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Euromonitor’s outlook
11 November 2019
Some new forecasts by Euromonitor* (EM), a UK-based market research company:
-Average spend per trip US$1101 by 2024 (could be 2023); change not given, and quoted in US$, risky at this time of sizeable currency fluctuations.
-‘Tourism demand’ (presumed ‘visitor spend’) in the US ‘could see 9.6% wiped off potential growth’ by 2024. We presume this is a possible lowering of previous forecasts, but without principal data, this forecast has little meaning.
-Forecasts that ‘Brexit uncertainty’ and a ‘severe recession’ in Europe (EM usually excludes the UK when reporting on ‘Europe’, and sometimes it includes all Europe, other times just the 27/8 members of the European Union) will make no-frills-airlines and short-term rentals the ‘most popular travel choices’.
  EM seems to be the only main forecaster expecting 'severe' recession for 'Europe'. Most others forecast a recession (which generally means when two consecutive Qs where their GDP is falling) for one market, Germany, albeit slow growth in a few others.
  ‘Most-popular’ presumably means above-50%. That is already the case for NFAs on intraEurope, but unlikely for all flights, although EM does not put dates on its forecast.
  EM does not define ‘short-term rentals’ (it could mean ‘private accommodation’ such as AirBnB properties), and so this also has little meaning.

-EM reports 59% of Europe’s population is ‘concerned about climate change’ to explain that ‘the move towards sustainable travel is on the rise’. That growth is no surprise (after all, it has been growing since it was identified, perhaps 20 years ago), but EM could help and forecast - 35% of leisure travellers will take trips billed as ‘sustainable’ in 2024 against 15% today?
-Middle East and Africa ‘enjoys sound growth’. EM forecasts departures will grow +5.6% by 2024. We have seen little outbound-travel data on these two areas. Similar measures from the WTO (World Tourism Organization, which it abbreviates to UNWTO) this year show Saudi Arabia -4%, UAE +2%, and nothing on Africa. This does not seem to be ‘sound growth’, which we would think means +4-5%? And that +5.6% forecast, if for 2024, would mean a +1.1% annual average growth rate; to us, that looks slow.
*Notes: 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.

Global Data’s outlook
8 November 2019
Global Data*, a data and analytics company, reports, for 2018:
-Bangkok had most visitors in Asia, 22.4mn, then Singapore 18.5mn, Tokyo 14.2mn. Change not given.
-The top-3 share was 40% of the top-10.
-Bangkok ‘most affordable’. Inexplicably, GD measures that in terms of a hotel-business measure - average room rate. As GD’s source is not specifically given, we cannot confirm this finding. Our ARR database shows four of GD’s top-10 lower than Bangkok - Kuala Lumpur, Macau, Pattaya, Phuket.
-Asian cities have a 70% share of the world top-10.
-Tokyo grew +60.5%, fastest of the top-10, over 2014-18. Tokyo’s official target is 25mn ‘by 2020’. We believe this is in 2020, not for 2019. We calculate that would be +29.8% annual average growth rate over 2018-20 (based on GD data and Tokyo forecasts), which would seem too high.  
-Forecasts not backed with data:
  1. Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Phnom Penh ‘fast emerging’ as the ‘new hot spots for...globetrotters’. Because these three are already sizeable destinations, ‘fast emerging’ needs statistical support. And not many travellers are ‘globetrotters’, or is GD just commenting on the few (under 10%?) who are?
  2. Rising sea levels, ‘frequent irrational weather’, ‘tourism beyond its capacity’, ‘can make...Asian tourist destinations unsustainable in the near future’. We presume ‘tourism beyond its capacity’ is what is generally termed ‘overtourism’, although by definition there cannot be more visitors than that destination’s capacity. ‘Can’, ‘unsustainable’, ‘near future’, are vagaries unacceptable from a professional observer.
*Notes:
-We have found in other reports that Global Data sometimes misreads/misinterprets/misreports core travel data – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, GD had not answered our request for clarifications.

Travel business updates
7 November 2019
[] We calculate/comment:
-Europe is heading for a 2019 visitor arrivals total of 739.9mn, based on WTO’s +4.2% growth H1. That would be 29.8mn more visitors than in 2018.
-Ryanair’s October seat sales were only +5.3%. Although that is still better than growth at Europe’s main full-service-airline groups around Air France, British, Lufthansa, is Ryan’s extraordinary 15-year-rapid-growth over? No comparisons these days for other leading no-frills-airlines Air Asia, Easyjet, Southwest, who now report only quarterly totals.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels:
-27 October through 2 November: occupancy -0.3% to 62.7%, average room rate +0.6% to US$126.04.
-20-26 October: occupancy -0.2% to 70.5%, average room rate +0.2% to US$135.00.
[] TBA Tracking: Airline financial results compared.
  Our ‘Comparing airline financial results’ compares airlines against our calculated non-industry-standard measures. Data from the current Asia Pacific edition of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst. This extract shows revenue-per-seat-sold and operating-profit-per-seat-sold, in US$ for latest reported fiscal year; whole groups where relevant.
  For Qantas US$216 US$15.66, Virgin Australia US$158  -US$1.93.

Travel business updates
6 November 2019
[] TBA Tracking: Visitor arrivals in Europe, latest
  A brief main-points review of latest visitor-arrival counts, growth only. Data from various sources, mainly Tourmis, WTO, and most excerpted from our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst:
  Destination international arrivals: France +0.3%, Germany +2%, Russia -1%, Spain +2%, UK -4%. Domestic arrivals: Portugal +9%, Sweden +7%.
  City international arrivals: Amsterdam +12%, Copenhagen flat, Stockholm -7%, Vienna +9%. Domestic arrivals: Brussels +16%, Copenhagen +17%, Munich +7%, Stockholm +15%.
[] Done deals.
  Global Data, a data and analytics company, reports on deals by companies in the US travel business in September. Findings include:
-Deals done worth US$7.12bn -7.7%, over average Oct 18-Sep 19.
-36 deals, over average Oct 18-Sep 19 of 39 deals.
-M&A (mergers and acquisitions) accounted for 26 deals worth US$1.23bn , 72.2% share. Venture Financing 8 US$85.35mn 22.2%, Private Equity 2 US$5.8bn 5.6%.
-Top-5 worth US$6.57bn 92.3% share.
-Top-5 deals: Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments’ US$5.8bn private equity with China’s Anbang Insurance; Imperial’s US$516.3mn asset transaction with US’s Caesars Entertainment; Kinepolis’s US$152.25mn purchase of MJR Theatres; Suffolk University’s US$63.5mn asset transaction with Hilton; Miami Southern Hotels’ US$37mn asset transaction with Stambul.

TBA Tracking: Travel Traffic Indices* - Asia Pacific, Europe, US, world
5 November 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: Aug +4.3%E; Jul -0.3%P.
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: Aug +3.4%E; Jul +2.1%P.
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: Aug +2.8%E; Jul +4.0%P.
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: Aug +3.8%E; Jul +2.3%P.
*Notes:
-Airline seats sold & RPKs, airport passengers, hotel occupancies, resident departures, travel agency US$ sales, visitor arrivals.
-Percentage change over previous year; E=estimate, P=provisional.

TBA Tracking: Market Monitor
4 November 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 Traffic Index, World: 2019: Jul +2.5%E; Jun +2.5%P.
[] TBA Travel Industry Traffic Index, Asia Pacific: 2019: Jul -0.3%E; Jun +1.4%P.
[] TBA Travel Industry Traffic Index, Europe: 2019: Jul +2.7%E; Jun +1.7%P.
[] TBA Travel Industry Traffic Index, US: 2019: Jul +4.2%E; Jun +2.9%P.
[] World airline stocks index, on 100: 2019: Aug +194; Jul 202. TBA.
[] World airport passengers, intl: 2019: Jul +3.1%; Jun +5.7%. ACI.
[] World air traffic, RPKs: 2019: Jul +3.6%; Jun +5.0%. IATA.
[] World hotel occupancy, pts: 2019: Jun +0.1; May 0.3. TBA.
[] World hotel rooms planned: 2019: Jul +21.3%; May +20.5%. STR/TBA.
[] World hotel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Aug +183; Jul 200. TBA.
[] World travel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Aug +217; Jul 225. TBA.
[] World travel-tech stocks index, on 100: 2019: Aug +147; Jul 150. Net Value.
[] World visitor arrivals: 2019: Mar +4.2%; Feb +4.6%; Jan +4.4%. WTO.
[] AsPac airlines seat sales: 2019: Jun +4.5%; May +4.5%. AAPA.
[] AsPac airport passengers, ttl: 2019: Jul +2.4%; Jun +2.1%. ACI.
[] AsPac air traffic, RPKs: 2019: Jul +5.2%; Jun +4.7%. IATA.
[] AsPac hotel occupancy, pts: 2019: Jun -1.8; May -2.0. TBA.
[] AsPac hotel rooms planned: 2019: Jul +27.0%; May +23.3%. STR TBA.
[] AsPac outbound travel, estimate: 2019: May +21.0%; Apr +9.8%. TBA.
[] AsPac travel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Aug +76; Jul 81. TBA.
[] AsPac visitor arrivals: 2019: Mar +4.9%; Feb +6.0%; Jan +6.4%. WTO.
[] Europe airlines seat sales: 2019: Jun total +6.4%, FSAs +4.4%, NFAs +9.2%. TBA.
[] Europe airport passengers, ttl: 2019: Jul +2.2%; Jun +4.7%. ACI.
[] Europe air traffic, RPKs: 2019: Jul +3.3%; Jun +5.7%. IATA.
[] Europe hotel occupancy, pts: 2019: Jun +3.1; May +0.4. TBA.
[] Europe hotel rooms planned: 2019: Jul +52.4% (sic); May +48.6% (sic). STR.
[] Europe travel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Aug +190; Jul 198. TBA.
[] US air international passengers: 2018: Sep +7.2%; Aug +6.7%E. gov.
[] US citizen departures, overseas: 2019: Mar +7.5%; Feb +9.9%.
[] US hotel occupancy, pts: 2019: Jun -1.0; May +0.7. Smith.
[] US hotel rooms planned: 2019: Jul +8.3%; May +9.9%. STR.
[] US travel agency sales: 2019: Jul +4.3%; Jun +0.4%. ARC.
[] US travel stocks index, on 100: 2019: Aug +385; Jul 395. TBA.
[] US visitor arrivals (2017 restated Sep 18): 2019: Jun -0.6%; May -0.8%.

TBA Tracking: October travel stocks’ ups and downs
1 November 2019
Travel stock prices (Asia Pacific, Europe, US) in October. Airlines: biggest growth, Norwegian +23%; biggest fall, Thai -17%. Hotels: Peninsula +18%, InterContinental -7%. Tech: cTrip +11%, Trivago -11%. China travel stocks (new): Air China +4%, Hainan Airlines -5%. Others: Airbus +11%, Boeing -9%.
  Previous month: Airlines: biggest growth, Easyjet +21%; biggest fall, Thai -11%. Hotels: Mandarin-Oriental +10%, Peninsula -10%. Tech: LastMinute +16%, Trivago -19%. China travel stocks (new): China Southern +7%, cTrip -8%. Others: TUI (UK quote) +18%, Airbus -7%.
  TBA Travel Stocks Index: World 225, Asia Pacific 79, Europe 199, US 398. Index previous month: World 219, Asia Pacific 77, Europe 191, US 390.
  TBA China Travel Stocks Index (new; quotes from China, Hong Kong, US): 93; previous month 100.
  NVTT (Net Value Travel Tech) Stocks Index: 156; previous month 153.
  Stockmarkets. Biggest growth Frankfurt +7%; biggest fall New Zealand -1%. Previous month: biggest growth Istanbul +7%; biggest fall New York-Travel Weekly -3%.
Comments:
-Other airlines doing well were SAS +20%, Jet Blue in the US +17%. And ICAG (+15% Spain quote, +12% UK) - but this was partly recovery from a pilot strike at ICAG’s largest airline, British.
-Thai, for the second month running, has fallen more than any other airline. More even than our perennial worst performer - India’s non-operating Jet, -12%.
-Peninsula, after a few months when it has fallen more than any other hotel group, switch last month - becoming the fastest, although this is of course partly a dead-cat-bounce.
-In Travel Tech, Trivago continues its downward spiral.
-In Others, Airbus leader, and troubled Boeing worst. We presume there is some link in these results - because Boeing is doing badly in sales, which benefits Airbus.
-Also in Others, Eurotunnel matched Airbus’s +11%, but was just a fraction below.

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

Done deals
31 October 2019
Global Data, a data and analytics company, reports on deals by companies in the travel business in September. Findings include:
-Deals done worth US$8.96bn worldwide, +58.9% over August, +15.0% over Oct 18-Sep 19.
-Deals 12-month average 108 -0.9%.
-North America deals US$7.13bn; change not given.
-Top-5 share 84.2%, value US$7.54bn.
-Top-5 deals: Korea’s Mirae Asset Global Investments’ US$5.8bn private equity with China’s Anbang Insurance; US$596mn asset transaction with Principal Real Estate by France’s AXA; Imperial’s US$516.3m asset transaction with US’s Caesars Entertainment; US$331.1m private equity with Ireland’s Six Nations Rugby by US’s CVC Capital Partners SICAV-FIS, China’s Boyu Capital Consultancy, Hong Kong’s CCB International, China’s Huazhu Hotels; China’s Yunfeng Capital US$300mn venture financing of China’s Chengjia Apartment (despite the name, more than one structure, and a Huazhu subsidiary).

Germany’s domestic, outbound
30 October 2019
Research & Markets* (RM), a company, reports on Germany’s domestic and outbound markets. Among its findings:
-US$340bn domestic spend in 2018; growth not given, and quoted in US$ (a risk with current sizeable fluctuations). Our database (based on Eurostat data) shows 159mn +5.4% travellers, which would mean US$2134 per trip. As this is too high, we conclude that RM is working on a different traveller-number.
-Outbound daily spend US$154.74 +1.4%.
-Those aged 35-49 took 70.6mn trips. We believe this is domestic and outbound, but given unclear data, this is not certain.
-Forecast annual average growth rate 2019-22 +3%. Not clear if this is total or those aged 35-49.
*Notes: We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, RM had not answered our request for clarifications.

Europe’s air capacity
29 October 2019
Forward Keys* reports airline seat capacity on flights from outside Europe in Q3 (which it terms ‘crucial’*) grew +6.2%.
  Other data:
-Intra-Europe airline seat capacity Q3 +3.9%.
-For Q3, FK shows Europe's top cities for longhaul capacity growth, but we believe size is needed to know the relevance.
*Notes:
-FK analyses 17mn flight booking transactions daily from major global reservation systems.
-Q3 is ‘crucial’ because it includes the summer season (Jul-Sep), which accounts for 34% of all-year arrivals.
- A full report on this topic in our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Hotel business updates
25 October 2019
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:
-On Asia Pacific hotels Q3: occupancy -1.7% to 71.0%, ARR (average room rate) -0.5% to US$98.23.
-On Canada hotels Q3: occupancy -2.0% to 76.3%, ARR +0.4% to US$138.93 (C$183.39).
-On Europe hotels Q3: occupancy +0.6% to 79.1%, ARR +1.1% to US$134.84 (€121.36).
-On Middle East hotels Q3: occupancy +2.4% to 62.2%, ARR -6.7% to US$131.49.

Global Data on Australia, Southwest
24 October 2019
Global Data, a data and analytics company, reports on domestic-Australia travel and US airline Southwest. Some findings:
[] Forecasts domestic-Australia trips by sea will grow at 5.4% AAGR (annual average growth rate) from 3.9mn in 2018 to 5.1mn by 2023. We estimate GD’s between-year data at: 2019 4.2mn, 2020 4.5mn, 2021 4.75mn, 2022 4.9mn
[] On Southwest’s Q3:
-Comments that SW is world’s largest no-frills-airline. We reported for September 2017 that Europe’s Ryanair had overtaken SW.
-The worldwide grounding of Boeing’s B737max had caused US$210mn lower revenue for SW.
-SW’s US$659m net profit. Change not given; our database indicates +7.2%. We track different measures - generally seats sold, revenue, operating profit (rather than ‘net’ which can be influenced by many non-operating factors). These were -1.0%, +1.1%, +2.6% - not encouraging. GD may be missing a fall in SW’s fortunes.
*Notes:
-We have found in other reports that Global Data sometimes misreads/misinterprets/misreports core travel data – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary.
-At press time, GD had not answered our request for clarifications.

PCW on UK travel
23 October 2019
PCW (Phocuswright, a travel research company specialising in online data) reports/forecasts on the UK*:
-Inbound will grow +3% this year.
-Jan-May outbound travel ‘roughly flat’; our database shows -0.2% Jan-May and -1.8% for the first half after -7.1% in June.
-Travel spend (presumed on outbound travel) grew ‘slightly’.
-Forecasts total travel (presumed inbound, outbound, domestic) US$65.1bn (at US$1 to £0.78) +1.7% this year.
-Bookings (presumed inbound, outbound, domestic) forecast to grow ‘at a similar rate’ through 2023.
*Notes: A full report on this topic in our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

TBA Tracking: Airline stock prices
22 October 2019
IATA (International Air Transport Association) reports September worldwide airline share prices +3.6% and YTD +2.13%.
  Our TBA worldwide airline stock price index, from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst shows, compared with the month earlier: +2.6% stocks, +3.8% markets.

US travel business updates
21 October 2019
[] ARC (the Airlines Reporting Corporation, handling financial settlements between US-based travel agencies and airlines), reports for September (any rounding by ARC): air tickets sold US$7.8bn +3.7%; average US roundtrip ticket US$496 -$2; passenger trips 24.5mn +3.7% (domestic - +4%, international +3%); EMD (electronic miscellaneous document) sales US$6.7mn +23%; EMD transactions +16%.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels:
-13-19 October: occupancy -0.9% to 72.4%, ARR +0.2% to US$135.99.
-Q3: occupancy -0.1% to 70.9%, ARR +0.8% to US$133.25.

Travel business updates
18 October 2019
[] Sales at Compagnie des Alpes, a ski resort company in France, Oct 18-Sep 19, were US$948.9mn (€854.011mn) +6.6%.
[] RMAA (Russian Marketing and Advertising Agency) reports that outbound travel from Russia grew +9% (RMAA rounded) in the first half. After that (period not specified) growth was +6.7%.
[] Data* at end of 3-day ITB Asia* in Singapore this week:
-As reported at start, exhibitors 1300 +30%, buyers 1250 +25%.
-Visitors 13,000 +18.2%.
-Business appointments 27,000 +8.0%. ITBA reports +7.4%, incorrect according to figures it released in 2018.
  Organisers Messe Berlin has signed with the Singapore Tourism Board for the event to be held in Singapore for the next three years.
*Notes:
-Growth comparisons calculated by TBA from our database.
-MB and STB report this as 12th year. It was the 13th; the first was in Hong Kong in 1999, named ITA, not in Singapore in 2008.
-A full report on this topic in our Net Value monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Travel business updates
17 October 2019
[] Luxembourg-based Corporacion America Airports, which operates 52 airports mainly in Latin America (in Europe in Armenia and Italy), reports passengers-handled in September at 7.07mn +1.2%, YTD 62.7mn +3.0%.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels:
-6-12 October: occupancy -1.4% to 70.8%, average room rate -1.2% to US$131.38.
-In September: occupancy -0.9% to 67.4%, average room rate +0.6% to US$131.93.

Outbound Asia
17 October 2019
Excerpts from II* findings on outbound travel from Asia (presumed Jan-Aug unless stated):
-Growth +6%. Our own Jan-Jun provisional data shows +4.4%. World growth Jan-Aug +4%.
-Within Asia 80% share; Europe 15%; America (noted as ‘country’ so presumed to be the US) 8%. This totals 103%; other regions (such as Africa, rest of the Americas, Australasia, Middle East) not given.
-Length of trip 5.9 nights (we calculate +5.4%). World 8 nights (II rounded).
-Spend US$1744 (at US$1 to €0.90; change not given). World US$1422.
-City breaks +9% for a 35% share. ‘Roundtrips’ (no further definition although this makes no sense as presumably 99.9% of trips are roundtrips) +3% 24%. Beach +6% 21%. Business travel/MICE +8% 17%. In other reports, II have had a category ‘tour holidays’ (II never defined this, and as it was open to interpretation, we wondered how those questioned defined it).
-2020 (presumed Jan-Dec) forecast +5%.
*Notes:
-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.
  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!
-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.
-A full report on this topic in our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Hotels in Hong Kong
16 October 2019
Travel Mole reports an S&P forecast of 50% fall in hotel revenues in Hong Kong - but little value as no period is given.
  Other measures:
-August occupancy 66%, but reports some as 20% - but does that indicate some are still high-80s?
-MICE room rates -27%. Period not given, whether these are achieved or quoted rates, or source of data.
  Hong Kong Tourism Board and Hong Kong Disneyland plan a 'large-scale' promotional campaign to attract MICE visitors to HK. This is surprising. MICE bookings are usually made longer in advance than other travel. And efforts would be almost 100% wasted if made while there are still riots in HK’s streets. However, ‘large-scale’ is meaningless; ‘large’ to one might be ‘small’ to another.

Travel business updates
15 October 2019
[] Research & Markets* (RM), a company, reports leisure arrivals AAGR (annual average growth rate) in Eastern Europe +8.8% 2014-18, business travel AAGR +7.2%.
*Notes: We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary.
[] Data* at start of 3-day ITB Asia* in Singapore this week:
-Exhibitors 1300 +30%.
-Buyers 1250 +25%.
  First-time DMOs are Armenia, Czech Republic, Macedonia (ITBA does not yet use its new name, North Macedonia), Malta, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia; CityMOs Busan, Frankfurt, Los Angeles.
*Notes:
-Growth comparisons calculated by TBA from our database.
-Organisers Messe Berlin and Singapore Tourism Board report this as 12th year. It was the 13th; the first was in Hong Kong in 1999, named ITA, not in Singapore in 2008.

Travel business updates
11 October 2019
[] Newly-released data from PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association, a regional promotional body) shows 697mn +7.3% visitors in Asia Pacific* in 2018. YTD 2019 (period not specified) +6.2%.
*Notes: PATA’s 46 destinations include many not usually associated with Asia Pacific – such as Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, US, and sometimes Turkey (yes). PATA’s data should thus be read with that qualification in mind. PATA gives no support (including response to questions) to non-member subscription publications such as this one, and so we are unable to clarify what may be misleading.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels 29 September-5 October: occupancy -3.9% to 68.1%, average room rate -3.8% to US$129.21.
[] IATA (International Air Transport Association) reports August RPKs +3.8%, ASKs +3.5%, load factor 85.7% +0.3pt. RPKs by region - Asia Pacific +4.9%, Europe +3.6%, Middle East +2.6%, North America +3.1%.
  International RPKs +3.3% - Asia Pacific +3.5%, Europe +3.7%, Middle East +2.9%, North America +2.5%.
  Domestic RPKs +4.7% - Australia -0.4%, Brazil -1.4%, China +10.1%, India +3.7%, Japan +2.1%, Russia +6.0%, US +3.9%.
[] Technavio forecasts AAGR (annual average growth rate) in the agritourism* market will be +18% over 2019-23.
*Notes:
-We understand agritourism means visits to farms etc. We are unable to determine from Technavio if its definition is more precise.
-At press time, Technavio had not answered our request for clarifications.

US visitor forecasts
10 October 2019
The US government has published its forecast for visitor arrivals over 2019-24. The main points*:
-A -1.0% fall forecast this year, to 79.1mn visitors. The previous forecast, in 2018, was a +3.7% growth to 80.9mn.
-The forecast in 2018 for visitors in 2022 was for 89.0mn; the new forecast for 2022 is for 85.3mn.
-Current forecast shows 90.8mn visitors in 2024. That would mean a +2.1% AAGR (annual average growth rate) over the forecast period, 2019-24 - faster than the +1.8% achieved over 2013-18.
-Of the top-5 markets, China and Korea are forecast to fall this year, and Germany to be flat.
-But all top-5 are forecast to grow in 2020.
-Over 2018-24 AAGR forecast to be +2.5% for the UK, +1.8% Japan, +2.8% China, +1.3% Korea, Brazil +2.8%.
*Notes:
-In 2018, the government adjusted past figures, which had the result of increasing the visitor total. We reported at the time that the new system certainly mis-categorised some figures that may or may not have been wrong in the past. We are unable to do more than accept the government’s new figures.
-Figures and commentary here are based on those new figures, unless explained otherwise.
-A full report on this topic in our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

PCW on Asean
8 October 2019
PCW (Phocuswright, a travel research company specialising in online data) report found:
-Quotes Global Data data that visitor arrivals in Asean* will be 155.4mn, which we calculate will be a 4.7% AAGR (annual average growth rate) over 2018-22.
  We calculate 133mn +6.9% in 2018 on more-or-less official counts, 120mn +7.9% after we correct Malaysia’s overcount, 116mn +8% after we correct Thailand’s overcount, 140mn +7% after correct Singapore’s undercount.
  Official forecasts for this year, 150mn +13%, 137mn +14%, 133mn +14%, 158mn +13%.
  Other online data from PCW:
-Online travel in the region* grew to US$34.4bn in 2019, up from US$19.4bn in 2015. As 2019 has not finished, we assume this is a PCW estimate/forecast for this year. Forecast to be US$78bn ‘by 2025’ (we have assumed 2024).
-We calculate that would be a +15.4% AAGR 2015-19, and a forecast +17.8% AAGR if 2019-2024, +14.6% if 2019-25.
-That means online travel share is 33%.
*Notes:
-Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
-PCW intermixes Asean with ‘Southeast Asia’. They are a long way from being the same, and the geographical definition of SEA (which would include, say, Taiwan) is different from the non-specific general term - which might include non-Asean Hong Kong, Macau, Timor, even Sri Lanka.
-A full report on this topic in our Net Value monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

Travel business updates
7 October 2019
[] A new report from ECM European Cities Marketing on meetings data* in 2018 includes:
-Meetings growth +2.9%.
-Participants -3%.
-Participant days -5%.
-Corporate meetings fall (no data), participants -12.2%.
-Non-corporate meetings +9.6%, participants +4.6%.
*Based on 41 cities and 56,000 meetings. Where percentages are shown rounded, rounding by ECM.

India to UAE
4 October 2019
Global Data*, a data and analytics company, forecasts travel from India to the United Arab Emirates* will be 3.3mn in 2023. GD calculates this as a +6.1% AAGR (annual average growth rate) 2019-23, but as 2019 has not finished, this is calculated on a GD estimate/forecast for this year.
  GD adds that ‘visitation numbers from India to Saudi Arabia’* were 2.2mn in 2023. GD calculates this as a +5.4% AAGR; our calculations indicate +5.1%.
*Notes:
-Wording of definition for the Saudi data conflagrates outbound data with inbound. That introduces doubt on the UAE data, which otherwise appears to be an outbound count.
-We have found in other reports that Global Data sometimes misreads/misinterprets/misreports core travel data – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary.
-At press time, GD had not answered our request for clarifications.

TBA Tracking: Indices, Travel Stocks
3 October 2019
The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index in September for US hotel companies was 4634 +1.6% (over previous month). YTD, their stock index was +13.9%.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Hotel Stocks Index’ for September, from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 182.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Airline Stocks Index’ for September, from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 197.
  The ‘TBA Travel Stocks Index’ for September, from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows: World 219, Asia Pacific 77, Europe 191, US 390.
  The worldwide ‘Net-Value Travel-Tech Index’ for travel stocks of OTAs (+Amadeus) in September, from the current edition of our monthly Net Value report, was at 153.
  The ‘China Travel Stock Index’ of China stock prices (from China companies quoted in Hong Kong and New York, as well as Shanghai), in September from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 100.
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
2 October 2019
[] Greece’s DMO reports August air arrivals +4.4%, YTD +3.7%. Bank of Greece all arrivals July +2.4%, YTD +0.6%; spend +11.1%, YTD +13.6%.
[] Euromonitor* (EM), a UK-based market research company, forecasts worldwide travel business sales will be US$3tn in 2024 (EM reports ‘by 2024’, so this could be 2023). It puts growth at +3.3%, presumably AAGR (annual average growth rate), although EM does not clarify.
  Other data, presumably for 2024:
-Online share 52%.
-Mobile share 25%.
-Domestic travel forecast to be 19bn trips ‘by 2024’. It puts that at +8% AAGR (EM rounded). EM does not qualify ‘trips’; we presume ‘overnights’.
*Notes: 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.

TBA Tracking: September travel stocks’ ups and downs
1 October 2019
Travel stock prices (Asia Pacific, Europe, US) in September. Airlines: biggest growth, Easyjet +21%; biggest fall, Thai -11%. Hotels: Mandarin-Oriental +10%, Peninsula -10%. Tech: LastMinute +16%, Trivago -19%. China travel stocks (new): China Southern +7% (HK quote), cTrip -8%. Others: TUI (UK quote) +18%, Airbus -7%.
  Previous month: Airlines: biggest growth, Air-France/KLM +9%; biggest fall, China Eastern -15%. Hotels: Choice +6%, Peninsula -19%. Tech: LastMinute +8%, cTrip -17%. China travel stocks (new): CITS +6%, Air China -12%. Others: Boeing +7%, Avis -32%.
  TBA Travel Stocks Index: World 219, Asia Pacific 77, Europe 191, US 390. Index previous month: World 217, Asia Pacific 76, Europe 190, US 385.
  TBA China Travel Stocks Index (new; quotes from China, Hong Kong, US): 100; previous month 92.
  NVTT (Net Value Travel Tech) Stocks Index: 153; previous month 147.
  Stockmarkets. Biggest growth Istanbul +7%; biggest fall (US) Travel Weekly -3%. Previous month: biggest growth Oslo +0.3%; biggest fall Singapore -6%.
Comments:
-Slight overall growth. Would be good, but it follows a particularly-bad month-earlier.
-Among airlines, Ryanair with +20% almost matched Easy, so this may be confidence in no-frills-airlines?
-Not necessarily, because ICAG’s UK quote was +13%, so perhaps these are falling-oil-price moves.
-As usual, India’s non-operating Jet, at -34%, was actually lowest.
-Also in trouble was the Cathay group, at -5%. Could be Hong Kong-troubles related, or Cathay’s leadership/China-kowtow troubles.
-For hotels, the Peninsula group has fallen fastest over the past two months.
-For tech, continued see-saw - worst one month is best next, big fall then big growth. However, Trivago’s -19% looks threatening; it is -66% on its end-2016 launch price.
-For others, TUI’s Germany quote, at +16%, was also good. And so were Avis +10% and Hertz +11% after so many bad months. A surprise was that Disney at -6% was almost the lowest.
-For China stocks, companies with 2-market quotes are usually close. This month, China Southern was +7% in Hong Kong, but only +1% in Shanghai.
-For markets, the fact that Travel Weekly was the lowest (general US markets all grew) indicates the travel business is underperforming the general market.

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

TBA Tracking: Net-Value Travel-Tech stock prices and index
30 September 2019
Our NVTT* stock index, which measures stock prices of OTAs, platforms, and Amadeus, was at 147 in August. Previous month 150.
  Comments:
-A bad month, albeit better than for general travel stocks. Five of our eight stocks fell.
-But the three markets where our stocks are quoted also fell. Outperforming their local market, even if falling, were Booking, Expedia, Lastminute, Travelport.
-cTrip’s fall, the biggest, may be related to the US-launched trade war with many countries, but particularly with China. (cTrip is China-based but US-quoted.)
-Trivago, the company we identified earlier as being in trouble, is still less than half its launch price.
-There seemed no other obvious pattern in other moves.
*Notes: NVTT=Net-Value Travel-Tech. The Index 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 for all except end-2015 for cTrip, end-2016 for Trivago.

Travel business updates
27 September 2019
[] Research & Markets* (RM), a company, forecasts that China’s MICE ‘market’ will be US$31bn ‘by 2026’. No growth given.
  Among our questions:
-‘Market’ indicates outbound, but RM commentary indicates inbound.
-RM reports ‘escalating’ growth. Growth is always growing, although RM may be one that uses the tautology ‘negative growth’ to disguise a fall.
-We assume ‘by 2026’ means in 2025.
*Notes: We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, RM had not answered our request for clarifications.
[] Dubai airport reports an even bigger fall in passengers handled in the latest reported quarter - Q2, -9.3% (The company reports -9.2% but the figures it gives calculate differently.) As a result, H1 was -5.6%.
  Dubai stopped reporting monthly starting this year. Perhaps because there were monthly falls in 2018 in seven of the 12 months.
[] Germany has now reported its 2018 outbound-travel total to Eurostat (see our report on September 25). It was 108.5mn, which we calculate was a strong +17% growth - an additional 16mn travellers.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:
-On Middle East hotels in August occupancy -0.6% to 63.1%, average room rate -6.8% to US$158.79.
-On US hotels 15-21 September: occupancy +2.1% to 71.3%, average room rate +4.8% to US$134.70.

Europe's domestic travel
26 September 2019
Eurostat (ES) has released domestic-travel data* for some markets in the EU (European Union) for 2018. As these are from official figures from each market, they are not always comparable one to the other.
  We compare 2018 data with our database for 2017 to calculate progress.
  Unfortunately, the domestic market that is probably the EU's 4th biggest, the UK (after France, Germany, Spain), has been uncooperative with ES - even before its decision to leave the EU. Latest data for the UK is from 2013.
  Commentary on data already filed (growth calculations are ours):
-ES shows that France’s total fell -13%. We assume this is wrong, and that there has been a change in definitions.
-Because of that reported fall in France, there is a fall in the total markets already filed of -1.9%. Germany is a big enough market that its results will likely turn that into a small growth. We calculate Germany's growth in 2018 was +4-5%.
-Exclude France, and the total for the 18 grew +5.3%.
-Largest market reported so far is France; that reported -13.2% represents 26mn fewer travellers.
-Other noteworthy changes of the bigger markets (above 50mn): Italy grew +20%. Spain, the EU’s 3rd-largest, grew only +1%.
*Notes:
-A full report on this topic in our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
-At press time, ES had not answered our request for clarifications.

Europe's outbound travel
25 September 2019
Eurostat (ES) has released outbound-travel data* for some markets in the EU (European Union) for 2018. As these are from official figures from the market, they are not always comparable one to the other. And they do not always identify special cases - such as heavy work related border crossings.
  To date, 19 of the 31 markets have reported their 2018 data to ES. We calculate that this represents 45% of the total. The big market missing is Germany, which alone has an 30% share of the total. Germany should report within the next month.
  Commentary on data already filed (growth calculations are ours):
-Growth on those markets already filed is +5.8%. Germany is a big enough market that its results could change that total growth. We calculate Germany's growth in 2018 was +0-2%.
-Largest market reported so far is France; its -7.4% represents 2mn fewer travellers.
-Of the others, falls were recorded only for France and Norway -0.9%.
-Other noteworthy changes of the bigger markets (above 10mn): Italy grew +26%, Netherlands with 20.9mn is on track to become larger than France, 26.3mn, in 2020. Spain grew +15%.
-Among medium markets (5-10mn): Czech R +9%.
-Among smaller markets (under 5mn): Estonia +61.7%, Bulgaria +23.9%.
*Notes: 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
24 September 2019
[] PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association, a regional promotional body) forecasts visitor arrivals in Asia Pacific from China will grow from 128mn in 2018 to 173mn in 2022.
  That would be an AAGR (annual average growth rate) of +7.8%. However, PATA is not clear whether this is actually a forecast for 2023 (a 5-year period), where AAGR would be +6.2%.
  For Russia it forecasts 12mn in 2022 (or 2023), but does not give growth.
[] The Skyscanner (SS) OTA and search-engine has passed the 100mn monthly unique visitors.
  Other data from SS - no growths given:
-Sold air tickets worth US$24bn (at US$1 to €0.90) in 2018.
-Passenger-count given as 172mn. Although SS compares this with airline seat sales, the comparison may not be correct. A passenger on an airline flying, say, Frankfurt-Dubai-Singapore with the same return would be counted as four ‘passengers’ (we use the clearer-term ‘seats-sold’). SS probably would count that as one passenger.
-Google puts SS bigger than others such as Expedia and Kayak do.
  (SS was bought by China’s cTrip in 2016.)

Travel business updates
23 September 2019
[] ARC (the Airlines Reporting Corporation, handling financial settlements between US-based travel agencies and airlines), reports for August (any rounding by ARC): air tickets sold US$7.9bn +1.6%; average US roundtrip ticket US$483 -1%; passenger trips 24.8mn -1% (domestic - -0.6%, international -0.3%); EMD (electronic miscellaneous document) sales US$6.8mn +6.2%; EMD transactions +5.2%.
[] Luxembourg-based Corporacion America Airports, which operates 52 airports mainly in Latin America (in Europe in Armenia and Italy), reports passengers-handled in August at 7.54mn +1.6%, YTD 55.7mn +3.2%.
[] Research & Markets* (RM), a company, forecasts mobile travel bookings in Asia Pacific will reach US$1732.1bn in 2025, a +11.9% annual average growth rate over 2018-25.
*Notes: We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary.

Hotel pipeline in Europe
20 September 2019
Hotel Management (HM) reports that Europe's hotel pipeline at mid-year was 1704 +23% hotels with 260,111 +19% rooms.
  HM does not give change/growth for the following related measures (from Lodging Economics (LE)):
-Under construction 819/128,284 hotels/rooms.
-Due to start construction in the next 12 months 496/76,633.
-In the early-planning stage 389/55,194.
-In H1, 213/28,167 opened.
-LE forecasts 192/24,689 will open in H2. 
-In 2020 432/60,694 are forecast to open, and in 2021 484/74,220.
-That would mean +7% growth from the current 2.89mn rooms; we calculate that would mean 3.09mn rooms in 2021. Hotel counts not given.
-Of countries, Germany has the biggest pipeline - 320/57,689 - then UK 280/40,970, France 184/22,140, Portugal 119/11,733, Poland 85/13,317.
-Of cities, London has the biggest pipeline - 78/13,632 - then Paris 54/7,946, Dusseldorf (sic) 52/10,178, Lisbon 39/3293, Hamburg 32/6581.
-Accor has the biggest pipeline - 261/35,183 - then Marriott 211/34,432, Hilton 174/26,887, InterContinental 148/24,152. These four have a 47% share of hotels in Europe’s pipeline. Data not given for rooms.
-Brands. Ibis/Accor 134/16,785, Hampton/Hilton 69/10,703, Express/InterContinental 69/10,591, Moxy/Marriott 66/11,855, Garden/Hilton 42/6376, Holiday Inn/InterContinental 36/7289, Courtyard/Marriott 33/5796, Mercure/Accor 30/3202, Novotel/Accor 28/4881, DoubleTree/Hilton 26/3455, Residence/Marriott 17/1610, Indigo/InterContinental 14/1714.

Travel business updates
18 September 2019
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels:
-1-7 September: occupancy -1.1% to 61.0%, average room rate -1.0% to US$121.37.
-In August: occupancy flat at 71.4%, average room rate +0.9% to US$132.47.
[] Tinyclues claims its system generated US$82mn in incremental revenue for a ‘large hospitality group’ customer over three years - putting that company’s ROI (in TC) of 632%.
  TC does not name the group, or provide other data, but the only hotel clients it lists are Accor and Club Med.
  TC also lists Thomas Cook as a client. We presume that TC’s systems have not been good enough to slow Cook’s slip into shutdown.

French Bee results
17 September 2019
Paris-based airline French Bee (sic) forecasts for 2019:
-Seat sales 500,000, seat factor 83.6% - changes not given.
-Revenue Sep 2018-Aug 2019 US$133.1mn +37% (at US$1 to €0.90). We estimate that would have been an average of US$300 per seat sold.
-Operating profit for that same period, US$1.89mn
-On Paris-Reunion, FB forecasts +4% seat sales 2019 - change not given. Seat factor to date 86.2% +0.8pt. FB’s market share is 20%.
-On Paris-Papeete/San Francisco FB reports an 89% seat factor. On Paris-Papeete, it claims a 35% market share.
-On Papeete-San Francisco, it claims a 10% market share on a market that has grown +30%.
  FB plans to start Paris Orly-New York Newark from June 2020 with daily A350s.
*Notes: At press time, FB had not answered our request for clarifications.

Asia Pacific hotel pipeline
16 September 2019
Hotel Management reports Lodging Econometrics’ data showing hotel-construction pipeline for Asia Pacific, excluding China, is 1793 +3% hotels and 393,732 +7% rooms.
  (Change not given for any of following.)
  This comprises: under construction 972/225,896 hotels/rooms; due to start construction in next 12 months 405/81,592; in early planning 416/86,244.
  Other data:
-In H1, 154/25,227 opened, H2 forecast 240/45,141, 2020 394/80,041, 2021 326/66,989.
-Largest destinations. Indonesia 378/63,196, India 238/34,966, Japan 226/47,294, Malaysia 138/37,760, Vietnam 136/57,050. LE forecasts for all-2019 Japan will have most - 36% share.
-Largest cities. Jakarta 88/16,112, Seoul 72/13,646, Tokyo 58/15,724, Kuala Lumpur 55/14,801, Kyoto/Osaka/Kobe 46/11,456.
-Franchises. Accor 250/53,050, Marriott 245/54,934, InterContinental 160/35,746, Hilton 88/19,894.
-Brands Ibis/Accor 64/12,341, Holiday Inn/InterContinental 62/14,237, Novotel/Accor 46/10,930, Fairfield/Marriott 37/5726, Express/ InterContinental 36/7709, Courtyard/Marriott 36/7669, DoubleTree/Hilton 30/6090, Hilton /Hilton 29/7691.

Hong Kong falls
13 September 2019
Hong Kong’s government has reported near meaningless figures on the commercial damage that HK’s protests are doing - because it does not specify the period covered.
  It notes visitor arrivals fell -40%, hotel occupancies halved ‘in some areas’, and room rates (presumably achieved rates) fell -40-70%. (In July 2018, occupancy was 86%.)
  Non-government reports indicate the -40% visitor fall was in August.
  Retail sales fell -11.4% in July.
  Our database shows:
-Visitors. A -4.8% fall in July, and a slightly-bigger fall from the target of Hong Kong’s demonstrations, China, of -5.5%. No data yet for August.
-The Cathay group (three airlines - mainly-China-routes Dragon, newly-acquired HK Express, Pacific). Dragon/Pacific seat sales grew +4.4% in July, but fell -11.3% in August*. The group’s stock price fell -7.8% in August - although China airlines quoted in HK fell more, and Cathay’s CEO and chairman have resigned/retired since the protests began. (No HKE data published.)
-Airport. July passenger throughput grew +1.0%. No data yet for August.
*Notes: The Economist reports a -38% fall in ‘Cathay Pacific passenger traffic’ in August. Cathay’s published data does not match this figure. In addition to the -11.3% fall in seat sales noted above, total RPKs fell -3.6% although -28.1% on China routes. Perhaps TE has access to seat-sale numbers on Cathay’s China routes - although TE did not qualify its figure as a China-route figure?

Travel business updates
12 September 2019
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) preliminary report shows Hong Kong hotel occupancy fell -29.8% to 63.9%, and average room rate -21.0% to US$140 (HK$1086.16).
[] IATA (International Air Transport Association) reports for July, RPKs +3.6%, ASKs + 3.2%, load factor 85.7% +0.3pt.
  RPKs by region - Asia Pacific +5.2%, Europe +3.3%, Middle East +1.3%, North America +2.7%.
  International RPKs +2.7% - Asia Pacific +2.7%, Europe +3.3%, Middle East +1.6%, North America +1.5%.
  Domestic RPKs +5.2% - Australia -0.9%, Brazil -6.1%, China +11.7%, India +8.9%, Japan +4.7%, Russia +6.8%, US +3.8%.

H1 visitor arrivals
11 September 2019
WTO (World Tourism Organization, which it abbreviates to UNWTO) reports H1 visitor arrivals 671mn +4% (+5% 2018 over 2017). 
  By regions: Americas +2% (+2% 2018 over 2017), Asia Pacific +6% (+7%), Europe +4% (+5%), Middle East +8% (+5%).
-Americas. Caribbean +11%, North America +2%, Central America +1%, South America -5%.
-Asia Pacific. South Asia +7%,  Northeast Asia +7%, Southeast Asia +5%, Oceania +1%.
-Europe. Details not given.
-Markets, travellers (actually, WTO counts arrivals in destinations, not outbound). H1: China +14%; US +7%.
-Markets, spend. WTO shows different periods, or does not clarify. Also, no clarification on why markets shown were chosen, and why in order as shown (below unchanged). China -4% Q1. Presumed Q1: France +8%, Italy +7%, UK +3%, Germany +2%, Japan +11%, Korea -8% H1, Australia +6% (period not clear), Russia -4% Q1, Brazil -5% (period not clear), Mexico -13% (period not clear).
-WTO forecasts visitor arrivals +3-4% for all-2019.
*Notes: At press time, WTO had not answered our request for clarifications.

TBA Tracking: Indices, Travel Stocks
10 September 2019
The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index in August for US hotel companies was 4561 -6.6% (over previous month). YTD, their stock index was +12.1%.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Hotel Stocks Index’ for August, from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 183.
  The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Airline Stocks Index’ for August, from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 194.
  The ‘TBA Travel Stocks Index’ for August, from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows: World 217, Asia Pacific 76, Europe 190, US 385.
  The worldwide ‘Net-Value Travel-Tech Index’ for travel stocks of OTAs (+Amadeus) in August, from the current edition of our monthly Net Value report, was at 147.
  The ‘China Travel Stock Index’ of China stock prices (from China companies quoted in Hong Kong and New York, as well as Shanghai), in August from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 92.
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.

Hotel pipeline in China
7 September 2019
IHIF reported that China's hotel pipeline at June was 2845 +15% hotels with 590,809 +8%. It now reports (for end-Q2, thus the same period) 2991 +19% and 592,884 +7%. The data is from Lodging Economics (LE); neither IHIF nor LE explain the difference.
  Other related measures:
-Under construction 2174 +20% and 407,594 +5% (previously given as 2083 +21% and 414,967 +12%).
  IHIF/LE do not give change/growth for the following data:
-Due to start construction in the next 12 months 411/84,555 hotels/rooms (previously given as 387/83,074).
-In the early-planning stage 406 +19% hotels 100,735 +13% rooms (previous - no change given - 375/92,768).
-Average size of pipeline hotels has fallen to 198 rooms. Earlier data not given but LE says the size is the smallest since it started tracking - date not given.
-In H1, 413/62,173 rooms opened. In Q1, 185/27,455.
-In H2 LE forecasts 452/69,110 will open. (Previously forecast 795/127,420 would have opened in 2019; we make the new total 865/131,283.)
-In 2020 786/130,614 are forecast to open (732/124,160).
-In 2021 728/135,913 rooms (not shown).
-Guangzhou has most - 140/27,945 (128/28,367) - then Shanghai 125/23,361 (114/22,747), Chengdu 115/24,328 (110/23,295), Wuhan 91/13,249 (previous not shown), Suzhou 88/15,154 (83/15,092), Hangzhou new figures not shown (79/17,415).
-Hilton has most - 428/88,778 (421/86,750) - then InterContinental 360/80,763 (340/76,861), Marriott 294/80,835 (291/79,860), Jinjiang 225/24,398 (273/31,118), Accor 219/37,199 (201/35,318).
-Brands. Hampton/Hilton 258/40,550 (242/38,608), Holiday Inn Express/InterContinental 172/30,820 (162/29,599), Days Inn/Jinjiang 115/9071 (118/9296) rooms, Ibis/Accor 100/10,580 (85/9214), Vienna/Jinjiang 30/3900 (74/10,360; a remarkable difference, but which we assume was an error), Marriott/Marriott 69/21,023 (67/20,373), DoubleTree/Hilton 58/16,190 (65/18,733), Holiday Inn/InterContinental 58/15,305 (57/14,880), Mercure/Accor 57/9793 (57/9948), Courtyard/Marriott 37/9570 (36/9321).
*Notes: At press time, IHIF/LE had not answered our request for clarifications.

TBA Tracking: Seat sales by World’s top-3 no-frills-airlines
6 September 2019
Q2/YTD: Air Asia +13/+11%, Ryanair (includes Lauda) +8/+8%, Southwest -1/-1%. Our monthly calculation of seats sold by the leading NFAs (no-frills-airlines) in the world’s three main regions was compromised after US-based Southwest joined Air Asia this year in reducing corporate transparency to report Qs only. Only Ryanair continues publishing monthly data. As a result, we now report only Qs. Data from WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.

What's working; what's not. Airlines in Europe
5 September 2019
Our summary of traffic results for the leading airlines (not, where relevant, airline groups) in Europe, excerpts from the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, over January-July. Seat sales (newly available for British; Jan-Jun for Easy; our estimates for Ryan), in alphabetical order: Air France (once again available separated from KLM) +4%; British +3%; Easyjet +13%; Lufthansa +3%; Ryanair +8%.
  Notes (on notable details; on whole-group for Air France (=AFKL), British (=ICAG), Lufthansa (=LHG)):
-AFKL +5%. Unusually, KLM, at +2%, is slower than the group’s biggest airline AF. The group's no-frills-airline Transavia is not growing fast enough, at +7%, and slowing. Europe’s two NFA giants - Easy, Ryan - are both growing faster.
-ICAG +6%. Iberia at +7%, is still growing much faster than the group’s biggest airline British, although it is still only half its size. AerLingus in trouble, +1% (is that Brexit-fear related as Ireland expected to hurt hardest in the 27 remaining EU markets?). Vueling +6%. The group also now publishes data for its newish mid-range NFA Level (sic). Hard to interpret results, which were +392%. It is still only 10% the size of AFKL’s Transavia, for instance, and its 82% seat factor needs to be closer to 90%.
-Easyjet. Disappointing (and surprising) that it now publishes only Q figures. Growth looks good, but loads down about 2pts.
-LHG +3%. Austrian +6%, Lufthansa +3%, Swiss +6%. LHG now hides performance at Brussels and Eurowings (combining them), possibly because EW is reportedly not doing as well as LHG hoped - Brussels (our calculation) +4%, Eurowings (our calculation) flat.
-Ryanair. Rounding its results sometimes causes distortion, or prompts questions. Lauda grew from 0.5mn to 0.6mn in the month; is that really a 20% growth, or would precise figures show something different? With Ryan itself at +8%, the group was +9%.
-Others of note: Virgin at a good +9% YT May, but that follows a bounding start to the year; monthly figures for the latest three months were +6% +6% +5%. Similar pattern at Turkish +5% YT July, but -5% +4% -4%. Wonders at Wizz; still small (25% the size of Ryan), but still growing well - +12% for the month, +15% YTD, and we estimate a 95% seat factor.

Travel business updates
4 September 2019
[] Phocuswright reports that China's OTA market in 2018 was worth US$44.7bn, second after the US, US$77.1bn. China's +27% growth was 4x US growth.
[] Greece’s DMO reports air arrivals July +1.4%, YTD +3.4%. Bank of Greece all arrivals June flat, YTD -0.5%; spend +16.4%, YTD +15.3%.
[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels 25-31 August: occupancy -0.4% to 66.7%, average room rate +1.4% to US$127.26.

France updates
3 September 2019
Reports from France-based companies:
  A full report on these topics in our WYSK:What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.
[] MKG* (a hotel consultancy; name origin unknown) estimates (before end-August) that France’s hotel occupancy fell -0.4pt in Jul-Aug - +0.2pt in Jul, an estimated -1pt. (MKG rounded; no occupancy figure.)
  Other data shows Paris occupancy -1.2pt.
*Notes: MKG 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.
[] Home Exchange reports September 22,000 +37% nights booked.
[] CRT, the regional visitor office for France’s Cote d’Azur*, reports* a summer season (Jul-Aug) ‘comparable’ to 2019. We do not know by ‘comparable’ if CRT means up or down.
  Some details:
-Hotel occupancy May-Jul +1pt, nights +2.7%.
-Internet-bookings of private accommodation now a 20% share.
-Jul-Aug accommodation occupancy 85% (August 90% in city hotels). 48% +1pt of hotel nights in 4/5-star hotels.
-Museum/monument visits +5%, seaside gardens/parks +8%; we do not know the definition or counting system.
-Foreign share of accommodation occupancy unchanged, French share +2%. We cannot understand mathematically how this is possible.
-May-Jul fastest growth in nights - Scandinavia (+10%), Russia (+10%), Japan (+21%). Italy, Spain, East Europe (except Russia), Canada each 6%. CRT does not appear to know that this data needs to be accompanied by the size of the market. We do not know the reason for the order of the 6% markets.
-Falling (no data) were Middle East, Asia except China, Japan, Oceania.
-Visitors arriving by air were +3.5% Apr-Jul (not May-Jul as for other measures).
-Mountain-area hotel occupancy fell (no data), although CRT reports a 12-13% growth in mountain visits Jun-Jul (yet another different-period measure).
-Sep-Oct air bookings from overseas +8%, of which +23% from the US, +18% from China.
*Notes:
-Cote d’Azur (CDA) in France - a ‘brandname’ also known as the South of France, the French Riviera, or sometimes by the names of some of its main cities, Cannes, Monaco/Monte Carlo, Nice, St Tropez. The problem is that - brand identity.
-CRT also reports, inexplicably, 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.
[] Flight Right (FR), which tracks airline delays/cancellations and compensation, reports at end-of-summer (before end-August):
-3.5mn passengers affected during the summer, which we calculate is a -22.2% fall.
-Potential claims US$84.4mn (€76mn), which we calculate is a -47.9% fall.
-Flights cancelled -57% (FR rounded = FRR), flights delayed (at least 30 minutes) -16.8%.
-Airline flights delayed, 15 Jun-23 Aug: Easyjet 21.3% -1.5pt, Vueling 19.2% -2.1pt, British 15% (FRR) -3.6pt, Lufthansa 14.4% -4.2pt, Ryanair 11.7% -8.9pt, Air France 11% (FRR) -6.1pt, Transavia 9.5% +4.9pt, Hop 8.4% -3.2pt, Air Corsica 8% (FRR) +0.4pt, Volotea 6.6% -2.9pt.
-Airline flights cancelled. Only three airlines listed - those whose cancellations had grown. Air Corsica +12.9% (other data not given, and in percentage, not points as above), Transavia +435.7% (sic), British +56% (FRR).

TBA Tracking: August travel stocks; another bad month
2 September 2019
Travel stock prices (Asia Pacific, Europe, US) in August. Airlines: biggest growth, Air-France/KLM +9%; biggest fall, China Eastern -15%. Hotels: Choice +6%, Peninsula -19%. Tech: LastMinute +8%, cTrip -17%. China travel stocks (new): CITS +6%, Air China -12%. Others: Boeing +7%, Avis -32%.
  Previous month: Airlines: biggest growth, Norwegian +12%; biggest fall, Air Asia -28%. Hotels: InterContinental +11%, Jinjiang -12%. Tech: Trivago +22%, Expedia -0.2%. China travel stocks: CITS +2%, China United -8%. Others: TUI (UK quote ) +6%, Thomas Cook -58% (sic).
  TBA Travel Stocks Index: World 217, Asia Pacific 76, Europe 190, US 385. Index previous month: World 225, Asia Pacific 81, Europe 198, US 395.
  TBA China Travel Stocks Index (new; quotes from China, Hong Kong, US): 92; previous month 104.
  NVTT (Net Value Travel Tech) Stocks Index: 147; previous month 150.
  Stockmarkets. Biggest growth Oslo +0.3%; biggest fall Singapore -6%. Previous month: biggest growth Istanbul +6%; biggest fall Korea -5%.
Comments:
-Stockmarket results say it all - 24 of the 25 markets we track fell. And #25, Oslo, was up +0.3%.
-When the travel business is bad, it is often airlines that suffer most. This past month it was hotels - of the 20 we track, only two reported growth, and a 3rd was flat.
-That said, airlines did badly also - out of our 31, just six grew.
-Of the two ‘death-row’ stocks, Thomas Cook fell -8% (and is now -83% its end-2018 price). But India’s grounded Jet Airways actually grew over the month, +19%, but is -86% its end-2018 price.
-Jet was actually the best performing airline stock, but as it is grounded, perhaps it is no longer an ‘airline’?
-Asia’s main hotel groups had a disastrous month - although Peninsula was the worst (of all hotel groups), Jinjiang was -16%, Mandarin Oriental -13%, Shangri La -14%.
-China’s travel stocks were also hit. Our Index shows the extent, but in the three world regions we cover, China Eastern was the worst-performing airline, Jinjiang the second-worst hotel group, -16%, cTrip the worst travel-tech stock (although quoted in New York).
-Not sure why the two car-rental companes were hit so hard - Avis worst, but Hertz was -22%.
-Boeing, despite its continuing B737 problems, grew +7% in the month, taking it to +13% on its end-2018 price.
-Also beating the bad news was Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific - firing staff for their political views, disliked by many China commentators for not being loyal enough to China, and disliked by many in Hong Kong for kow-towing too much to China. Its stock fell -8%, taking it below its end-2018 price. But the Hong Kong stockmarket fell -7%. And China’s three Hong Kong-quoted airline stocks all fell more than Cathay. And so, by way of example, did Singapore Airlines, -9%.
  Info from Travel Business Analyst. Details in next month’s editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.

India and Vietnam MICE markets
28 August 2019
Research & Markets* (RM), a company, has published two reports on MICE - for India, Vietnam. These show:
[] RM’s India report is ‘India's Outbound MICE Tourism to GCC Countries’.
It says the market will be worth US$5bn ‘by 2025’ - presumably in 2024. Main numbers, or growth, not given. This appears to indicate RM is working on 2.5mn travellers; we believe that is overstated by a factor of 10x.
  Other information:
-UAE is the top destination for India's MICE travellers. No data or dates.
-Bahrain and Saudi Arabia accounted for 15% share of spend by India's MICE travellers in 2018. Not shown if total or each, and why these two selected; a different measure from previous item.
[] RM forecasts Vietnam's ‘MICE tourism market' will be US$8bn ‘by 2025’ - presumably in 2024. We do not know how RM defines a 'MICE tourism market’; most importantly whether it is inbound or outbound. No growth forecast is given.
  RM also forecasts that 'tourist arrivals' in Vietnam will be 35mn by 2025- also presumably in 2024. There are no indications on why this data is shown, particularly as RM gives no link with the destination’s ‘MICE market’.
  We calculate that visitor-arrivals forecast would require a +14.1% average annual growth rate 2018-24. That looks achievable in that growth over the past three years has been +20% in 2018, +30% +25%. A risk is that China, the largest source, has become a fickle market that may move up and down according to its political relationship with Vietnam.
*Notes: We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, RM had not answered our request for clarifications.

US travel loses in China war
23 August 2019
Tourism Economics (TE) reports*:
[] The China/US trade war forecast to reduce visitors in the US from China by 1.9mn and US$11bn in visitor spend over 2018-20. See below for details.
[] Visitors in the US from China fell -5.7% in 2018; they grew over 2004-17.
[] Visitors in the US from China spend US$5800 per visitor, compared with US$2500 for visitors from the UK, the largest overseas market for the US.
[] TE estimates that there were 351,000 fewer visitors in the US from China in 2018, which would mean US$2.0bn in reduced visitor spend. For this year, it forecasts 648,000 fewer visitors, thus US$3.8bn in reduced visitor spend.
[] TE calculates that if the trade war continues, there will be 857,000mn fewer visitors in 2020, thus US$5.3bn in reduced 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.

Our outlook for travel
15 August 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:
-Much worse.
  Our outlook for this period was not positive, and this was the outcome. The main reasons:
-Negative trade/economic/finance figures/comment.
-Plus anti-'others' comment (Italy v EU, UK v EU, US v World, Japan v Korea, China v Hong Kong/others).
-Plus populist anti-flying activity - to which the travel business is not responding
[] Assessment of travel business in the next four months compared to what we would expect for that period:
-Much worse.
  Same reasoning. Outlook is not 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 there were only one or two negatives, that might not be a problem, but if there are more (we could count 10), there is a high mathematical chance that at least one will 'explode'.

Travel business updates
14 August 2019
[] According to Flight Right:
-Travellers from France (FR wrongly defines these as 'French') in July represent a 12.2% share of the annual total, August 11.9%. 
-10.2% of those (presumed for both months) travel by air.
[] Research & Markets* (RM), a company, forecasts that what it describes as the 'India outbound tourism market to GCC countries' will be US$24bn 'by 2025’ - meaning in 2024. Without further data, and for other reasons, this is a meaningless forecast.
*Notes: We have run many critical reviews on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, RM had not answered our request for clarifications.
[] Global Data*, a data and analytics company, forecasts that AAGR (annual average growth rate) of Mexico visitors will be +8.9% over 2016-19 and +7.1% 2020-23. It blames this slight fall on closing its overseas promotional offices under the country's new populist/cut-costs new government.
  GD shows (our estimates from GD data) 38mn visitors in 2016, 49mn 2019, 53mn 2020, 65mn 2023. Our database (based on data fromWorld Tourism Organization) shows 35mn +9.3% in 2016, 39mn +12.0% 2017, 41mn +5.5% 2018, +4.8% YTD 2019.
  This other-source data seems to contradict GD commentary. It shows that Mexico visitor growth slowed in 2018, and again this year. We believe this is related more to verbal-aggression by the US government against Mexico, which would probably slow travel into Mexico from its main source, the US.
*Notes:
-We have found in other reports that Global Data sometimes misreads/misinterprets/misreports core travel data – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary.

Air Asia H1
6 August 2019
Analysis on Air Asia (including AAX) results from our database:
-Seat sales 45.4mn +11.2% - slowest growth since 2015 when both AA Indonesia and AAX reported big falls - -22% and -18%.
-AA Japan still slow - despite +79% growth that might seem to indicate strength. At the same stage of its development, AA India was 3x bigger than AAJ is now.
-Group seat factor 85%, same as 2018. OK, but should be closer to 90%.
-AAX in trouble. Seat sales of the main Malaysia operation -6%, although +1% when Thai AAX included. Indonesia AAX remains shutdown. But AA does not publish all operating data for Thai AAX, and so not possible to make fuller analysis.

TBA Tracking; China outbound - monthly
30 July 2019
We estimate that outbound travel from China, including travel to Hong Kong and Macau, grew +10.1% in the latest month. The earlier month was +19.5%, then +7.5% 24.3%, +21.6%, +20.7%. Details in the current editions of WYSK:What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.

IATA’s annual stats report
29 July 2019
IATA (International Air Transport Association) has published its WATS (World Air Transport Statistics), on 2018 data. Information includes* (all rounded percentage figures are IATA-rounded):
-Airlines seats sold 4.4bn +6.9% (in 2017 4.1bn +7.3%, 2016 3.8bn +7%).
-Asia Pacific sold the most seats, 1.6bn +9.2%, a 37.1% share (1.5bn +10.6% 36.3%, 1.3bn +11.3% 35%); Europe 1.1bn +6.6% 26.2% (1.1bn +8.2% 26.3%, 992.4mn +6.1% 26%); North America 989.4mn +4.8% 22.6% (941.8mn +3.2% 23% 911.5mn +3% 24%); Middle East 224.2mn +4.0% 5.1% (216.1mn +4.6% 5.3% 206.1mn +9.1% 5%).
-Top-5 airlines (same as in 2017) by total RPKs - American 330.6bn +2.0%, Delta 330bn +4.3%, United 329.6bn +6.0%, Emirates 302.3bn +4.6%, Southwest 214.6bn +3.3%.
-Top-5 international city-pairs, by seats sold: Hong Kong-Taipei 5.4mn -0.4%, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong 3.4mn +8.8%, Jakarta-Singapore 3.2mn -3.3%, Seoul Incheon-Osaka Kansai 2.9mn +16.5%, Kuala Lumpur–Singapore 2.8mn +2.1%. For 2017: HKG-TPE 5.4mn +1.8%, JKT-SIN 3.3mn +0.8%, BKK-HKG 3.1mn +3.5%, KUL–SIN 2.8mn -0.3%, HKG-SEL 2.7mn -2.2%. For 2016, top-3: HKG-TPE 5.2mn +2.1%; JKT-SIN 3.4mn +0.9%; BKK-HKG 3mn -3.1%.
-Top-5 domestic city-pairs: Jeju-Seoul Gimpo 14.5mn +7.6%, Fukuoka - Tokyo Haneda 7.6mn +0.9%, Melbourne Tullamarine-Sydney 7.6mn -2.1%, Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda 7.3mn -1.5%, Beijing-Shanghai Hongqiao 6.4mn +0.4%. For 2017: Jeju-Seoul Gimpo 13.5mn +14.8%, Melbourne Tullamarine-Sydney 7.8mn +0.4%, Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda 7.6mn +6.1%, Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda 7.4mn +4.6%, Beijing-Shanghai Hongqiao 6.4mn +1.9%. For 2016, top-3: Jeju-Seoul Gimpo 11.6mn +4.6%; Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda 7.7mn -1.2%; Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda 7.3mn -4% (probably 4.0).
-Nationality*. Change of system (earlier was systemwide - although we noted that measuring would be difficult because usually no passport is required on domestic flights). As a result, there are no direct comparisons with earlier data, although we also show earlier data.
  In 2018, seats sold on international routes: UK 126.2mn 8.6% share; US 111.5mn 7.6%; China 97mn 6.6%; Germany 94.3mn 6.4%; France 59.8mn 4.1%.
  In 2017 systemwide US 632mn 18.6% share (2016 810mn 21%), China 555mn 16.3% (no 2016 data), India 161.5mn 4.7% (ditto), UK 147mn 4.3% (ditto), Germany 114.4mn 3.4% (ditto).
-Alliances. Shown this year as share of total traffic (the three have 56.1%); we have recalculated to show, as for 2017, share of RPKs of each: Star 39.0% (39% in 2017, 38% in 2016), Sky Team 33.5% (33%, NA), One World 27.5% (28%, NA).
-New Model Airlines, a definition that IATA used in 2017, seems to have been replaced this year by the more-common LCC (low cost carrier). Not unfortunately our definition, NFA (no-frills-airlines), see Notes. IATA’s NMAs appeared to combine our NFAs, low-cost-airlines, charter airlines, and perhaps others.
  Partly because of this, IATA does not show comparative data. For 2018 for what it now names LCCs, their capacity (ASKs) grew +13.4%, almost double total growth +6.9%. LCC capacity (ASKs) share 21%, which it compares with 11% in 2004. LCC capacity by seats 29% (16% in 2004).
  In 2016, NMAs had a 28.3% share of all seats sold, up from 27.1%; no data for 2017.
-Other data: 81.9% seat factor (no comparison with 2017); 22,000 +6.3% city pairs(double the 10,250 in 1998); the cost of air transport (US$0.78 per RTK, revenue tonne-kilometre), more than half the figure 20 years ago.
*Notes:
-Some comparative data is from our database.
-High positions of the UK and US are partly explained by a large number of nationals living in other countries. For instance, Americans in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, UK. And British in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore, US. All these would be counted under their nationality, UK or US. We estimate about 10% should be deducted from IATA’s totals.
-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.

Russia outbound
26 July 2019
Some findings on the Russia outbound market, by RMAA (Russian Marketing and Advertising Agency):
[] 69% of respondents buy air tickets online. Almost as widespread as the US, where it is 77%.
[] If a traveller watches a video about their trip before travelling, 65% watch YouTube, 24% an airline video, 20% Facebook, 12% OTA, and then others.
[] Among those who flew domestically, 43% did not use offline at all, 28% used offline and online.
[] Digital travellers made up their mind faster: 31% of them decided to buy a ticket within several hours.
[] 60% use PC or laptop, 8% smartphones.
[] 53% travel on vacation in couples, 28% travel alone, 8% in a group.
[] 51% decide on a trip within several days of travel (not enumerated, NE). 15% book tickets for travel after a few hours (NE) after booking a flight. 8% buy tickets several months (NE) before a departure.
[] For 70%, the cost of the ticket is a priority.
[] 30% are members of loyalty programs.
[] 40% go on vacation in Europe, 31% domestic.
[] 38% take a 2-week vacation, 36% one week.
[] 33% of travellers change their mind on which airline during the booking process, 56% book tickets of the company that they considered from the beginning, 39% choose different offers at the end of the process.
[] 32% buy tickets of only one airline.
[] 72% rely on their experience, 2% on advertising, 9% word-of-mouth, 10% online search.
[] Of those that are loyalty program members, 45% always fly one airline, 12% would look only at offers from one airline, 43% considered offers from other airlines but eventually booked the original one.
[] For those who are not members of a loyalty program, the shares were 25% 30% 44%.

MasterCard surveys outbound
24 July 2019
MasterCard reports:
[] China moved from #7 in outbound travellers to 'overseas destinations'* in 2009 to #2 this year, after the US. MC does not count travel from what it calls ‘Mainland China’ to contiguous Hong Kong and Macau (but it does count travel to overseas Taiwan, technically also part of one China), but it does count US travel to contiguous Canada and Mexico.
[] MC does not add numbers to its lists.
[] After the US and China, MC’s top-5 includes Germany, UK, France.
[] It notes Korea’s growth, but actually, Korea overtook Japan in 2015 to become No2 from Asia Pacific.
[] Top-3 countries from top-5 sources: US - Mexico Canada Italy, China - Thailand Japan US, Germany - Italy Spain Austria, UK - Spain US India, France - Spain US UK.
[] Top-3 cities from top-5 sources: US - Cancun Toronto London, China - Bangkok Seoul Tokyo, Germany - Mallorca Bolzano* Tiroler Unterland*, UK - Mallorca Paris Dublin, France - London Marrakech Barcelona.
*Notes:
-All destinations shown are not 'overseas’, but international.
-Two of Germany's top-3 are adjacent to one another, in northern Italy and southern Austria (and which is not a city but an area; its capital is Innsbruck).

Mexico outbound
17 July 2019
Global Data*, a data and analytics company, forecasts Mexico’s outbound travel spend will be US$16.9bn in 2018, +4.43% annual average growth rate 2018-23. Other findings:
-Additional data shows 2014 $14.1mn*, 2018 $13.6mn, 2019 $14.2mn, 2023 $16.9mn.
-Domestic travel 267mn trips in 2018. Compared with 20.3mn, but year not given.
-2018 Domestic transport spend US$32.9bn, international US$5.1bn. No other amplification given.
-Canada data given to support negative sentiment concerning travel to the US, but no US data given*. GD reports +35% for Canada in 2017, then +20% in 2018 to 342,000.
*Notes:
-GD reports other years as millions, but some sections show the correct numbers as billions.
-Our database indicates arrivals in the US from Mexico +3.9% in 2018, but the total is 18mn, so growth alone was 700k, twice Canada’s overall total.
-We have found in other reports that GD sometimes misreads/misinterprets/misreports core travel data – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary.
-At press time, GD had not answered our request for clarifications.

 
UK outbound
15 July 2019
Global Data*, a data and analytics company, forecasts UK departures to ‘Europe’ (we presume GD excludes the UK itself) will be 64.4mn in 2023, +2.9% annual average growth rate 2018-23.
  Our database indicates that Q1 2019 to Europe was +2.8% compared with an overall total +1.0%. This may indicate that travellers are finding their currency buys less, and so choosing closer destinations.
  Other data:
-UK 2018 outbound 70.7mn, domestic 121.5mn. GD gives no more data. Our database, based on UK government data, indicates that GD’s ‘outbound’ is total outbound, not just to the rest of Europe. We have 71.7mn -1.4% in 2018, and to the rest of Europe just 57.3mn -1.5%.
-Spend* in 2018. Visitors US$34.2bn, outbound travel US$105.1bn, domestic US$137.6bn. No change given.
-Domestic travellers aged 35-49 took 56mn international and domestic trips in 2018. No change given.
-GD notes ‘visitor numbers’ from the UK to Ireland fell from 6.8% in 2018 to 1.7% this year. As GD provides no further amplification, we do not know: 1, if ‘visitor numbers’ means ‘visitor arrivals’ (and thus Ireland’s data and not the UK’s) or ‘trips’; 2, if GD’s figures are positive or negative (we believe positive); if ‘this year’ is a whole-year forecast, or YTD. 
-GD notes that because Czech, Hungary, Romania currencies (GD’s selection) have not switched to Euros, that is better for UK travellers with their falling-value currency. The fact, of course, is not whether they are national currencies or Euros, but their moves against the UK currency. If those currencies have grown in value, then the cost of travel to those destinations will have grown in terms of UK currency - possibly higher than to Euro destinations. We are surprised GD does not appear to understand this basic economic reality.
*Notes:
-GD reports in US$ without exchange rate - a potentially misleading practice at the time the UK currency is falling - -6.3% over the past 12 months.
-We have found in other reports that GD sometimes misreads/misinterprets/misreports core travel data – apparently mostly due to imprecision in its editorial commentary.
-At press time, GD had not answered our request for clarifications.

Europe cities in 2018 +4%
8 July 2019
ECM* reports that bednights in its 119 Europe city members in 2018 grew +4.2%, following +7.4% in 2017. Other findings:
-Top-5 were, in order of size, London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Istanbul. Dropping out was Madrid.
-AAGR (annual average growth rate, 2013-18) +4.1%.
-Fastest-growing (size not given) sources were China +9.6%, Spain +8.5%, US +6.4%.
-Top city London fell heavily, -8.7%, although the Brexit-related fall in the UK currency was forecast to produce the opposite - fast growth. However, London is still by far the biggest and so this fall does not change its ranking; its 71.1mn bednights compare with Paris’s 52.5mn.
-Some fast growths among the top-10 - by size Paris +9.2%, Istanbul +20.3%, Munich +9.3%. Growth in Istanbul is a surprise, because its coup-attempt was in 2016, which would normally have produced a fast growth in 2017, not 2018.
  Our database indicates other important changes, which have not raised any comment from ECM:
-7 of the top-10 changed their figures from 2017. In all cases except Paris, this change resulted in a higher total in 2018. Munich was the biggest change, from what we calculate to be a -4.9% fall into a currently-stated +9.3% growth. We believe this difference is simply that not all data was available when the 2017 results were first published.
-Amsterdam dropped out of top-10 as Istanbul moved in.
*Notes: ECM=European Cities Marketing.

Hotel pipeline in China
25 June 2019
Hotel Management (HM) reports that China's hotel pipeline in March was 2761 +12% hotels with 580,635 +6% rooms. It now reports 2845 +15% and 590,809 +8%.
  Other related measures, with Lodging Economics (LE):
-Under construction 2083 +21% and 414,967 + 12%.
  HM does not give change/growth for the following data:
-Due to start construction in the next 12 months 387/83,074 hotels/rooms.
-In the early-planning stage 375/92,768.
-In Q1, 185/27,455 opened.
-LE forecasts 795/127,420 will have opened in 2019. 
-In 2020 732/124,160 are forecast to open.
-Guangzhou has most - 128/28,367 - then Shanghai 114/22,747, Chengdu 110/23,295, Suzhou 83/15,092, Hangzhou 79/17,415.
-Hilton has most - 421/86,750 - then InterContinental 340/76,861, Marriott 291/79,860, Jinjiang 273/31,118, Accor 201/35,318.
-Brands. Hampton/Hilton 242/38,608, Holiday Inn Express/InterContinental 162/29,599, Days Inn/Jinjiang 118/9296 rooms, Ibis/Accor 85/9214, Vienna/Jinjiang 74/10,360, Marriott/Marriott 67/20,373, DoubleTree/Hilton 65/18,733, Holiday Inn/InterContinental 57/14,880, Mercure/Accor 57/9948, Courtyard/Marriott 36/9,321.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
-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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.
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/

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, Air Berlin.
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%!

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%.

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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