Fox – sly. Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning.

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

France No 1? Yes, No, No.

An excerpt from our

The presentation of France’s visitor figures is suspicious. Part of the reason is that the sources of arrivals from the Schengen countries in Europe are not registered. Therefore, the figures must be estimates – but the authorities never say that.

In addition, this year – but not for the first time – the authorities have shown ‘0.0%’ movement for three months running. We are fairly confident in saying, without evidence, that that cannot have happened.

France’s share of the world visitor total has been falling – from 11.4% in 2000 to 7.7% in 2013. And share of Europe’s from 19.9% to 14.9%.

A measure better than simple visitor arrivals is visitor spend. And here France is third – the US is 2.5-times bigger, and Spain about 10% bigger. France’s share of the world visitor spend has fallen from 6.9% in 2000 to 4.8% in 2013. And of Europe’s from 14.2% to 11.5%.

Another measure is air traffic. Measures are not simple but in terms of seats sold, France is about 13th, and below markets such as Australia, Indonesia, Ireland, and, for instance, about 10x smaller than the US.

A minister responsible in France has set a 100mn target for visitor arrivals. But this is meaningless because he gave no date to achieve it. But at present growth rates it would take about 15 years to reach – 2030.

The visitor business in France is in trouble, and the government cannot see it – or does not want to see it.

The Fox

Remember, I’ll be famous after I’m dead.