‘travel’ or ‘tourism’ alone; we cannot always determine if these mean something different from ‘travel & tourism’.
  WTTC’s name does not help – the ‘TT’ is ‘travel & tourism’, where we would define ‘travel’ as covering all segments of the travel business, with ‘tourism’ meaning ‘leisure travel’ to most observers, just one segment. This means that most people and bodies the WTTC lobbies may think they are discussing just inbound leisure travel.
-WTTC does not clarify if it includes UK in these EU totals - because the UK is due to leave the EU end-March.

Europe’s city counts
6 March 2019
ECM (European Cities Marketing) on 2018 results*:
-City ‘tourism growth’ (we presume bednights in hotels in member cities) +1.9% - domestic +4.0%, international 0.0%. ECM says this is the first time since the 2008 economic crisis that domestic has grown faster. 2012-17 annual average growth rate +4.8%.
-Top performing cities and ranking unchanged - London top even with -8.7%, Paris +8.9%, Berlin +5.2%, Madrid +2.4%, Barcelona +2.7%.
-Main source markets US 12%, Germany 9%, UK 8%. Of the most important source markets, China was fastest +9.2%, US +6% (presumed 6.0), Japan +5.7%, France -2.3%. Italy +1.7%.
*Notes:
-A full report on this topic in our WYSK: What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
-Preliminary data from 58 out of 121 cities, representing 435mn bednights.

WTTC reports on world travel
28 February 2019
WTTC* findings on the world travel business* include:
-The travel business (TTB) in 2018 was worth US$8.8tn.
-TTB growth +3.9%; world GDP growth +3.2%.
-Other sector growth - Manufacturing +4% (rounded by WTTC; we presume from +4.0%), Healthcare +3.1%, Information Technology +1.7%, Financial Services +1.7%.
-TTB 10.4% share of ‘economic activity’ (we are not sure if this 'EA' is the same as GDP).
-78.5% +1.0pt share of ‘leisure spend’ (we presume ‘leisure travel spend’), thus 21.5% ‘business spend’ (we presume ‘business travel spend’). No indications of other main categories - we presume MICE is in the ‘business’ total, VFR in ‘leisure’, but other (sport, religion, etc) we cannot categorise, although they probably represent under 10% of the spend total.
-International visitor spend 28.8% +1.5pts share, domestic 71.2%. Note this appears to be only destination spend and not, for instance, air fares - which are included in WTTC’s overall total.
*Notes:
-A full report on this topic in our WYSK: What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
-WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), a lobby group for the travel business, has its own methodology for calculating the turnover of the travel business including not just inbound, outbound, and domestic travel, but other industries involved in the business. For instance, if 0.5% of the world’s cars go into the car-rental business, that measure would be calculated into the turnover of the overall travel business.
  Unfortunately, WTTC is not always clear that its data is related to this grand total, and often its commentary appears to be related to just one sector – often, the inbound visitor business. In addition, it sometimes uses the terms ‘travel’ or ‘tourism’ alone; we cannot always determine if these mean something different from ‘travel & tourism’.
  WTTC’s name does not help – the ‘TT’ is ‘travel & tourism’, where we would define ‘travel’ as covering all segments of the travel business, with ‘tourism’ meaning ‘leisure travel’ to most observers, just one segment. This means that most people and bodies the WTTC lobbies may think they are discussing just inbound leisure travel.

ITB on Malaysia
27 February 2019
ITBB* on Malaysia, its promotional partner March 2018 through next month’s event:
-Targets 30mn visitors in 2020, which we calculate would be an average +7.8% over the two years. The only time it has counted close to that growth-rate in the past 10 years was +6.7% in 2014. The main reason is that it counts land visitors from Singapore (if Singapore counted visitors from Malaysia in the same way as Malaysia counts visitors from Singapore, then we estimate Singapore’s visitor count would be about 30% bigger than Malaysia’s; with the current system, Singapore shows smaller counts than Malaysia).
-Visitors 2018 25.8mn. Change not given, possibly because this was a fall; we calculate -0.6%.
-Visitor-spend US$24.6bn (at US$1 to MR1.07) in 2020. Change not given.
-Revenue from its homestay program in 2017 was US$6.8mn; change not given, which usually means there was a fall. Homestay visitors (local and foreign) 372,475 - but for 2018, and change not given. We calculate this as around US$18 per visitor, which looks low; ITBB makes no comment, even on whether this is total spend, or just accommodation.
*Notes:
-ITBB=ITB Berlin, the big travel trade exhibition in the city. At press time, ITBB had not answered our request for clarifications.
-A full report on this topic in our WYSK: What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Asean travel study
7 February 2019
Key findings from our calculation of visitor forecast to arrive in the 10 Asean destinations* this year. Although these are based on forecasts by the DMOs, the figures are substantially different from official Asean figures.
  We are unable to determine the reasons for this; Asean does not generally reply to queries and/or provide details of its broad positive presentations. Worse, if falls are forecast, the relevant figures are simply omitted.
  In travel, Asean is a ‘good news’ operation, and professional reporting takes second position. We are unqualified to comment on Asean’s main activities, built around politics and economics.
  We find it impossible to reconcile Asean reported data with our compilation of data from DMOs, partly because Asean issues no qualifications. We thus report both data, for better reader interpretation.
-Asean reports Asean+India 2018 visitor arrivals at 139.5mn +7.4%. Based on our estimates for 2018 (full figures are not yet available), we count 143.3mn +6.8% (Asean 132.7mn +6.9%, India 10.6mn +5.0%).
-Asean reports Asean+China+Japan+Korea 2018 visitor arrivals at 191.5mn - growth not reported. Our estimates show a giant difference - 330.1mn +6.2%. The problem is almost-certainly data on China visitors, and whether arrivals from Hong Kong and Macau are included. They are included in China’s official figures, and we have included them. Asean appears to exclude them because that would take about 100mn off our total - putting ours closer to Asean’s count. Asean provides no qualifications.
  The following is our calculation of the principal figures. We believe these are a better report on market realities than Asean’s data:
-Based on official statements by the 10 Asean DMOs forecast, there will be 150.1mn +13.1% visitors this year in their 10 destinations. However, this is unlikely to be achieved; 2018 growth was only an estimated +6.9% to 132.7mn, and 2017 +8.3% to 124.1mn.
-Growing Singapore’s total (by 40%) to better match over-counting by Malaysia and Thailand to balance their over-counting (by including land arrivals; see next) would result in an Asean total of 139.9mn +6.7% in 2018, with their forecast to grow to 157.5mn +12.6% this year.
-Reducing the totals for Malaysia (by 50%) and Thailand (by 10%), Asean’s total would be 116.1mn +7.9% in 2018, with their forecast to grow to 132.8mn +14.3% this year.
  We believe these figures are closest to reality. These also result in faster average annual growth - +8.0% over 2015, +9.0% over 2010. But that cumulative forecast for 2019 still looks too high, based on past performance - +14.3%.
*A full report on this topic in our WYSK: What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Travel stocks review - shocks
4 February 2019
Our report on travel stock prices* over the periods since 2015, 2010, 2000 is now available. As expected, there are a few shocks.
*A full report on this topic in our WYSK: What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis - including ‘best’ and ‘worst’ based on differences between company price-  and stockmarket-movements.
[] Europe.
-Total. In the eight years since 2010, AAGR (annual average growth rate) for stocks has been +3%.
-Airlines. 2010-8 AAGR +3%. Best performer Ryanair +14%, worst Air France-KLM -4%.
-Hotels. 2010-8 AAGR +4%. Best performer InterContinental +17%, worst Millennium & Copthorne -3%.
-Others. 2010-8 AAGR +3%. Best performer Airbus +22%, worst Thomas Cook -20%.
[] Asia Pacific.
-Total. 2010-8 AAGR -1%.
-Airlines. 2010-8 AAGR flat. Best performer All Nippon +38%, worst Thai -16%.
-Hotels. 2010-8 AAGR -3%. Best performer Mandarin Oriental flat, worst Banyan -9%.
-Others (only 3; two to 2015). 2010-8 AAGR -3%. Best performer China Travel +2%, worst Genting -10%. The 3rd company, China’s HNA, is new to our listing; it was -65% 2018 over 2017.
[] US.
-Total. AAGR 2015-8 (not 2010-18 as other regions; our full records had not started in 2010) +5%.
-Airlines. 2015-8 AAGR +11%. Best performer United +15%, worst Jet Blue -11%.
-Hotels. 2015-8 AAGR +12%. Best performer Belmond +38%, worst Wyndham -21%.
-Others. 2015-8 AAGR +3%. Best performer Boeing +31%, worst Avis Budget -15%.
[] Travel tech. AAGR 2015-8 (not 2010-18 as other regions; our full records had not started in 2010) +4%. Best performer Amadeus +14%, worst cTrip -17%.
[] Stockmarkets. 2010-8 AAGR +4%. Best performer Wellington +13%, worst Madrid -2%.

Visitor counts 2018
24 January 2019
WTO (World Tourism Organization) reports on 2018 visitor arrivals:
-1.4bn +6%. As this report was issued 21 January, we presume these are initial estimates; WTO reports them as actuals. In 2010 WTO forecast 1.4bn for 2020.
-Asia Pacific 343mn +6% (Southeast Asia +7%, Northeast Asia +6%, South Asia +5%, Oceania +3%.)
-Europe 713mn +6% (Southern/Mediterranean Europe +7%, Central/Eastern Europe +6%, Western Europe +6%). Northern Europe was flat (blamed on ‘weakness’ (=fall?) of UK arrivals. WTO does not attempt an explanation; with the fall in the UK currency, observers had forecast growth in UK arrivals.
-Americas 217mn +3% (North America +4%, South America +3%, Caribbean -2% - blamed on the impact of the September 2017 hurricanes Irma and Maria.)
-Middle East 64mn +10%.
-Forecasts +3-4% for 2019 (WTO’s report notes ‘next year’ but we have assumed this is a turn-of-year clerical error).
-WTO compares that +6% with the (estimated?) +3.7% in world GDP. We presume WTO knows this is a misleading comparison (not least because one is a person-count, the other dollars). Visitor-spend would provide a closer comparison, but even that is misleading because of the different methodologies for collecting the data.

ATF 2019 Daily Update
21 January 2019
Last week, we ran reports on DMO presentations at the Asean Tourism Forum event in Halong Bay, Vietnam. We excluded presentations by non-DMOs. They are included here, preceded by our review of Asean visitor counts.
Asean visitor counts
Based on official statements made at ATF presentations, but including some estimates and extrapolations* by Travel Business Analyst, Asean’s DMOs forecast that there will be 158mn +13% visitors this year in their 10 destinations.
  However, this is unlikely to be achieved; 2018 growth was only +7% to 140mn, and 2017 +8% to 131mn.
*Notes:
-One major adjustment is growing Singapore’s count to match methodology in other destinations.
-A report on this topic in our WYSK-What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some additional totals (by reducing some counts to match Singapore’s methodology), and 5- and 10-year growth comparisons.
MTCO, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
-Has 5- and 10-year strategic plans.
-Among its many activities on social media, has started Mekong Moments - storytelling for everyone - and held the first Mekong Mini Film Festival.
-Prepares comprehensive market reports. Completed in 2018 was Aviation in its region; due this March is Responsible Tourism.
-Its 2018 tourism conference was plastic free. This year’s event will be in Dali, Yunnan, China, which has a new high-speed train service.
-Overtourism. Thailand is doing the most. But many places are trying to spread tourism to other regions - like Cambodia to its southern part of the country. In some, the aim is for quality tourism, by which they usually mean bigger spenders.
-To measure the success of MTCO activities, it has various KPIs (key performance indicators), some which are on the website.
Asean
-Asean has many apparently-overlapping activities. Launched Asean Tourism Marketing Strategy for 2017-20, although there is also an Asean Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-25.
-It targets to attract visitors from certain geographic sectors; there are six, but basically they cover the world excluding Africa and Latin America.
-Much promotional activity is built on promoting Asean as a single destination. The authorities are still not aware that few, if any, travellers visit ‘Asean’. They just visit countries that are Asean members. The same applies to the European Union; few visit the ‘EU’, just some of the 28 destinations countries that are EU members.
-As a further confusion of its message, Asean is now doing a promotion under an old slogan - ‘Southeast Asia; Feel the Warmth’. Not only is the Asean ‘brandname’ not used in this promotion, neither is its logo; ‘SE-Warmth’ has its own.

ATF 2019 Daily Update
18 January 2019
The following are update-presentations* by the 10-Asean DMOs (destination marketing organisation) at the Asean Tourism Forum event in Halong Bay, Vietnam, this week - in the order they were delivered. As the amount of information presented by the DMOs varies, our reports also vary in length.
*Notes:
-A report on this topic in our WYSK-What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
-Asean = Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean writes ‘Southeast’, even though that should make the abbreviation ASAN). Asean members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
  The following is Day 3 of the three days:
Indonesia
-Estimated 2018 visitor arrivals at just over 15mn. That looks too high as it would have meant an annual +16% growth but it had managed only +13% Jan-Nov.
-Forecast 2019 visitor arrivals at 20mn, which would mean +33% and thus also looks unlikely. However, that 20mn was forecast by Indonesia’s current president Joko Widodo (known as Jokowi) when he was elected in 2014 (new elections are due this year). And officials may be reluctant to change it, despite new realities.
-In fact, 17mn was the target for 2018, but the country’s natural disasters* slowed arrivals.
-The ‘tourism sector’ (believed to be the inbound visitor business) is currently No2 economic activity this year, after agriculture. The DMO believes it will be No 1 in 2020.
-The DMO continues with its policy - started 25 years ago - of promoting areas other than Bali. It has now identified other destinations in the country - collectively called ‘10 New Balis’ - for this promotion.
-The DMO also hopes to attract visitors into Singapore to extend their trip with a visit to the secondary centres in Indonesia. But as most leisure travellers move on fixed-date air tickets, these plans seem unlikely to be successful.
-Jakarta’s metro is due to open this May.
-*Natural disasters. There were many (over 2000), but the largest were Lombok earthquakes, July/August (over 400 deaths); Sulawesi earthquakes, September/October (2000); Sunda Strait tsunami, December (400).
Cambodia
-Estimated 2018 visitor arrivals at 6.2mn +12%.
-Forecast 2019 visitor arrivals +12%, which would mean 6.94mn.
-Recent developments: self-drive vehicle-caravans with cross-border travel; autoroute Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville due 2023.
-No plans to add visa-free, certainly for its main market China, because with about-2mn visitors, it brings a lot of money for Cambodia.
Laos
-Poor data provision. Based on statements and indicative figures, we estimate 2018 visitor arrivals at 3.5mn -10%. This for a year designated Visit Laos Year; the original 2018 target was 5mn.
-DMO forecasts 2019 visitor arrivals again at 5mn, which would mean +43%. Normally that would seem a hard target, but some factors may help this to be realised:
-1. A damn collapse in July 2018 negatively affected visitor counts that year.
-2. The DMO targets arrivals from China to grow from 500k in 2018 to 1mn this year. That would be one-third of the additional needed.
-A high-speed train from China’s Yunnan province, through Laos and on to Thailand is due to start in 2021.

ATF 2019 Daily Update
17 January 2019
The following are update-presentations* by the 10-Asean DMOs (destination marketing organisation) at the Asean Tourism Forum event in Halong Bay, Vietnam, this week - in the order they were delivered. As the amount of information presented by the DMOs varies, our reports also vary in length.
*Notes:
-A report on this topic in our WYSK-What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
-Asean = Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean writes ‘Southeast’, even though that should make the abbreviation ASAN). Asean members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
  The following is Day 2 of the three days:
Thailand
-Estimated 2018 visitor arrivals at 38mn +7%.
-Forecast 2019 visitor arrivals at 42mn +10%.
-Has nominated 55 secondary provinces in Thailand to spread leisure visitors around the country. However, that is almost whole country; there are only 22 other provinces. The 55 are those than get fewer than 4mn visitors (domestic and international). Has divided these 55 into three tiers, depending on their preparedness for visitors.
-Pairs specific destinations with specific markets, such as Japanese to a certain destinations.
-Also wants to encourage more mid-week travel rather than weekend.
-Styrofoam and plastic banned from public parks. It wants to reduce tourism waste by 50% by 2020.
-A high-speed rail is planned between the two Bangkok airports and uTapao (for Pattaya). However, this is only at the survey stage; construction may start this year - but we are sceptical.
-eVisa starting with China from next month, and then other countries.
-The DMO wants to attract bigger spenders, in the name of ‘quality’ visitors.
Malaysia
-We estimate 2018 visitor arrivals at 25.6mn -1.3%.
-Forecast 2019 visitor arrivals at 26.3mn +2.7%.
-DMO is working of 50/50 funding promotions with airlines, but not yet agreed.
Myanmar
-Estimated 2018 visitor arrivals at 3.55mn +3.2%.
-Forecast 2019 visitor arrivals at 5.5mn, which would mean +55%.
  The complication is Myanmar’s Rohingya refugee crisis, where an estimated 600,000 have fled Myanmar to refugee camps in neighbouring Bangladesh. Most observers blame Myanmar’s army for forcing this, and the government for doing nothing about it, and mainly denying there is a problem.
  The Rohingya matter is probably the main reason for slow growth in visitors in 2018, although we are surprised that there was not a fall. In recent years, when Myanmar was considered a friendly country, annual growth rates had been +50% and higher. But it seems unless there is a substantial positive turnaround in statements, policies and actions concerning the Rohingya, this target seems unlikely to be achieved.
-China is forecast to be the biggest market this year, overtaking Thailand.
-Has added visa-on-arrivals for nationals of China and India.
-In 2018 launched new promotional video, Be Enchanted.
-Aviation is still a problem; three domestic airlines went out of business in 2018, perhaps because of weak sales - foreign passengers pay double the price locals pay.
-There is an agreement with Cambodia over religious tourism between Bagan and Siem Reap, but has not been started.
Myanmar
-New visitor brand ‘Myanmar: Be Enchanted’
-Visa-free extended to nationals of Japan, Korea, Macau, Hong Kong, with visa-on-arrival for China and India nationals.
Philippines
-Estimated 2018 visitor arrivals at 7.1-7.4mn, about +12%.
-Forecast 2019 visitor arrivals at 7.98mn +10%.
-Claims that share of 'tourism' (not defined) grew from 8.6% of GDP in 2016 to 12.2% in 2017. However, the share is extremely unlikely grow that much in one year (near 50%) without a special reason - such as collapse of another big segment of the economy, or a change in measurement systems. The DMO was not able to clarify, which to us indicates that the figures are wrong, or require additional qualification.
-14 hotels with 4700 rooms were opened in 2018, most (eight, 3412 in Metro Manila), due this year are 10 with 2600 rooms (six, 1670), and in 2020 three with 835. See table.
-Convention centres due to open this year - SMXs in Cebu and Clark.
-Philippine Airlines is planning a second route into Europe - Rome or Paris.
-New airports at Bohol-Panglao, Cagayan North, T2 at Mactan Cebu. Planned: Bicol, Manila, Zamboanga.
-The rehabilitation of Boracay was followed by its reopening last October. The 2nd phase is due to be completed this April, and the final phase December. Only 293 properties with 10,067 rooms are allowed to operate at present. The government allows only 6000 visitors daily.
Singapore
-Estimated 2018 visitor arrivals at 17.6-18.1mn, which would be about +2%.
-DMO, as usual, will not provide a forecast for 2019 visitor arrivals until the organisation has formally decided its position, due to be next month. We forecast 18.6mn +4%.
  As noted below, Singapore’s new promotional theme is based around ‘passion’. This cannot succeed - as illustrated by the DMO’s approach to statistics. Many officials in Singapore find it hard to break out of the formal mode (and provide, in this case, an ‘unofficial estimate’). To break out requires a form of passion. Singapore’s DMO sticks rigidly to formal formats; no passion here.
-Cruise passenger throughput 1.38mn +17% - but for 2017; no information for 2018.
-In 2017 the DMO launched ‘Passion Made Possible’ as its theme.
-The meeting between North Korea and US presidents, held in Singapore, is calculated to have brought US$500mn’s worth of promotion.
-There are a few developments this year:
-1. 200th anniversary of the arrival in Singapore of Sir Stamford Raffles, considered the founder of modern Singapore - although the history is more complex than that.
-2. Due to open at Singapore’s Changi airport is Jewel - a commercial and entertainment complex, not just for air travellers.
-3. Design Orchard. A complex housing 60 local designers, a sort-of modern crafts village.

New hotels in the Philippines

Name

2018

Rooms

Metro Manila

Seda Circuit, Makati

255

Seda BCG Tower

342

Westin Bayshore

600

Mercure, Ermita

500

Movenpick

324

Sheraton

350

Hilton

357

Savoy

684

Other regions

Courtyard, Iloilo

314

Seda Lio, Palawan

153

Holiday Inn, Baguio

185

One Central, Cebu

157

Seda Ayala Centre, Cebu

301

Seda Capital, Bacolod

154

Total

4676

2019

Metro Manila

Seda Arca

200

Novotel Suites

310

Seda Bay Area

289

Westin Sonata Place

250

Seda Ayala North Exchange

312

Dusit D2 Fort

310

Cebu

Sheraton Mactan

214

Seda Central Bloc

271

Dusit Mactan

125

Dusit Princess

295

Total

2576

2020

Okura, Manila

380

Mandarin Oriental, Manila

275

Holiday Inn, Cebu

180

Total

835

Source: Tourism Promotion Board, Philippines.

ATF 2019 Daily Update
16 January 2019
The following are update-presentations* by the 10-Asean DMOs (destination marketing organisation) at the Asean Tourism Forum event in Halong Bay, Vietnam, this week - in the order they were delivered. As the amount of information presented by the DMOs varies, our reports also vary in length.
*Notes:
-A report on this topic in our WYSK-What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
-Asean = Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean writes ‘Southeast’, even though that should make the abbreviation ASAN). Asean members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
  The following is Day 1 of the three days:
Vietnam
-Estimated 2018 visitor arrivals at 15.5mn +20%.
-Forecast 2019 visitor arrivals at 17.5-18mn, about +14.5%, although this is Visit Vietnam Year.
-Adding an app for leisure visitors in English and Vietnamese; hopes to add Chinese, Korean, Russian this year.
-Added to eVisa availability; now 43 nationalities.
-This September’s ITE travel trade exhibition in Ho Chi Minh City will be the 15th.
Brunei
-We estimate 2018 visitor arrivals at 0.27mn +4.5.
-The DMO forecasts 2019 visitor arrivals at 0.28mn; that would be +2.5% but the DMO says +14.5%.
-Introduced new logo/slogan in 2018. ‘Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures’ has become ‘Abode of Peace’.
-RBA started a few routes in 2018, including to London, which the DMO was hoping would produce a last-month boost to the arrivals total. In 2019, it plans to and Changsha and Narita.

Asia outbound update
9 January 2019
Excerpts from II* report on Asian outbound travel for Jan-Aug 18:
-Total +8%, after +5% in 2017. II do not say, but that +5% may be for all-2017 not Jan-Aug.
-Intra-Asia +10%.
-China +13%.
  Usually II do not count travel from China into Hong Kong and Macau, which would be about 50% of the China total. II make no comment in this report, but we believe II include these two destinations in their growth calculations, but not in totals (which are not shown in this report).
-Europe 'received' +4%. This is an inbound description. II mix inbound and outbound commentary as though they do not know there is a difference.
-Spain counted +14% 'more Asian visitors'.
  Another common fault with II reports is that they mix categorisation. Would a Singapore passport holder living in Paris be included in II's 'Asian' count into Spain? And a France passport holder living in Singapore? These are common faults of non-specialists, but II is supposed to be a leader among specialists!
-The UK +8% from Asia. Again, outbound/inbound mix.
-Americas -1% 'Asian arrivals'.
-Holidays +10% in Asia. Business +2%, VFR (visits to family or relatives) +2%.
-City trips, market share 33% (not given for other categories, but this it reports as largest), +10%. Sun & Beach holidays + 15%. Tour holidays (II never defines this, and as it is open to interpretation, we wonder how those questioned define it) -2%.
-Average length of trip 5.6 nights. This is a valuable piece of data, as destination DMOs have different ways of measuring it. II say it fell in 2018, but do not give the figure.
-Average spend per trip was US$1897 (€1650). II report that as 'stable'.
-Booking via the internet grew 11%, via travel agencies +5%.
-II also have a category of 'pre-booked trips' (which they say were +9%). We cannot interpret this because near-100% of trips are booked in advance (where the balance would be the equivalent of 'walk-ins'). And so total would be near the same as that total, +8%.
-II report that Malaysia has 'impressively developed its tourism products', with no further clarification. But as this destination is ITBB’s Official Partner Country for 2019, this seems just a publicity plug - because what products Malaysia has developed would be valuable market information.
-Forecast for 2019 +6%, presumably for all-2019 not just Jan-Aug. II do not give their estimate for all-2018, just that +8% for Jan-Aug.
*Notes: II=Germany-based IPK International (IPKI), a research company, with ITB Berlin (ITBB), the big travel trade exhibition in the city. Unfortunately, II are often casual in reporting their findings, although we believe they are precise in their research work. At press time, II had not answered our request for clarifications.

ATF 2019
31 December 2018
The 38th Asean* Tourism Forum (ATF) is due to be held in Halong Bay in the northeast of Vietnam next month.
  The main part is a 3-day ATF Travex, a travel exhibition mart, over 16-18 January. Also planned are sessions and events for Asean and for Vietnam.
  Another component is the Asean Tourism Conference, although this is usually a brief event before the Travex.
  The ATF host destination rotates among Asean member countries. Total attendee/delegate forecast is 1500; Breakdowns are expected later.
  Visit www.atfvietnam2019.com
*Notes:
-Asean members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
-The event is organised by Singapore-based TTG Events.

Questions on Euromonitor’s forecasts
28 December 2018
Euromonitor* (EM), a UK-based market research company, forecasts 2.4bn visitor arrivals in 2030, which it reports ‘corresponds’ to a US$2.6tn spend. We calculate that would be US$1083 per visitor.
  EM reports that China, France, US will be the ‘main beneficiaries’. That may mean these are forecast to be the top-3; we do not know if that is in size- as well as alphabetical-order.
  Other forecasts/estimates:
-2018 arrivals +5%, although EM then counts this as 1.4bn ‘trips’. That would be a different measure to its forecast for 2030, but we believe this is simply incorrect terminology for the same thing.
-EM relates 2018 results to an ‘upgraded economic outlook for major economies such as the US, Japan and the Eurozone’. We believe EM means ‘increased’ not ‘upgraded’ - even though most forecasters lowered economic forecasts as 2018 progressed. We presume, then, that EM itself reports improved economic results and contradicts those other forecasters.
-Forecasts ‘low-cost carriers…passenger growth’ +6% over 2018-23, ‘thus outperforming the scheduled operators’. This is surprisingly confused reporting:
  1. ‘Low-cost carriers’ is now an obsolete term. Our term has always been NFAs*, although even that term is now becoming fluid as previously-FSAs* such as Air Malta switch to, essentially, no service-frills. How does EM categorise airlines such as these?
  2. Why is the period different - one set to 2030, this one to 2023?
  3. EM surely knows that airlines such as Air Asia, Ryanair, Southwest operate ‘scheduled’ services, so what does EM mean by this description?
  4. Using ‘carriers’ to describe one type of airline, and ‘operators’ for another indicates that EM is not as knowledgeable on the travel business as might appear. These are out-of-industry undefined jargon.
  Our ongoing tracking of FSAs and NFAs in Europe shows a reducing difference this year - +8.9% for NFAs against +7.5% FSAs. EM gives no data for its ‘scheduled operators’.
-‘By 2023, travel intermediaries are forecast to exceed US$2tn stimulated by digital advances and the shift to mobile sales representing 70% of travel agents’ sales in 2017.’ We are not able to interpret this forecast.
*Notes:
1. We have run a few critical reports on EM findings – most apparently due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, EM had not answered our request for clarifications.
2. Following are our airline-type definitions:
-FSA = full-service-airline. Offering first/business/economy, travel agency bookings, meals/bookings/baggage/cancellations included, etc. As its name indicates – full service.
-LCA = low-cost-airline. (Not a no-frills-airline; see next.) An FSA but with lower operating costs - cheaper longer-hours flight-deck crew, younger/new longer-hours cabin crew, tighter cost control (twinned 3-star hotel rooms, for example), fewer fare types, may have first and business cabins as well as economy, and which allows bookings through travel agencies etc. If relevant, usually similar to the parent airline, but a different name, and competition against parent airline allowed.
-NFA = no-frills-airline. We believe that among the many essential elements that make a successful NFA are: shorthaul point-to-point routes; market freedom in terms of fares, routes; single aircraft type; where relevant, competition against parent airline allowed; extremely-low fares when bought at least three months in advance, say US$25; one fare at one time (no wholesale rates, travel agency commissions, etc); no refunds; no (free) service frills; single economy-class cabin; no (free) seat selection; two toilets for 150-seat aircraft; 25-minute turnaround time; cabin crew do daytime cabin cleaning; name and flight change charged at least US$25 each; no trade shows; plenty of consumer advertising and promotion; and much more.

Reports on Europe travel
24 December 2018
Two reports on longhaul travel into Europe, and travel into cities.
[] EF* report on travel into Europe:
-Intra-regional air capacity grew +7.1% in Q3 and is forecast to grow +9.7% in Q4.
-Longhaul arrivals +5.6% in Q3.
-Intra-Europe fell -7.8%, helping to cause a -1.6% fall in total arrivals in Europe in Q3. EF offer no explanation for this big fall.
-London top with 18% share, then Paris 14%. EF then note Istanbul with 8% share +2pts, but not clear if it is #3; see below.
-Q4 longhaul forward bookings are +8.5% - North America +13.6%, Mideast +13.2%.
-Q4 London share 17%, Paris 14%, Rome 9%. Reporting growths without actual numbers can be misleading, but EF list what are probably the fastest - Istanbul +51.5%, Munich +19.8%, Dubrovnik +18.6%.
*Notes: ECM=European Cities Marketing, FK=Forward Keys, EF=ECM-FK report on arrival and booking trends.
[] EM* report on cities in Europe:
-Over Jan-Sep occupancy grew +0.9pts and average room rate +2.6%.
-Brussels occupancy +4.6pts.
-Paris occupancy +3.5pts.
-Prague occupancy +0.6pts, average room rate +1.3%.
-Venice occupancy +1.3pts.
-Warsaw average room rate +2.7%.
*Notes:
-ECM=European Cities Marketing, EM=ECM-MKG’s European Destinations Observatory, MKG=(name origin un-known). Inexplicably, the EM report focuses on hotel revpar (revenue per available room), which has little marketing value to those outside the hotel business. We believe that ECM would better serve its (mainly non-hotel) members with the two other main hotel measures, occupancy and average room rate. However, as ECM continues to use MKG’s revpar data, we reduce our comments to the sections where other measures are given.
-Reports on these topics in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

IPK/ITB travel report
20 December 2018
Excerpts from II* findings on what it terms ‘international tourism’. II jump from outbound-trip commentary to visitor-arrival commentary with disturbing alacrity. As a result, some commentary is impossible to interpret.
  We are left with the impression that II do not know there is a difference - which would be surprising, in not shocking.
  Some findings nevertheless, over Jan-Aug:
-Total +6%. We believe this is outbound trips; totals not given.
-Asia +8%. II no longer include 'Pacific' with Asia, or anywhere else.
  Usually II do not count travel from China into Hong Kong and Macau, which would be about 50% of the China total. II make no comment in this report, but we believe II include these two destinations in their growth calculations, but not in totals (which are not shown in this report).
  II report simply that there were 'more foreign trips' from China - which is meaningless when there has been big growths in most of the past 30 years.
-Another reported 'growth driver' is Latin America (which would include Mexico, but II are not always clear on where they include Mexico) +6%, attributed this time to Mexico, following a fall in 2017. No data.
-'Europeans' (probably Europe) grew +5%, 'North Americans' +4%. As noted above, II are maddeningly inconsistent on North America (in which Mexico is a part, but not always for II).
-Asia as a destination grew +8%, Europe +8%, Americas +8%; we believe II has made an administrative error in giving these the same 8% growth.
-Spain arrivals 'subsided'. We believe II mean 'fallen’; WTO shows a fractional fall (-0.1%). Turkey +30%.
-Holiday trips grew +7%, VFR (visiting friends or relatives) grew +5%, business trips +3%. Traditional business trips 'declined', no data, but MICE business trips, which II says represents most business trips (surprising us), grew +5%.
-City trips, 'continue on an upward trend [but] tailed off slightly'. We believe this means that growth slowed, but we do not know from what rate to what.
-Tour holidays, a new definition for II which may have been named 'touring holidays' in the past, have been falling (period and amount are not published) now growing +4%.
-38% report that the 'recent instability and terror warnings' will affect their travel plans. We do not know to what II are referring, or the timescale for 'recent'. The share was 41% in 2017.
-IPK forecasts 6% growth in outbound trips in 2019. It forecasts +8% for North and South America (which we understand is the 'Americas referred to earlier) +6% for Asia, +5% Europe.
*Notes:
-II = Germany-based IPK International, a research company, with ITB Berlin, the big travel trade exhibition in the city. Unfortunately, II are often casual in reporting their findings, although we believe they are precise in their research work. At press time, II had not answered our request for clarifications.
-A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

IATA 2019 forecasts
17 December 2018
IATA (International Air Transport Association) forecasts airlines' net profit will be US$35.5bn in 2019, above the US$32.3bn now forecast for 2018, which had been revised down from US$33.8bn forecast in June.
  Other forecasts for 2019* (some percentage calculations are ours from IATA data):
-Seat sales 4.59bn +5.8%.
-RPKs +6.0% against +6.5% forecast for this year. ASKs +5.8% - comparison not given (CNG).
-Unique city pairs 21,332 this year +6.5%. No forecast for 2019, but IATA reports that this year’s total is double the number in 1998.
-Spend on air transport US$919bn +7.6%.
-Airlines’ revenue forecast US$885bn +7.7%. Passenger revenue excluding ancillaries forecast US$606bn +7.4%.
-Average net profit per seat sold US$7.75 +4.0%.
  This IATA measure is misleading, if not wrong. For example, an Emirates traveller flying Berlin-Dubai-Singapore is two 'passengers' (according to IATA’s definition; we use the accurate 'seats sold'), but the passenger’s fare is just one, for Berlin-Singapore. And so a US$1000 fare would become US$500 per 'passenger'/seat sold, and the net profit calculated on that.
  Also, IATA should use operating profit (or operating- as well as net-profit), because net-profit can be affected by many factors, some not airline-related. Operating profit is closer to being comparable between airlines.
-Net profit. North America airlines US$16.6bn +12.9%; per seat sold US$16.77 - CNG. Europe airlines US$7.4bn -1.3%; per seat sold US$6.40 - CNG. Asia Pacific airlines US$10.4bn +8.3%; per seat sold US$6.15 - CNG. Middle East airlines US$800mn +33.3%; per seat sold US$3.33 - CNG.
-Average return airfare US$324; CNG.
-Airlines to pay US$136bn +5.8% tax.
-Fuel share average 24.2% of airlines' operating costs, against 23.5% forecast for this year.
-GDP to grow +3.1%; +3.2% forecast for this year.
-Fuel average US$65/barrel (Brent prices), US$73 forecast for this year. Jet fuel US$81.3/barrel, against forecast US$87.6 this year.
  IATA should switch to West Texas Intermediate, as the supply of oil from Brent’s North Sea fields is reaching its limit. As a guideline, WTI’s price is about 15% below Brent.
*A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

US arrivals confusion
14 November 2018
Reports on the US inbound visitor business by the US Travel Association (USTA) and Tourism Economics (TE) require amplification. The base is new reported growth in visitor counts.
  USTA:
-Reports good GDP growth for the US economy. However, for the inbound business (although not for domestic- and outbound-travel) GDP has minimal impact.
-Reports ‘solid [economic] growth’ in Asia, Europe, South America, and the rest of North America. More than a few observers might question ‘solid’; there are a few growth slowdowns, and weak growth. That trend is not normal; we would think ‘steady growth’ is normal, but not ‘strong’.
-Reports the revised US arrivals figures, not noting they are incorrect. As we reported (see 17 September), the new system categorises all foreign passport holders as visitors, even if some are US residents. Obviously, this practice boosts the overall total. We cannot know by how much, but we estimate small - perhaps accounting for 1-2% of the total.
-Reports revised data, which shows visitors were -1.8% in 2016, +0.7% in 2017, and forecasts +3.5% this year and +3.7% in 2019 to 83mn visitors. Excluding Canada and Mexico, the new data shows -1.5% in 2016, +2% (presumed 2.0%) in 2017, and USTA forecasts +3.2% this year and +5.1% in 2019.
-Reports the US has lost share (data not given), and to regain its 2015 share by 2024, AAGR (annual average growth rate) will need to be +7.5% for the next five years - which it says was the rate achieved over 2010-15. This, however, is disingenuous in that these are presumably based on unaltered figures for earlier years, and that USTA stopped the calculation in 2015 - presumably because the following two years were well below that +7.5%, as noted above.
-Notes the Canada and Mexico share is 50%. Canada dropped, rebounded in 2017, and is forecast to grow this year and in 2019. Mexico dropped in 2017, but forecast to grow this year and in 2019. No data on these forecasts.
-Europe’s share is 20%, falling -6% in 2016, growing +1% in 2017, and forecast to grow +3% (3.0%?) this year, and +4.5% in 2019. These are below the +5.5% growth 2010-15.
-Reports that Asia’s share is 16%, but growth below the +12% 2010-15; it grew +5% in 2016 and 2017, and forecast to grow +3% this year, and +6% in 2019.
-Reports that arrivals from China might be ‘softening’, but from India might be stronger. Our data shows a -1% fall from China in Q1, and +7% from India. But also notable (not noted by USTA) is that Japan - which has a 5% share compared with China’s 4% (and India’s 1%) - fell -4% in Q1.
  TE:
-Reports that worldwide economic growth has slowed this year, with growth peaking in early-2018. Trade has weakened following a tariff war started by the US. These comments contradict USTA on the economic outlook.
-Forecasts a fall in US GDP over the next two years, and China would suffer a ‘bit more’ over that period. Adds that consumers are unhappy about higher prices.
-Reports that 50% of US visitors are longhaul travellers. It forecasts the worldwide longhaul total will be 350mn in 2019 (current totals not given). The longhaul share is 25%, and that this is a 77% growth over 2009-19. We are not sure of TE’s calculations, but this indicates the share was 14% in 2009, and the AAGR was 5.3%.
-Wonders if China will ‘weaponise’ travel (ie outbound travel China to the US) as a tool in the US/China trade war.
*A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

IATA measures future worries
26 October 2018
IATA (International Air Transport Association) forecasts airline seat sales will double to 8.2bn in 2037.
  That looks less impressive on an annual basis - 3.5% AAGR (annual average growth rate) - and which may indicate a significant slowing in some markets. Possibly China, which has pushed overall growth over the past 10 years - although IATA forecasts China will overtake the US as the largest aviation market (traffic to, from and within a country) in the mid-2020s.
  The swing to Asia, apart from China, is also:
-India forecast to overtake the UK into 3rd place around 2024.
-Indonesia forecast to grow from 10th largest in 2017 to 4th in 2030.
-Thailand forecast to become 10th in 2030, pushing Italy out of the top-10.
  Other measures, for 2037 - assuming no change in the overall business and political scenarios:
-Routes to/from/within in 2037: Asia Pacific  market size 3.9bn seat sales, +4.8% AAGR 2017-37, additional +2.35bn seat sales; North America 1.4bn +2.4% +527mn; Europe 1.9bn +2.0% +611mn; Middle East 501mn +4.4% +290mn.
  IATA signals two important factors in its forecasts. The first is that geographical reshuffling of traffic to the 'East' - although that is a misnomer for a world body such as IATA. It means Asia. IATA includes ‘Pacific’ in the definition, but the Pacific is a small share of the AsPac total, possibly 10%.
  The second factor is the possibility of ‘significant’ negative impact on growth if ‘tough and restrictive protectionist measures are implemented’. We understand that IATA means significant in size, not importance.
  IATA forecasts that if protectionism expands into ‘reverse globalisation’, aviation would continue to grow, but more slowly - IATA is admirably clear on its outlook - depending on the overall scenario. It forecasts that the seat sales count would vary from 5.7bn for the worst scenario, to 10.3bn for the best, see table.
  Obviously, IATA does not know what negative changes there could be - nor do we. But we believe that if the negative trends continue in three places currently under threat (Brazil if Jair Bolsonaro wins this Sunday, UK, US) the difference will be slight. On IATA's 3.5%, to 3.0% if bad. If, however, the US drags the world into trade (=economics) fights, that could become 2.0-2.5%. Or worse - if the nasty words being voiced often at present turn into what is all-but threatened, war - then all forecasts are postponed, and falls almost certain.
  Apart from traffic forecasts, IATA notes that aviation is one of the few industries to set specific environmental targets. We note that the travel business overall - theoretically represented by two rival bodies, WTO and WTTC - have issued only exhortations. Airlines start mandatory emissions reporting from January 2019.
*A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

IATA traffic forecast, 2037


Scenario 

AAGR,%     

Seat sales┼,bn

IATA

TBA*

IATA

Reverse globalisation

2.4

2.0-2.5

5.7

Trade/economic wars

NA

3.0

na

Constant policy

3.5

3.5

7.0

Maximum liberalisation

5.5

NA

10.3

Notes: AAGR=annual average growth rate. ┼Based on IATA forecasts. Source: IATA/Tourism Economics & Oxford Economics, *Travel Business Analyst.

ITB Asia - more misleading data
18 October 2018
The opening report on Messe Berlin’s ITB Asia, now being held in Singapore, contains troubling mis-statements - some of which we have detailed before. These include: 
-Exhibitors 1000 +20%. Earlier this year MB reported a +21.8% growth, which would have taken the exhibitor total to 1136. Now it says 1000, but that would mean +6.4% growth, not the +20% it now reports.
-Buyers 1000. For 2017, it listed data only for ‘quality’ buyers, and so we presume this year includes those that cannot be so described. Based on the ‘quality’ total in 2017, that 1000 would represent a +5.2% growth. MB does not report growth.
-Corporate and MICE participants +49%; no other data given.
-New exhibitors +20%; no other data given.
  MB’s data for 2017 - percentage changes our calculation on earlier data:
-Exhibitors 940 +11%.
-'Quality' buyers 951 (the number not classified as 'quality’ was not given; no figure given in 2016, and last before 2017 was 850 in 2014).
-Conference time 6140 +19% minutes.
-Visitors 11,000 +8%.
-Business appointments 22,000 (new measure).

Trump Slump Bumped
17 September 2018
-there have been extraordinary changes in US visitor counts that turn a fall into growth.
The US has produced a new set of figures on visitor arrivals in the US. It reverses the Trump Slump into a Bump. But the new counts do not correct what may have been a fault; they deliberately miscategorise figures, which produces a Trump Bump.
  We are shocked, but we have seen no other reports that have analysed the changes.
  Here is the story:
  Earlier this year, many reports on visitor arrivals in the US were reporting a ‘Trump Slump’ - a fall in visitors prompted by the negative actions and words of the newish US president, Donald Trump. When he was not banning or trying to ban certain types or citizens from visiting the US, his words were unfriendly.
  Not only did his words ascertain that the US was on its way to becoming great again, but, almost concomitantly, non-Americans (=foreigners) were not so good, at best.
  In those circumstances, there should have been little surprise that the number of visitors would fall. Even if the banned nationals were tiny suppliers of visitors to the US (we guess some country-markets in the hundreds, and maybe 10,000 over a year), many others would, sensibly, have reconsidered a visit to the US.
  Would a France national, moslem, born in France of parents from Morocco, continue to assume a visit to the US would be trouble free?
  But a fall in visitors, of course, even if a likely outcome of specific actions, was not welcomed by the US administration. Its discourse was, and is, that everything is better for everyone in the US, and possibly better than since the beginning of time.
  This is not to say that we accuse the US government of helping the US administration to falsify facts. But its actions nevertheless raise suspicions.
  Last April, the US government said it was checking visitor-arrival counts because some visitors may have been miscategorised.
  The country’s DMO (NTTO, National Travel and Tourism Office) says some arrivals were incorrectly reported as showing US as the country of residence. The passport country for many (NTTO says ‘a large number’, but provides no further definition to enable others to define it thus) of the affected records was Brazil, China, India.
  This month, NTTO announced that the problem has now been fixed.
  But, we declare, it has not been corrected.
  The NTTO says any visitor-arrival that listed the US as the country of residence has now been changed to show the passport country as the country of residence. This is actually changing what may have been a mistake (obviously most arrivals with India passports were/are not residents of the US, even if some were recorded as US residents) to a clear mistake (assuming all those non-US-citizen visitor-arrivals were/are not resident in the US).
  This exercise has reversed the Trump Slump into a Trump Bump.
  In general terms, based on our notes above about the unwelcome sentiment in Trump’s US for ‘foreigners’, the visitor-arrival count now seems wrong. That said, we accept that few figures ‘seem’ right all the time; there are always surprises.
  The NTTO says the change (it says ‘corrective’ but as we have noted, these are not corrections, this is just re-categorisation) means the mistake (if that is what it was) in 2017 affected 3.7mn visitors in 2017 - almost a full Trump Year - yet only 540,000 visitors in non-Trump 2016.
  The other broad figures (more, with an accompanying table, in a WYSK report, what-you-should-know, from Travel Business Analyst):
-The new figures show there were 38.9mn +2.0% overseas visitors in 2017. The old figures were 35.2mn -6.2%.
-For total visitors (ie including Canada, Mexico), new 76.9mn +0.7%, old 73.3mn -3.1%.
-There were no changes for visitors from Canada, Mexico in 2017, but changes in 2016 and 2015. Although the changes in those earlier years were small, why were those 2017 figures ‘corrected’ before the ‘mistake’ in the categorisation was discovered? Even though the Canada and Mexico visitor-arrival counts are so big (almost 40mn in 2017), no visitor was mis-categorised?
*A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

UK travel trends: trouble x6; London down
7 September 2018
UK; trouble x6
We’ve worked on UK travel data for the first three months of this year. It is trouble x6; falls in every month, both inbound and outbound.
  Remember, the fall of the UK currency after the Brexit vote in 2016 was expected to boost visitor arrivals, but also prompt a fall in outbound travel.
  Whoops.
  Outbound may be matching expectations, falling -5.4% in Q1. But inbound also fell every month in Q1 (January by a painful -15%), and -5.6% for all-Q1.
  Could the difference be business travel? Commentary (as above) relates the currency fall primarily to leisure travel. Business travel or even others such as sports-, event-, religious-travel are less affected by currency changes.
  Could it be that business travellers are having fewer reasons to visit the UK until the post-Brexit economic rules are set?
London down, not even out
London visitor data (from Visit Britain) is not timely. Figures are surprising nevertheless.
  In Q4, arrivals fell 8%. Remember that this was not supposed to happen. After the Brexit vote in 2016, the fall of the UK currency was supposed to boost visitor arrivals, although probably also prompt a fall in outbound travel.
  It hasn’t happened like that. Even before the UK is out of the European Union, the London visitor count is down.
  Of course a fall can have many causes. But the size of that Q4 fall, -8%, is a surprise - that is 400,000 fewer visitors in that period, say 4000 fewer daily.
  Then comes #2 shock - Q1 figures show a -10% fall! There are fewer visitors in Q1 than in Q4, but that bigger percentage fall produced a bigger actual fall - around 5000 fewer visitors daily.
  The Brexit surprises continue.

ITB miscounts again
1 August 2018
We have found more misleading figures from Messe Berlin on its ITB Asia trade exhibition. It reports that 1000 buyers have signed on to attend this year, and that this is +12% growth. Yet on the figures MB published for its 2017 event, we calculate slower growth, +5.2%.
  This apparent incompetence (we do not believe it is deliberate) is becoming frequent enough for us to recommend readers beware all data from MB on its events ITB Asia in Singapore and ITB China.

Surprises in UK’s inbound/outbound travel
28 June 2018
Most observers forecast UK outbound travel would fall after the value of the UK currency fell - following the mid-2016 referendum in favour of quitting the European Union. And inbound travel would grow, spurred by that cheaper currency.
  Outbound, the segment that should be at risk. Up +2.1% for all-2017, and slightly faster, +2.7%, to the main (80%) destination region, the rest of Europe. The total fell in six months, including the last three. To the rest of Europe in fewer, just five, months.
  Inbound, the segment that should be doing well. The total did indeed grow, but that +3.4% is hardly special; in fact, it is worse than its closest competitors in Europe. In order of total size, France (allegedly; data release varies between secretive and puzzling) grew +9%, Spain +9%, Italy +10%, Germany +5%.
  There were falls in five months, but including the last four.
  UK from the rest of Europe (a 72% share) was worse than the total, just +0.8%. And prospects do not look so good – there were falls in six months, also including the last four. In December the fall was big, -11%.
  From all this we calculate the UK’s overall travel business grew +3% in 2017, and that related to the rest of Europe, +2%. Although that looks weak, it is better than the UK’s GDP growth in 2017.
Notes: The government usually reveals this type of data on a monthly basis. It has said nothing over the past three months.
*We show only data on occupancy and room rate. HM focuses on revpar (revenue per available room), but we maintain this has little marketing value to those outside the hotel business.

ITB Asia; misleading data
7 June 2018
Messe Berlin (MB) continues its practice of using misleading and/or incorrect data for its events, the latest one for the 11th ITB Asia (ITBA), due in Singapore this October.
  However, most of these appear to be due more to ineptitude than duplicity. MB reports:
-Exhibitor numbers expected to be +21.8%, which would make 1136. ‘Presence’ from Europe (which we presume means exhibitor numbers) +13.8%; previous data not given.
-85% of exhibition space booked. But if there is 22% growth in exhibitors, how can booked space be down – surely exhibitors are not reducing their booth sizes?
-MB describes the 2017 ITBA as an ‘enormous success’ with ‘record-breaking numbers with 113 countries’ at the event. ‘Record-breaking’ has occurred on most measures in most of the nine years. Not many figures were released for the 2017 event but attendance grew only +0.2% and countries +2.7% - although exhibitor growth was good, +11.1%. We interpreted some of these small growths as a relative loss due to the start of ITB China – when China is the biggest single part of growth in Asia’s traffic growth.
-MB reported worldwide outbound trips as growing +3.9% in 2017. In fact*, that was 2016 data, and for only Jan-Aug.
-Likewise the +11% growth given as Asia outbound growth* in 2017 – data was for Jan-Aug 2016 only.
-In addition, those figures MB uses include data for China, yet China should now be excluded from the ITBA prospectus, because China now has its own stand-alone event.
-Blatant misuse continued, with MB forecasting +4-5% growth in worldwide outbound travel ‘over the next year’. In fact*, this was a forecast for 2017!
*Notes:
-MB (mis)-uses its own ITB Berlin World Travel Trends for its data.
-A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
-At press time, MB had not answered our request for clarifications.

We Were Right; Singapore Airlines Group
18 May 2018
With the news that Silk Air is being merged into Singapore Airlines, the businessplan we outlined for SAG (Singapore Airlines Group) is almost complete.
  We synopsised our points in a November 2013 report following a meeting with a senior SAG executive. Some of these points we had noted before, and of course later. The three elements were:
1. Scoot should not have been established. SAG’s first NFA* Tiger should have been expanded instead. SAG did not own a majority in Tiger at that time, and so we suggested SAG should simply buy a bigger share.
  Three years later this all started to happen. SAG increased its shareholding in Tiger. Then the two airlines Scoot and Tiger were put under a single management control, then Tiger was merged into Scoot.
  Essentially then, this is what we suggested – just one (NFA) airline.
2. Similarly there has been no need (for the past 15 years at least) to have two FSAs*. The inanity of this was illustrated in that there were some routes on which both SIA and Silk were flying. Duh!
  There are nuances to our argument, of course, which make this not quite so blatantly stupid, but it was still was poor business management.
  Now, following this announcement, what we proposed is happening – just one (FSA) airline.
3. However, there was an element in our proposed businessplan for SAG that has not been implemented, and which in some ways makes the SIA/Silk merger the wrong move.
  We proposed that Silk become SAG’s LCA*. As an LCA, Silk’s routes could be new ones for SAG – where it is usually better to start with a lower-cost operation until the financial viability for SIA to operate such a route is clearer. Or a Silk LCA could operate additional frequencies on routes operated by SIA – again, which might not be profitable for SIA to expand.
  Perhaps SAG management believes Scoot will fill that market need – develop new routes. But as management knows, and says, Scoot serves a different market segment.
  Under this new arrangement for SIA/Silk, the full-service market segment is not properly served (because any extra demand from the FSA market will be fulfilled by non-SAG FSAs). That, or higher-costs SIA will add flights to fulfil this extra demand, and lose money, at least initially.
  Also, that would mean SAG’s market share would steadily fall – or at least not grow at the rate it could.
  Will SAG management understand this?
  The chances do not look good – back in 2013 they laughed (literally, but at the proposal, not the deliverer) at our three proposals – two of which they have now carried out.
*Notes: Our airline-type definitions:
-FSA = full-service-airline. Offering first/business/economy, travel agency bookings, meals/bookings/baggage/cancellations included, etc. As its name indicates – full service.
-LCA = low-cost-airline. (Not a no-frills-airline; see next.) An FSA but with lower operating costs - cheaper longer-hours flight-deck crew, younger/new longer-hours cabin crew, tighter cost control (twinned 3-star hotel rooms, for example), fewer fare types, may have first and business cabins as well as economy, and which allows bookings through travel agencies etc. If relevant, usually similar to the parent airline, but a different name, and competition against parent airline allowed.
-NFA = no-frills-airline. We believe that among the many essential elements that make a successful NFA are: shorthaul point-to-point routes; market freedom in terms of fares, routes; single aircraft type; where relevant, competition against parent airline allowed; extremely-low fares when bought at least three months in advance, say US$25; one fare at one time (no wholesale rates, travel agency commissions, etc); no refunds; no (free) service frills; single economy-class cabin; no (free) seat selection; two toilets for 150-seat aircraft; 25-minute turnaround time; cabin crew do daytime cabin cleaning; name and flight change charged at least US$25 each; no trade shows; plenty of consumer advertising and promotion; and much more.

Can Icca count? Paris still #1
9 May 2018
ICCA*, publishing results for the association segment of the MICE business in 2017, has done it again.
  It has:
–produced findings which belie market sentiment,
-attempted no clarification,
-interpreted its own data different to the way it advises the industry.
  We explain:
-ICCA reports that Barcelona overtook Paris and Vienna in 2017 to become the #1 city for association meetings in Europe in 2017.
-How can this be when Barcelona was partially shut down for two months in 2017 during its political problems related to an unauthorised vote for independence for Catalonia?
-And when this was the year when Paris recovered from terrorist attacks in the two earlier years?
-Surely the industry deserves an explanation for these results?
-We use an (ICCA)-recommended 5-year composite total – see below – which shows that Barcelona is not top. Paris is still #1, followed by Vienna, and then Barcelona.
*Amplifications/Notes:
-This is not the first time ICCA’s research has thrown up odd results. For example:
  i. How could Budapest get into the top-5 (in 2007) and, say, London could not?
  ii. One year Sandton showed up in the world’s top-5 - prompting us to google it. (It is part of Johannesburg.)
  iii. ICCA did not flag Taiwan’s 52% single-year growth in 2010, even though that took it above Singapore. With Singapore’s stunning new attractions at that time, we found that change hard to believe in marketing terms, even if strictly correct in statistical terms.
-ICCA’s counts are meetings of associations (and follow precise definitions), and thus are just one segment of the big MICE business. We have not seen estimates, but we would be surprised if ICCA’s segment was more than 20% of the total. Why do these counts attract so much interest? (Possibly, we answer ourselves, because no other worldwide trade body tracks the whole MICE business.)
-Until 2009, ICCA gave us additional information for our analysis, but has refused this since. Full data is reserved for ICCA members; a policy with which we agree, even if it causes us some difficulty. As a result, however, our coverage is now limited to meetings numbers, rather than adding commentary on attendance numbers as well.
-Our main analysis is based on multi-year results. We are motivated by those in the MICE segment of the travel business – who tell us that single-year figures can be misleading. As a result, we calculate average-annual totals based on 5-year periods - to balance out distortions caused by unusually-big or -small events in one year.
  Surprisingly, the industry itself still works on annual figures! Even more surprising is that in 2013 ICCA said it was following our lead and tracking results in 5-year averages. Despite that, all its analysis and observations continues to be based on single-year figures!
  In other words, after admitting another way is better, ICCA has continued with the old way. Duh!
-ICCA was initially an abbreviation for the International Congress and Conventions Association. Then it used ICCA as a name, which it described as The International Meetings Association. It has now reverted to almost the same – ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association.
-A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

We Were Right
7 May 2018
On April 25, see below, we speculated that this year Rezidor Hotels would vanish into its parent Radisson Hotels. Today, it was announced that Rezidor (formally Swedish-quoted Rezidor Hotel Group AB) is changing its name to Radisson Hospitality AB – essentially the same as we forecast.

Travel business updates
25 April 2018
[] Rezidor Hotels Q1 revenue US$254mn (€206.1mn) -7.3%. We expect Rezidor will shut down before end-2018 by merging into its Radisson parent.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports for hotels:
-Canada Q1 occupancy 57.3% +2.2%, average room rate US$114 (C$147.14) +5.0%.
-Middle East Q1 occupancy 70.6% +0.9%, average room rate US$163.76 -4.5%.
-US April 15-21 occupancy 70.1% +3.1%, ARR US$131.15 +5.4%.

Misleading WTTC reports
23 March 2018
WTTC (World Travel & Tourism Council), a lobby group for the travel business, has published a series of comprehensive reports* for selected markets – some measures comparable, some not.
  Unfortunately, the group is so careless in its presentations that the professional observer is sometimes left to guess what WTTC’s research shows. We believe its presentations are in contrast with the professionalism of its research.
  As a result, the following is our (abridged) list of WTTC’s findings, with comments where necessary.
  (Note: WTTC mainly uses the awkward term ‘travel and tourism’*, which we change to the more-practical ‘travel business’*, abbreviated here to TB. Data for 2017, unless noted otherwise.)
[] World.
-TB turnover +4.6%. Visitor spend +4.3%. GDP growth a WTTC-rounded +3%.
[] North Africa.
-TB turnover (overall GDP, TB’s share of GDP): +22.6%; Egypt US$21.1bn +72.9% (+4.1%, 11.0%); Tunisia US$5.7bn +7.6% (WTTC-rounded +2%, 14.2%); Turkey US$98.4bn WTTC-rounded +17% (+7.0%, 11.6%). Note Turkey is part in Europe, part in Asia (Minor), which is sometimes a reason for including it in the Middle East. Including it in North Africa is incorrect.
-‘...well on track to return to pre-crisis levels’. Without a date, this is meaningless commentary; it was on that track the moment the TB stopped falling.
[] Australia.
-TB turnover (overall GDP): US$156bn/A$197.5bn +2.3% (+2.2%).
[] Canada.
-TB turnover (overall GDP): US$108bn/C$138.8bn +4.5% (a WTTC-rounded +3%). In a separate report, WTTC puts growth as +5.5%.
[] China.
-TB turnover +9.8%.
[] France.
-TB 50% faster than world average. Wrong? The same report showed that this was a comparison with the visitor business, not the overall TB.
-Visitors to France spent US$54.7bn (at US$1 to €0.81) +6.4%.
-TB turnover US$252.2bn, an 8.9% share.
[] Germany.
-TB turnover US$429.8bn +1.7%.
[] India.
-Forecast to overtake Germany as #3 by 2028.
[] Indonesia.
-TB turnover US$57bn/Rph787.1tn +6.4%; overall GDP +5.1%.
-Forecast +6.4% annual average growth rate 2018-27.
[] Italy.
-TB turnover (overall GDP): US$275.6bn +2.7%, a WTTC-rounded 13% share (+1.6%).
-Visitor spend US$48.9bn +6.5%.
[] Japan.
-TB turnover (overall GDP): US$350bn/¥37.1tn +3.4% (+1.6%).
-Forecasts 40mn visitors in 2020. Not clear if this is a WTTC forecast or a restatement of Japan’s government’s target.
[] Saudi Arabia.
-TB turnover (overall GDP): US$64bn/R240.9bn +4.6% (a WTTC-rounded +1%), a 9.4% share of GDP.
[] Spain.
-TB turnover a WTTC-rounded +7%.
[] UK.
-TB turnover (overall GDP): US$297bn/a-WTTC-rounded-£214bn +6.2% (+1.5%).
-Visitors +6.7%, outbound travellers +2.5% (+7.8% 2016, +9.9% 2015), domestic travellers +5.8%, spend by visitors to UK +7.9%, spend by domestic travellers +5.8%.
[] US.
-TB turnover (overall GDP): US$1.5tn +2.3% world’s largest (same, +2.3%).
*Notes:
-WTTC has its own methodology for calculating the turnover of the travel business including not just inbound, outbound, and domestic travel, but other industries involved in the business. For instance, if 0.5% of the world’s cars go into the car-rental business, that measure will be calculated into the turnover of the overall travel business.
  Unfortunately, WTTC is not always clear that its data is related to this grand total, and often its commentary appears to be related to just one sector – often, the inbound visitor business. In addition, it sometimes uses the terms ‘travel’ or ‘tourism’ alone; we cannot always determine if these mean something different from ‘travel & tourism’.
  WTTC’s name does not help – the ‘TT’ is ‘travel & tourism’, where we would define ‘travel’ as covering all segments of the travel business, with ‘tourism’ meaning ‘leisure travel’ to most observers - just one segment. This means that most people and bodies the WTTC lobbies may think they are discussing just inbound leisure travel.
-Most US$ figures are our conversions from WTTC figures.
-A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

WTTC Research Director Rochelle Turner responds:
The methodology that WTTC uses aligns to the UN a statistical Methodology for accounting for Travel & Tourism (TSA RMF: 2008).  
The definition of the sector from the TSA RMF:2008 is as follows: ‘the activity of persons travelling to and staying in places outside of their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not remunerated from within the place visited’. 
Our approach has been independently audited and is fully available for view on our website, www.wttc.org. All country regions are fully explained on the final pages within each country report. 

Bloomberg vagaries
15 January 2018
A report by Bloomberg (BB), a deservedly-respected business and financial tracker, on airline results of some airlines in Europe in 2017 contained some unclear references.
  Following is our report on BB’s findings, with our comments and/or amplifications where necessary (may be paraphrased):
-‘Lufthansa overtook ICAG [mainly AerLingus, British, Iberia, Vueling] to become Europe’s 2nd-biggest airline following its most significant takeover spree in years.’
  BB is measuring the Lufthansa group (LG, not ‘airline’), which is mainly Austrian, Brussels, Eurowings, Lufthansa, Swiss). LG bought 45% of Brussels in 2009, and the 55% balance January 2017. LG also leased some aircraft from defunct Air Berlin.
-‘Lufthansa’s passenger traffic grew +15% in 2017, passing [ICAG], which grew +4%. The Air France-KLM (AFK) remains Europe’s biggest airline following growth +5%’.
  As earlier, this data is for the three groups, not individual airlines. BB is measuring RPKs for these comments. However, LG does not include Brussels in its 2016 measures – which boost its 2017 count. In addition, Eurowings has taken over some longhaul routes, which boosts an RPK measure.
  Our track of seats sold shows LG +18.3% to 130mn, ICAG +4.1% to 105mn, AFK +5.7% to 99mn. Ryanair (our estimates), which is just one airline, +10.3% to 129mn. Adding Virgin Atlantic to AFK’s account (AFK is reported to be buying 31%) would make the group just 1mn short of ICAG’s total.
-‘ICAG, created with a merger of British and Iberia in 2011, overtook Lufthansa [probably LG] to become Europe’s 2nd-largest in 2015, helped by purchase of AerLingus, British Midland [from LG], Vueling.’
-‘AFK, formed from a merger in 2004, has remained the region’s biggest airline [sic; actually, airline group], although rivals have narrowed the gap.’
  BB makes no mention of Alitalia (AZ), in which AFK bought 25% share for €323mn (now US$393mn) in 2009, out-bidding LG. The intention was for Alitalia with AFK to become a strong trio. As AFK stayed out of refinancing moves, its ownership share fell, and it is now about 5%. And from 2015, AFK no longer had marketing agreements with AZ nor representatives on the AZ board. Not much for nearly US$400mn.
  But perhaps it is coming back – see below.
-‘AFK was Europe’s best-performing airline stock in 2017 with +162% growth. Lufthansa was +150%, ICAG +48%.’
  Our database shows the same growth for these three. For us (last-day-2017 compared with LD-2016) best-performer was Turkish with +213%; worst performer was Norwegian with -39%.
-‘More transactions are due this year: Lufthansa taking over more Air Berlin assets, ICAG buying airport slots from defunct Monarch, while also chasing Air Berlin’s Austrian airline Niki. Italy’s AZ is bankrupt and for sale, with Lufthansa a potential bidder.’
  BB has its analysts. But there have already been changes in that ICAG has bid for Niki, to operate it as a no-frills-airline (as it was planned, but not operated as such under Air Berlin) under ICAG’s Vueling – which is a hybrid operation. And ICAG has shown interest in AZ’s assets
  BB seems not to understand EU airline regulations, in that there is no need to buy AZ, just its assets. Any EU airline can operate from any EU market.
*A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Easy v Ryan v Southwest v Norwegian v Air Asia
22 December 2017
On the occasion of the departure of Easyjet CEO, Carolyn McCall, and prompted by some comments by the airline on her performance over her seven years at the airline, we check the results at Easy and some other competing airlines. These indicate that Easy’s claims for McCall are not justified*.
  According to our database, Easy’s seat sales have shown a +7.0% average annual growth rate since she joined. That looks weak alongside some key competitors – +8.2% AAGR at arch-rival Ryanair, the world’s biggest NFA (no-frills-airline), +14.5% at (relative) newcomer Norwegian, although only +5.9% at US-based Southwest, overtaken two months ago as the world’s biggest NFA, and +15.9% at Air Asia, that region’s biggest NFA. Air Berlin, which has now shut down, was negative, -1.6%.
  The same pattern for Easy’s share price. At current prices, Easy’s share AAGR over end-2010 was +18.3%, Ryan +24.6%, Southwest +24.4%. Only two years for Norwegian, but -25.2%. Also negative for Air Asia, -2.0% over the seven years. Air Berlin was not a quoted airline.
  We calculate Easy’s seat sales have grown +49.7% since 2010, although Ryan has grown +60.6%, Norwegian +124.9%, Air Asia +109.3%, but Southwest +40.9%.
*A report on this topic in our People-in-Travel (PinT) monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Ryanair tops
8 December 2017
It happened in September and was confirmed in October. According to our counts, Ryanair has overtaken Southwest to become the world's biggest no-frills-airline.
  Seat sales Jan-Oct were 11.0mn on Ryan compared with 10.8mn on Southwest.

Ctrip’s misleading data
26 October 2017
China’s OTA Ctrip reports the following*. Neither source nor base of data given; we also show other shortcomings.
-During this month’s Golden Week holiday in China, 46% of the 6mn outbound travellers from China “chose Southeast Asia as their holiday destination”.
  This appears to assume all outbound travellers are holidaymakers, which is of course incorrect. Also unclear is whether this is a count of arrivals in those destinations, or departures from China. Ctrip may not bother to differentiate these measures for a broad, general, audience.
-Ctrip expects passport ownership in China, now at 7%, “to rise in the near future”.
  This is almost a given, but Ctrip offers no indication of growth rate. We believe it will have reached 10% in 2020.
-Ctrip says average traveller spend for key cities is “well over” US$1400.
  Does ‘well over’ mean US$1500, US$2000, or something else? Ctrip is not clear whether this is a domestic- or international-travel spend, or total. A more important measure would be per-traveller-per-day spend.
-China’s outbound traveller total forecast at 200mn in 2020; it was 122mn in 2016. That would mean a +13.1% average annual growth rate. That looks optimistic; we estimate +11.4% so far this year – better than the past three years, which have been in single-digits.
*A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Meetings* 2016
13 June 2017
ICCA* compares ranking by participants with ranking by meetings of association meetings in 2016 – but not with 2015 rankings. And there is other information not available to non-ICCA members – which prevents full analysis.
  Be-that-as-it-may, ICCA reports top-5 participants:
Cities
-Vienna, 2nd in meeting numbers, 1st in participants.
-Seoul 10th 2nd.
-Barcelona 3rd 3rd.
-Copenhagen 14th 4th.
-London 5th 5th.
-Paris, 1st in meetings, 7th in participants.
Destinations
-US 1st 1st.
-Germany 2nd 2nd.
-UK 3rd 3rd.
-Italy 6th 4th.
-Spain 5th 5th.
*Notes:
-A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
-ICCA was initially an abbreviation for the International Congress and Conventions Association. Then it used ICCA as a name, which it described as The International Meetings Association. It has now reverted to almost the same – ICCA, International Congress and Convention Association.

WTM miscounts; business falls
3 February 2017
WTM London has released data showing its 2016 event will generate £2.8bn in ‘travel industry deals’. That is +12.0% on WTM 2015.
  WTM’s practice of quoting in UK pounds is an imprecise measure without an exchange rate, and particularly so when that currency has been falling since the UK’s June 2016 vote to leave the European Union.
  We presume researchers for the UK-centric WTM (despite its international event) would ask for the figures in UK pounds, and so they would not know what exchange rate respondees were using.
  For the record, Oanda rates show that the US$ exchange rate at the time of its 2015 event would have meant business worth US$3.76bn, but only US$3.48bn for its 2016 event.
  In other words, business at WTM 2016 fell about 7%.
  There is also confusion over its attendance counts. WTM first reported 49,275 participants, which our data indicated was a 1.5% fall. Publicly at the time, it presented that as an “impressive” 50,000, despite the fall. Now it says there were 51,406 participants – which would mean 2.8% growth.
  Unfortunately for WTM, that makes its business-done measure worse. We calculate:
-Averaging business done per-participant results in US$68. That’s a fall of 9.9% over WTM 2015.
-Generally, WTM refers more to its WTM Buyers’ Club (WBC), whose membership grew 8.9% over 2015-6.
-But averaging business done per-WBC member results in US$351, a sizeable 15.0% fall.
  If WTM is hiding the bad news (as it has done before), this might be better than not knowing its business is falling.

Asean@50; unhappy birthday?
23 January 2017
The reclusive Asean travel secretariat (ATS) has reiterated its 2017 visitor target for the 10 Asean destinations at 121mn. Yet the figures it has published indicate that it expects slower growth in this celebratory year than in the ‘normal’ year 2016.
  We’ll explain:
  The forecast is related to what is named ‘Asean@50’ (A50). This is a so-called (non-funded) promotional campaign this year to encourage greater visitation into the 10 Asean destinations – to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the formation of the Asean political association.
  We believe few travellers are motivated by political birthdays. In 2015, the visitor element of Singapore’s 50th-year independence/foundation celebrations was a flop. Arrivals growth that year was just 1%; something which no-one now mentions. Ironically, A50 was officially launched in Singapore, indicating that nothing has been learned from Singapore’s birthday failure.
  One year ago, ATS released data that would mean visitor totals for the 10 destinations in 2015 totalled 92.3mn. Since then, ATS has changed that total to 109mn and now to 108mn.
  We estimate that there was strong growth in visitors in 2016 – probably 8.5%, even though that was below the 12.8% forecast that we calculated after adding up DMO forecasts at the start of 2016.
  That +8.5% would put the 2016 Asean visitor total at 117mn – based on ATS’s restated 2015 total of 108mn. From there to the targetted 121mn this year would mean 3.2% growth this year. We have seen no commentary that this means, in effect, that ATS forecasts slower growth this A50 year than in 2016, a ‘normal’ year.
A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information and analysis.

Scoot = Tiger
8 December 2016
We thought of it first. See http://wp.me/pTv9-k0

We Were Right!
11 November 2016
We have had a good couple-of-months - in vindication.
1. Frequently, since 2007, we have been saying that the Air Berlin businessmodel was wrong, suggesting simplification. In September 2016, the airline announced it was downsizing (about 40%), moving some of its leisure operations into a new company, and more, to change what it called its “complicated business model”. (There is still more to do, however.)
2. In 2015 we formalised our 7-year-old strategy for bigger airline groups. One section proposed expanding Hop, an Air France subsidiary, into a low-cost subsidiary to operate certain flights (short medium long) instead of AF and its associate KLM. In November 2016, the AF-KLM group said it planned to establish a low-cost subsidiary in 2017 to operate certain Asia and Atlantic flights instead of the two.
3. In April 2016 we said the reported plan by Alitalia to buy 49% of Air Malta would not happen. In October 2016, it was announced that the sale would not take place.
4. When Scoot was established in 2011 we said it should not have been, and Tiger expanded instead. This plan was dismissed by the owner of both, the Singapore Airlines group (SAG), end-2013. In November 2016, SAG said Tiger would operate under Scoot’s name starting 2017.
  For those interested in more:
-What full-service-airlines need to do to survive. See 
https://medium.com/@tbaoffice/airline-strategy-185fa3ef7d0c#.octgrysmf
-We’ve been reporting Air Berlin’s problems since 2006. See http://wp.me/pTv9-jJ
-AirFrance-KLM new subsidiary; we thought of it first. See http://wp.me/pTv9-jW
-Scoot = Tiger. We thought of it first. See http://wp.me/pTv9-k0
-How to save Air Malta and others. See http://wp.me/pTv9-jB 
-Alitalia to buy into Air Malta? See http://wp.me/pTv9-it
-Analysing Alitalia’s 2015 results. See http://wp.me/pTv9-in

Air Berlin surprise
5 October 2016
Why did it take so long to see the problems? We’ve been reporting them since 2006. PAGPFT. On http://wp.me/pTv9-jJ

Travel and terror
12 August 2016
France’s fall
Reports in France talk of ‘official’ figures saying August visitor arrivals have fallen 10% as a result of the recent terrorist attacks in the destination. Our comments:
1. Although the source of those ‘official’ figures is not specified, these are probably not official figures – simply because they are not available this quickly, in most destinations and certainly in France. (France’s DMO has given only Q1 data to WTO.)
  Thus they must be either ‘initial estimates’ or forecasts for August.
2. A 10% fall would not be bad as could have been expected.
  The most-reported recent attack was Nice, on July 14, just four weeks ago. Given the seriousness of that attack – over 80 killed – and the shocking method (a truck driving through crowds), we believe a fall in visitation of 25% could be expected in the four weeks following the attack.
3. However, visual observations indicate the fall is greater than either 10% or 25%.
  Yet perhaps something else is happening:
-Certainly, some travellers are changing destinations, but are those that do not change destination changing their intra-destination activity?
-Ie, not the Tour Eiffel but the (excellent) Musee de Quai Branly?
–Or continuing to visit the Tour but staying for a shorter time, and not drinking coffee in a nearby pavement cafe? That would change the number of visitors ‘seen’, even if the actual number was unchanged.
IPK/ITB report
Research company IPK International has completed a report for the ITB Berlin exhibition on travel and terror. (IPKI + ITBB = II.)
 Some findings*:
-Forecast 2016 outbound travel +3%, from Europe +2%.
-‘Nearly-half’ of travellers are ‘changing their travel behaviour’.
-‘The threat of terrorism influences the travel behaviour of 40%’ of travellers.
-15% will avoid travelling internationally this year and spend their holidays in their own country.
-25% plan to continue travelling abroad, but only to places they perceive safe.
-Destinations rated least safe were those where there have already been ‘attacks or unrest in the past’ – II put Egypt, Israel, Turkey worst (least safe).
-II say some destinations can expect ‘massive losses’. II add other destinations, in order given (worst first) - Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Israel.
-II name other destinations that have ‘good growth prospects’, but do not enumerate the potential – in order, Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, Switzerland.
*There are some extraordinary contradictions in II’s report. A report in the Asia Pacific and Europe editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains critical comment on this report.

Terror in France
25 July 2016
Visitor trends following terrorist attacks in France
Figures appear to indicate that the terrorist attacks in France (Nov 15, Jul 16) caused a hotel occupancy fall of 18-22%, see table. But we estimate this fall went closer to 25% in the week post-attacks.
  We also believe these results are representative of the overall fall in visitation to the two destinations – with related falls in other locations.
  From a business viewpoint, Nice was worse in that the attack came during the city’s peak period – July, August. The Paris attack came in one of the three slowest months for the city - November, January, February.
  Damage does not seem to be longterm. Paris airport passengers fell 2% in November, -3% December, but was back to growth in January. Brussels - which suffered attacks in March, one of which was at the airport, which was then closed a few days – airport passengers were -29% March, -46% April, but only -8% in May, -6% June.
Notes: Source shows Paris results in day of attack, Nov 13, but we believe results would be unaffected by the attacks that evening. Source does not show results for third day after attacks, as it does for Nice; thus our ‘NA’.

Hotel results following terrorist attacks in France

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Nice,2016┼

Jul 15

Growth╪,%

Jul 16

Growth╪,%

Jul 17

Growth╪,%

Occ,%

86

-5.4pts

84

-7.7pts

67

-18.4pts

ARR,US$*

310

5.0

307

-2.2

312

-2.5

Paris,2015┼

Nov 14

Growth╪,%

Nov 15

Growth╪,%

Nov 16

Occ,%

86

-20.7pts

46

-22.1pts

NA

NA

ARR,US$*

186

6.7

187

5.5

NA

NA

Notes: See text. Rates are before tax. ARR = average room rate, Occ = occupancy. *Converted at US$1 to €0.90. ┼Nice (Promenade des Anglais; Thu Jul 14) 68 hotels/8400 rooms; Paris (Bataclan and others; Fri Nov 13) 250/32,000. ╪Over same weekday, year earlier. Source: MKG, Hospitality On.

Malaysia Airlines. Thoughtless statements from new CEO.
8 July 2016
We expect company leaders to say anodyne things when they are appointed. But we look for indicators nevertheless – somewhat like reading-between-the-lines/China-watching.
  But we are disappointed with statements from Peter Bellew*, new CEO of Malaysia Airlines (MA). We found few indicators, and not anodyne comments but almost puerile.
  Here are some (may be paraphrased):
PB soundbite: “I am sure it will be a road to recovery with many interesting turns.”
Comment: Means he does not know what will happen. Although that might be true, that is not what he should be saying.
PB soundbite: “...great progress in the last 10 months with many turnaround initiatives working.”
Comment: Means some turnaround initiatives are not working.
PB soundbite: “We will stop doing things that lose money.”
Comment: Ah, if only life were that simple. So no more new routes (which, generally, lose money initially)? No more free food on board, say, because free food loses money?
PB soundbite: “We will start new routes to new unserved Asean destinations.”
Comment: First, verbosity: ‘start’ or ‘new’ is superfluous; so is 2nd ‘new’; so is ‘unserved’ (the airline cannot operate a new route to a destination already served).
  But wait a minute. Doesn’t PB say (above) that nothing would be done that loses money? Are we to believe then, that all these destinations (no number, so this could just be two destinations) will make profits from Day 1?
PB soundbite: “We will operate some leisure flights from KLIA2 [KL’s budget-airlines terminal] in 2017.”
Comment: Same as above about doing nothing that loses money. The other comment is that leisure routes (if that’s what PB means) are more risky financially than multi-traffic ones, and usually seasonal. That said, PB gave no numbers, and as he said ‘flights’, this could mean just one leisure route from KLIA2, and more than once-weekly frequency. All cost savings will be passed on to passengers in lower fares; good news for passengers, but also means that it will not help MA’s profitability.
PB soundbite: “Profit seen in the last quarter shows that the financial gap between revenue and cost has significantly closed.”
Comment: PB may have ‘seen’ the profit, but we haven’t; MA keeps this information confidential. A ‘gap’ between revenue and cost, depending on what the figures are, is what we would call a ‘profit’ or ‘loss’. In addition, the gap cannot be ‘significantly closed’; it is either closed (ie breakeven or profit) or not (loss).
  Earlier, MA said it was ‘marginally profitable’ in Q1 but added some unclear caveats, and so that profitability could be no more than creative book-keeping. See also WYSKs below.
*What You Should Know:
-MA’s Q1 revenue fell a jaw-dropping 22% (to what we don’t know), but the fact that capacity (ASKs) fell further, -30%, is relatively good news. But reflect; the airline is almost one-third smaller than it was in 2015, when it also downsized.
-MA’s previous CEO Christoph Mueller, who resigned after less than a year in the job, is now leaving this month, rather than in September as he said when announcing his resignation. Important only in that it shows MA company statements have reduced credibility.
-We understand Mueller is moving to the Gulf to either Emirates or Etihad (or one of its seven associate airlines). He is known at Etihad, which at one time owned part of Aer Lingus (then CEO, Mueller) before being bought by IAG (mainly British and Iberia). This would threaten credibility on the official ‘personal-reasons’ for leaving MA. In fact, we understood he left for professional reasons – not being able to do at MA what he wanted to do.
-Much is made of PB’s time at Ryanair (nine years; 4 jobs), the world’s 2nd-largest no-frills-airline. But:
   -Most of his time there was in flight operations, as was his first job (from end-2015) at MA.
   -He had an unexplained one year as head of S&M (albeit under the current head of marketing, Kenny Jacobs, for most of that time) – which seemed well outside his professional competence.
   -Two months after he left S&M, Ryanair’s extraordinary traffic pickup started - two years of monthly 20-30% growths. The airline is now 25% bigger than it was when PB moved out of S&M. He might want to claim credit for starting that (this is a CV after all), but there are no indications that he was responsible in any way. We would credit Jacobs more than anyone else, and Michael O'Leary, head of the airline. Jacobs joined from a supermarket retailer strong in marketing, Tesco.

Asean’s Faultlines, Asia Pacific inbound/outbound, Singapore’s Good News.
13 June 2016
Asean’s Faultlines, by Murray Bailey
3500-word critique entitled Asean’s Faultlines – includes a section What To Do. On https://tbaoffice.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/aseans-faultlines-by-murray-bailey/
Asia Pacific inbound
Our calculation of AsPac visitor arrivals for latest-month February, in the current editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter, shows +11.3%. Unusually, many destinations reported growth at around that rate – even not too bad for Hong Kong, Macau (where we exclude travel from China residents).
Asia Pacific outbound
Our calculation of AsPac resident departures for latest-month March, in the current editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter, shows +10.0%. Boosted by return to growth from China (our estimates) +5%, Japan’s return to growth +3%, Korea +18%.
Singapore: Good News!
It seems we have written just bad news about Singapore for the last few times. (Although we excuse ourselves as the DMO itself and many others did not seem to see the problems.)
  Now, finally, some good news.
  Government data we have (not from the DMO; its figures are a little later and a little different) indicate that Q1 visitors grew at 14%. That warrants a word we (over)use often – stunning.
  Although this needs some contextual observation (Q1 was flat in 2014 and -6% in 2015), it is good nevertheless, and above the Q1 totals in those two years.
  Our other comments revert to type – negative.
  We remarked at the start of this year - when the DMO forecast 0-3% growth for the year - that that seemed unduly pessimistic. That would have put the 2016 visitor total at 15.2-15.7mn. The total is now on track to reach 17.3mn. If the DMO were a private body, its CEO would have to explain how its forecast now looks so wrong weeks after its pessimistic forecast. And in a private company, he (for the CEO is a man) might even be fired.
  However, we presume that everyone will keep their jobs at the DMO, and will even boast how well things are going, and isn’t the DMO clever? When you hear this, remember another comment we made at the time.
  The DMO said when 2015 arrivals grew 2%, that “attested to Singapore's on-going appeal as a vibrant leisure destination”. We remarked, “A 2% growth does that?”. How will it describe a 14% growth?

TravelZoo’s bizarre research on Brexit
3 June 2016
Should we call it TravelZoology - a new obscure-extreme discipline with travellers as the animals? That’s the word we have created for bizarre research findings by Travelzoo, a sort-of travel-deals platform.
Travelzoo’s heading: ‘European Tourists to the UK Could Drop by a Third Following Brexit’
Ours: ‘Visitors in the UK from Europe likely to grow 5% faster if UK leaves EU’
Travelzoo (TZ) says 33% of travellers from Italy and Spain, 30% from Germany, and 24% from France, would be “less inclined to travel to the UK” if the UK votes Out.
  This finding is simply not believable. After November’s terrorist attacks in Paris, arrivals fell around 20%. Does TZ believe an Out vote would cause a bigger fall over a longer period?
  Also, what’s the problem? The UK is not in Schengen’s passport-free zone, so an Out vote would not change those travel logistics. Visas for the UK are not required by any EU market, and that is not likely to change after Out.
  But what is already happening, and which could get worse, is a fall in the UK’s currency. However, that would make the UK a lower-cost destination! Thus our guess is that arrivals in the UK could increase 5% above existing growth rates if the pound fell 10-15% - some forecast a 20% fall over a year after Out.
  TZ’s findings:
-£4.1bn a year in “international tourist spending” would be lost. We convert that to US$6.0bn and apply that to WTO’s US$42.4bn in 2015 – meaning a 14% share.
-40% of TZ’s clients in EU markets outside the UK “worry that Brexit could make UK holidays more expensive”. We think the opposite, as noted above.
-“Respondents from some nations – notably France – believe that leaving the EU could make the UK a safer destination for holidays.” Eh? How many respondents, and from which markets? Why do those people think holidays would be safer? (An answer to that could be valuable market information on how would-be travellers are misguided.)
-10% of travellers from Canada and 12% from the US would be less likely to go to a non-EU UK. Why? As an aside, some Outers believe a non-EU UK would become closer to non-EU nations (not a given, but some think that), so why would those North American travellers be avoiding the UK and embracing their new non-EU friend?
-Meanwhile, holidays for British tourists in “Europe” - TZ has forgotten that the UK is in Europe, but we presume it means continental Europe - could become more costly “if the sentiment expressed by some of our neighbours in France and Spain becomes more widespread”. 40% of clients from those markets “feel it would be fair to impose higher fees, such as a hiked city tax, on British visitors, if the UK votes Out”.
  We know of few ‘city taxes’, although there are hotel taxes. Despite that crushingly-high 40%, we believe this is another farcical finding, and would have almost zero chance of being passed by the relevant administrations.
-28% of UK travellers are concerned that an Out could lead to more costly holidays for them, while 56% are worried that Out would reduce the ease and flexibility with which British nationals can currently travel inside the EU.
  That is another serious misunderstanding – there are no controls in those 26 European (not all EU) destinations that are part of Schengen, including some that pay for special links with the EU, such as Norway and Switzerland.
  Other UK traveller concerns:
-25% believe that the price of holiday insurance would go up, and 20% worry that their holiday protection cover would be impacted if they were no longer entitled to a European Health Insurance Card. Finally something that is likely to be true. But surely Outers realise that they would no longer have the benefits that EU membership brings?
-24% believe that mobile roaming charges will increase if Britain is no longer governed by EU roaming “regulations”. We believe a better noun would be “liberalisation”, but as above, no EU and therefore all EU rules, the good and bad, can go.
-22% worry that UK beaches could become more polluted without strict regulations enforced by the EU. We don’t know whether to laugh or cry. We guess 10% of visitors have visited a UK beach, and probably fewer stayed on it in what could be considered beach apparel. So that 22% would have yet another reason to stay away from a UK beach, and be forced to wait until their next Mediterranean holiday.
-“10% of British people admit they have taken the impact of Brexit into consideration when planning their holiday.” We have no idea what this means.
-Of those wanting Out, 61% would be willing to pay more for their holidays. That’s what many people say. Of course it depends on how much more, and if those travellers knew what the extra cost was. If 10% higher, we reckon that 61% would fall to 1%.
  As noted, we don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Although those surveyed were just Travelzoo clients/customers/members, many findings are still laughable. Worse, a university (Bournemouth) extrapolated some of TZ’s findings, but instead of making them more believable, took them further from reality.
  Back to the Zoo.

Shouting some shocks: Virgin, Fly Be, Wizz.
20 May 2016
Virgin on trouble
It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
  Figures we have seen on Virgin Atlantic (the airline does not publish them) indicate all is not going well. OK, they are bad.
  For all-year 2015 we have a 3% fall in seat sales to 5.8mn following a particularly-bad December - -14%.
  But this year has started worse. We have Q1 seat sales at -7%. The 1.1mn total that represents compares with 1.2mn sold in 2015, and the peak of 1.3mn in 2014 - which was a 4% growth on 2013.
  We are not saying VA is not long for this world. (That’s an improvement as we said they would collapse within two years after they were established - 30 years ago.)
  But will owners Branson and Delta clash? Branson was able to deal easily with his previous supporter, Singapore Airlines, but Delta may be harder to fool.
Fly Be, or not-to-be?
But if you are looking for doom in the UK, then look at Fly Be. True, its seat sales were +1% in Q1 (ie better than VA’s -7%), but its seat factor was a disastrous 66%. We reckon the airline needs at least 14pts more than that.
  We propose that FB management (that’s Fly Be, not Mr Zuckerberg) campaign strongly for Brexit. If the UK makes the wrong decision and quits the EU, FB can take over some of the many UK-EU routes that Ryanair will likely be forced to abandon.
Wizzing ahead
Ready for another? Wizz - Hungary-based but think East Europe - is on track to overtake (sorry, wiz past) Air Berlin in 2017.
  Poor Air Berlin. It is tumbling faster - -7% YTD, -8% latest month. And that change would follow on from the ignominy of being overtaken this Q1 by Nano-Norway’s Norwegian.

Analysing Alitalia’s 2015 results
6 May 2016
Alitalia’s heading: ‘On track for profitability by 2017; reports strong 2015 performance.’
Ours: ‘Alitalia revenue and traffic fall again; can it make 2017 profits target?’
2015 seemed to be another year of operational weakening at Alitalia. ‘Seemed’ because the company does not publish all the data every year.
  We normally look at seat sales, and when we look at finance, at revenue and operating profit (not net, which can be more easily manipulated). So:
-Alitalia’s peak year for seat sales (including Air One) seems to have been 2007, with 31.5mn.
-The company does not reveal growth in 2015 (and did not report 2014 data) – just the figure. That was 22.1mn, thus a shocking 29.9% fall against 2007 – an average annual 4.3% fall.
-Revenue. We have US$3.99bn (at US$1 to €0.90) for 2012 – no full-year since then. In 2015 US$3.68bn -7.8%, an average annual 2.7% fall.
-Operating profit. No data.
-From our file data, Alitalia’s revenue in 2012 calculates to US$165 per seat sold. In 2015 it was better, US$167, a 1.2% growth, so 0.4% average annual growth.
-Other. It provides other data, but without comparative information, most are essentially worthless. Such as US$262mn from ‘codeshare revenue’. Of course Alitalia indicates that this is good, but with no comparative or other data, how can we know? Its load factor (not further defined, but we have assumed RTK over ATK, not RPK over ASK) looks worryingly low, at 76.2%. We would have thought it needs at least 10-points higher. That said, it is actually an improvement on the latest data we have, for 2006, of 65.7%!

Asean’s Faultlines
29 April 2016
We have nitpicked Asean’s ‘travel management’ over a few years, but now feel that there is a need for a more-thorough critique.
  We have reverted to the base – that the Asean travel secretariat exists to promote visitation into the 10 Asean destinations. In other words, a business function, not a political one.
  We have compiled a 3500-word critique, which is due to be loaded on this website and other internet outlets. We list here the ‘Table of Contents’.
-Asean’s Faultlines
-Asean Tourism Strategic Plan
-Single Destination; ‘Mutual Recognition’
-Asean@50
-Human Resources
-Quality Tourism
-Promoting Asean Tourism
-Developing Asean Tourism Product
-Asean Tourism Forum
-What Asean Needs To Do
-Asean’s Special Friends
-Asean plus China Japan Korea
-Asean plus India

Europe's top-3 airlines same size?
31 March 2016
Europe’s top-3 FSA* groups are getting closer together – in size, that is. Part of the reason is changed consolidation – such as Transavia into Air France-KLM, Aer Lingus into IAG*, Eurowings into Lufthansa Group.
  In the first two months, AFK sold 12mn seats, IAG 13mn, LG 14mn. Changes? IAG on track to overtake LG in 2017. Possibly this year if LG continues to have pilot problems protesting at expansion of the fast-growing Eurowings – growing +12% compared with Lufthansa’s +3%.
*Full-service-airlines. *International Consolidated Airlines Group (sic) – Aer Lingus, British, Iberia, Vueling.

TinT rides again! Truth-in-Travel: ITB Berlin mis-counts
28 March 2016
Back in November we rewrote the headline the organisers wrote to review their World Travel Market travel exhibition in London. It said “WTM London Again Attracts 50,000 Participants”. We gave data to show our point, and rewrote the headline to “WTM London attendance falls 2%”.
  Sadly, we have had to do the same for ITB Berlin travel exhibition, staged earlier this month. The organisers wrote “Fully-booked exhibition halls, more trade visitors than ever before, and record sales”. Our heading would read “Flat exhibitor count, business, and public attendance, and sizeable fall in media attendance”.
  The biggest positive was for the ITB Convention segment of ITBB. Not only did attendance grow 13% but we calculate that the share of trade visitors also did – from 20% in 2015 to 22% in 2016. This achievement is partially devalued, however, by the fact that ITBC attendance for ITBB attendants is free.
  Our reasons for the headline rewrite:
[] The ITBB exhibitor count fell this year, even if only 1%.
[] We augment ITBB’s financial data (on business conducted at ITBB), even if we never quite believe that total figure (the question to attendees is something similar to “how much business did you conduct at the exhibition?”). Business-conducted-per-trade-visitor was flat (+0.1%), although business-conducted-per-exhibitor grew 5.5% - partly because the exhibitor count fell.
[] Public attendance appears to have reached a ceiling – 60,000 (precisely) has been reported for the past four years.
[] ITBB’s media count has fallen substantially. We do not have annual data, but this year it is 33% below what we have as its peak – 8000 in 2008. Is this related to a general fall in the number of media outlets (and/or their profitability), or a fall in the importance of attending ITBB, or ITBB’s ending of its support for many journalists?
  Our other TinTs:
[] ITBB has always claimed that visitor arrivals increase for ‘partner countries’ after their year. Latest data: Indonesia grew 6.8% in the year it was partner country, +3.3% after. Maldives, which finished its year with the March ITBB, +7.1% in 2014, +2.4% in 2015.
[] When Messe Berlin launched its second attempt at staging an ITB in Asia (in Singapore in 2008; the first, in Hong Kong, was stopped in 1999), an MB senior director told us that China had wanted ITBA to be based in Beijing, not Singapore. But MB chose Singapore because of all advantages - such as no-visa access for most attendees, absence of interference (accepting Taiwan etc), freedom in choosing names on conference badges (yes, China sets rules on this!). we presume MB’s decision to launch ITB China* in Shanghai from 2017 means that it believes the revenue potential is now more important that those other concerns – which are still there.
*In partnership with Travel Daily China, a publisher. ITB’s first venture in Asia was also with a publisher partner.

France’s failing, Japan rising
25 March 2016
France’s failing
If you want proof that France’s visitor business is not doing as well as all those administering the industry think, take the top-5 visitor destinations:
-Since 2000 France has added 9mn visitors, US 27mn, Spain 22mn, China 26mn, Italy 20mn.
-Since 2010, France +7mn, US +18mn, Spain +16mn, China +1mn (sic), Italy +7mn.
  (We’ve based this on WTO data.)
Japan rising
Outbound travel from Japan grew 3% in January. If that does not seem impressive, note that it is only the third month in 25 that it has not fallen. And in those other months it was +0.3% and +1.2% - and so +3.3% feels boomy.
  And then there are arrivals - +52%! But that’s not the fastest in recent times; that was +64%. The lowest monthly growth in the past 25 has been +17%.

China outbound travel shock
11 March 2016
Our estimates indicate that outbound travel from China grew only 5.55% in 2015. That is one of the weakest years since we started tracking China’s outbound market in 1990.
  There was a fractional fall in 1994, and possibly growth of just 3% in 1998. (The uncertainty is caused by a restatement of figures by China’s DMO.) Since 2000, growth has been in double-digits.
  But, like Houston, we have a problem.
  Our tracking includes the quasi-domestic travel into Hong Kong and Macau. Because these numbers are so big (nearing 50mn into HK), a change there can cause sizeable change to the overall totals.
  And there have been sizeable changes. Hong Kong residents have expressed in some ways their unhappiness with visitors from the mainland. And Macau has been hit by China’s now-lengthy campaign against corruption. Even if the gambling money being spent in Macau was not corruptly earned, many travellers and would-be travellers are simply ‘laying-low’ – to reduce the risk of attracting attention.
  As a result, Hong Kong counted 1.4mn fewer visitors from China in 2015 and Macau 0.8mn fewer. That almost equals the additional 2.5mn visitors from China that Japan counted. Overall, then, growth in three of the top-5 destinations-from-China was neutralised. (Of the others, Thailand was +70%, Taiwan +5%.)
  Because of all this, we are now reviewing our policy of including Hong Kong and Macau in our totals – as much of this travel is even ‘less’ than excursion travel. For many it is the same as travelling from one city to another in the same country.


wow – ow – ouch – oh
9 March 2016
China’s airlines – wow
Although it was a Lunar New Year month (compared with non-LNY in 2015), growth in seat sales for China’s big-3 is impressive nevertheless.
  In January on international routes (by size), China Southern was +29%, Air China +43% (!), China Eastern +30%.
  (Numbers: 1.14mn 1.10mn 0.88mn.)
Macau - ow
We follow Macau’s RCT (Rolling Chip Turnover; can be considered as money spent on gambling).
  We have just seen the 2015 results for IKGH, a company operating certain high-rollers rooms in four casinos in Macau.
  Its RCT in 2015 fell an enormous 61%, and it is not getting much better – Q4 RCT was down 57% and Jan-Feb this year -44%. (Dollar amounts are not relevant in this report – but for those interested, the figures were US$6.4bn in 2015, and US$1.2bn in Q4.)
  If those results are an indicator for all-Macau, will Las Vegas take back its title as the world’s biggest gambling centre?
Malaysia Airlines – ouch
I estimate that Malaysia Airlines’ international seat sales fell even further in 2015, possibly to under 10mn. Was it only two years earlier in 2013 that its count soared passed that 10mn with 30% growth?
  Unsurprisingly, traffic fell in 2014 after it lost two aircraft, but it is surprising that monthly traffic is still falling.
  We thought there would be a Dead Cat Bounce for the last three months of 2015. Not only did that not happen, by a long way, but also the fall seems to have been greater – down around 25% in Q4.
  Of course, these falls are not entirely the result of those two 2014 tragedies. There is still hard competition from the Air Asia group (although AA is not doing as well as it was). And Malaysia’s current governmental turmoil and currency fall may be slowing traffic in and out of the country – possibly more business- than leisure-travel.
  Also, we think MA should have changed its name last year (it did, but from its formal abbreviation MAS to MAB; most did not notice). At least to Air Malaysia.
  Those aforementioned political spats may be reducing the pressure on MA to explain and reverse its continued fall. But expect political demands for a return to better times to happen soon – however unrealistic. In the next 4-6 months?
Virgin Australia – oh
It was not supposed to be like this.
  When Virgin Australia launched, it started fortuitously - its big would-be rival, Ansett, shut down the following year, in 2001. It continued to go well until, encouraged by an adoring crowd, it started international flights. Some are still there, but international expansion was not as easy as it seemed to think.
  Then Qantas launched Jetstar in Australia, and VA felt the competition heat more warmly. Worse, Singapore Airlines (which actually got burned badly in the Ansett collapse – but let’s not bring that up again) cheekily started a Tiger Air division in Australia.
  That went sort-of reasonably, until the authorities shut it down temporarily in 2011 for safety reasons. 18 months later Singapore Airlines – which left the impression it did not know what it was doing with Tiger, in Australia and Asia – sold the Australia company to VA.
  VA smugly said it was pleased to get back into the no-frills-airline business. Smug because its original businessplan was for a no-frills-airline (even though that did not fit the overall Virgin strategy). When Ansett collapsed, Virgin steadily ditched the NFA model.
  So here we are with 2015 results – our counts from Virgin data, because it has a different financial year.
  Seat sales down for Virgin international and down for Virgin domestic Australia. Ironically, only Tiger grew, and that because it can be considered a newish airline that had lost its direction, and is now under more-determined direction.
  VA’s total count is down. If this continues, watch for another change in direction soon – from CEO change to change in strategy on domestic, international and Tiger. Will Tiger’s name go?
  (Numbers: domestic -3%, international -2%, Tiger +9%; overall -1%.)

Singapore Airlines Group - SAGging
10 February 2016
2015 was not a stellar year for the Singapore Airlines Group. Are results bad enough that changes will be made?
  The obvious change is to merge Tiger and Scoot (Toot-toot!?); there is no need for SAG to have two no-frills-airlines. Less obvious is to make Silk a low-cost-airline, in effect a lower-cost clone of the parent airline, which includes operating medium- and long-haul routes.
  Seat sales in 2015 on the parent airline were flat. At Silk they were better; +7%, although we think growth should be better. Scoot is the star performer, with about +21%. But that’s illusory because SAG has taken routes from Tiger to give to Scoot – with the result that Tiger was -4%.

PAGPFT; France’s Cote D’Azur.
28 December 2015
PAGPFT (pronounced PAG-puffed); People Are Getting Paid For This.
  All the important people from the inbound travel business in France’s Cote D’Azur, and Air France-KLM, have just finished their get-together to relaunch promotion for the region. They told us they are focusing on four longhaul outbound markets: in alphabetical order, Brazil, China, Russia, US.
  Whoops.
  Those clever people said they got the market data from their 2013/4 report on the inbound business into the region. We think that report shows figures for 2012.
  Is it really that hard to think that maybe business trends have changed since then? We don’t have all the data, but we think Brazil total outbound grew 13% in 2013, falling to +2% in 2014, but perhaps -28% this year. And Russia grew 25% in 2013, but then fell 6% in 2014, and as much as -30% this year. Singapore might now be a bigger market than Brazil!

Shouting for Ryanair, Travel outlook 2016
10 December 2015
Shouting for Ryanair
Surprisingly, Ryanair is not shouting out about its new achievement. The no-frills-airline’s seat sales grew 21% in November. Nothing greatly unusual in that – except that its growth-spurt started a year earlier. So that 21% is on top of its 22% growth in November 2014!
  That means it has grown almost 50% (actually 48%) over the past two years. Even more impressive is that this is from an airline that is already Europe’s largest.
  It is still smaller though than Southwest, the leading NFA in the US. All-2015 will be about 101mn seat sales for Ryanair, 118mn Southwest.
Travel outlook 2016
There has started to be more than a few negative tugs: economic slowdowns or worse (Brazil, China, Russia); islamic terrorism (Europe, Middle East, Africa); functional disarray in the Middle East (Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey); overwhelming immigration (into Europe); political dysfunction (fiercely partisan politics in the US, plus Carson, Trump).
  Some strong positive turns are needed: return of China to strong economic growth; India's promised boom to actually happen; Russia to reduce perceived belligerence; Brazil to overcome its economic (and now political also) negatives; US politics to become (relatively) sane again; at least one country in the Middle East to start clearly on the road to tolerance; into-Europe immigration numbers to become manageable (10s of 1000s instead of millions?).

Euromonitor Puerilities
7 December 2015
A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information and analysis on the data shown here.
Research company Euromonitor (EM) has listed what it calls “top emerging travel trends” (a misnomer) in the WTM Global Trends Report. We have criticised some EM reports and statements before, including its now-14-years of work for the GTR. But this latest list of blathers we find an insult to travel industry professionals in that most have little or no meaning:
  EM’s TETTs are:
The new American dream: work less, play hard.
“A growing number of American companies offer unlimited vacation time to create a happier, loyal and motivated staff, which will have an effect on travel bookings.”
We know of no company (in the US or anywhere) that pays staff and allows them not to do any work. But we do accept that such employees would likely spend some of their money and great amount of free time on travel.
Smart technology drives travel to UK’s secondary cities.
“Digitalisation and hi-tech solutions are redefining the tourist offerings of UK urban centres to boost travel outside of London, currently the jewel in the crown of UK tourism.”
Smart technology is also driving travel to London, and everywhere. But what, we wonder, does ‘digitalisation and hi-tech’ do, in this case, for such travel that it does not do for others?
‘Hipster Holidays’ revolutionise European city break.
“Young and hip travellers’ interest in alternative city areas opens new business opportunities and helps diversifying urban attractions in European cities struggling with excessive tourism.”
We tried to understand this, but failed. And we wonder which cities are struggling, and what, indeed, is ‘excessive tourism’.
Travel 3.0: the advent of smart travel.
“Smart technology is transforming the tourism industry with personalised services to create enjoyable experiences suited to a traveller’s individual preferences.”
Well, yes, but is this an ‘emerging trend’? We would think personalisation has been around for at least five if not 10 years. And in some cases, much longer; such as Thomas Cooks’ trips from the UK to the French Riviera in the 1850s.
Iran: the next travel hotspot.
“The recent sanction lift sparked a scramble to open Iran to international visitors, attracted by its ancient Persian history, 17 World Heritage Sites, as well as natural attractions.”
Well, visitor growth was 4% in 2014, but that was before an agreement on sanctions (and, EM, should know, they have not been lifted, but some may be lifted.) On a 5mn total, small numerical increases could produce big percentage growth – but all this hardly deserves such puerile descriptions as ‘hotspot’ and ‘scramble’. We would be surprised if the 2015 total reaches as much as 6mn.
We also wonder if EM wants us to note that there is a difference for potential travellers between Iran’s ‘ancient Persian history’ and its ‘Persian history’. We are not qualified to make any comment on any difference.
Technology start-ups changing the face of Africa.
“With technology start-ups flourishing across the continent, Africa is entering a new era of innovation, which will help change the perception to international tourists.”
Although this ‘changing the face’ is a super-exaggeration, does the creation of start-ups – anywhere - motivate travellers?
Luxury hotels keeping in with the crowd.
“Luxury hotels are turning to crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to get their properties financed, rather than relying on traditional sources of investment.”
Please EM, put this into perspective. Under-1% of funding of the under-5% of hotels in the luxury category?
The sharing economy heads to China.
“After a shaky start, the sharing economy is taking off in China, with the rise of new local players in 2014, a trend boosted by the number of Chinese millennials.”
Finally, something we can agree with! But hardly news. And, of course, the sharing economy is taking off in most places, with or without the help from millennials.
Travel for the Indian unbanked.
“Travel firms are adopting ‘cash-on-delivery’ payments to cater to the half a billion Indians without a bank account.”
Yes again, but this is not a new phenomenon.

end

 

 


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Travel Business Analyst, Asia Pacific: AsPac travel stocks review. Travel stocks in Europe, US, and travel-tech. Asean’s unhappy birthday? Plus: Market Monitor; World Travel Industry Index; ZERO; Market Headlines; Market Outlook; and 20 regular tables of market data.


Travel Business Analyst, Europe: Europe travel stocks review. Travel stocks in AsPac, US, and travel-tech. France hotels in 2016. Plus: Market Monitor; World Travel Industry Index; ZERO; Extracts from Net Value or People-in-Travel; Market Headlines; and 16 regular tables of market data.


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