WYSKs: UK in/out 2016; US air 2016; AsPac in/out

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

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.


WYSKs: UK in/out 2016; US air 2016; AsPac in/out

WYSKs = What You Should Know.


UK 2016 counts.

Ok; here goes. The following are my manipulations of official data – which is not presented in quite the same way.


-All-2016 inbound +4.3%.

-All-2016 outbound +6.4%.

-Post-Brexit-vote inbound +6.1%.

-Post-Brexit-vote outbound +7.4%.


That’s not quite how it should have been.


Inbound did grow faster post-vote (actually, the spur was thought to be the big fall in the value of the currency, not the vote). But then so did outbound. It was supposed to fall, given the greater cost, due to that currency fall.



US air travel, 2016.

A brief – the fuller report in the current editions of our newsletter. Of note in the regions we track:


-Total air seats sold +6%.

-#1 (in our regional watch) UK +4%. Is this Brexit related?

-Finally good growth for Japan (#2), +7%. China (overtaking France to become #4) +25%.

-UAE (= Emirates Etihad; #8) +5%.



Asia Pacific outbound

Our calculation of AsPac resident departures for latest-month October, in the current editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter, shows +2.8%; previous month +4.5%. Slowest among the bigger markets were Australia, China (our estimates), Japan.



Asia Pacific inbound

Our calculation of AsPac visitor arrivals for latest-month October, in the current editions of the Travel Business Analyst newsletter, shows +9.4%; previous month +11.2%. Double-digit growth for some; of the bigger markets – Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea (MERS in 2015), Vietnam. In trouble – Taiwan.



The Fox

Remember, I’m an industry expert in the parallel world.

TinT (Trump-in-Travel) – Europe Outbound; No light for Eurotunnel; Paris totals

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

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.


TinT (Trump-in-Travel) – Europe Outbound; No light for Eurotunnel; Paris totals

Are these Tristics (Trump’s sad statistics), Fake News, or the New Truth?


Europe Outbound

I have just obtained annual outbound travel stats from Eurostat. Er, that’s for 2015. (Don’t blame ES – blame the countries that send the data to ES.)


Nevertheless, I have manipulated some data and get results that seem to prove that some sets of statistics are wrong. I have matched Eurostat data with the WTO’s outbound travel spend, to get per-trip spend.


The difference with some is so great that they cannot both be correct. I have not yet done annual comparisons, but just look at some differences:

-Per-trip spend is highest (of the major markets we track) for Italy – no less than US$3900.

-Germany – that actually has the highest total spend in Europe according to WTO. At US$930 per trip, just 25% of spending by Italy’s travellers!

-Switzerland is US$1200, which seems about right.

-Denmark, one of the supposedly wealthy markets, it is US$1000.


More, and more analysis in the March issue of our newsletter.




Eurotunnel; no light

Eurotunnel decides against transparency. Presumably because of falling passenger counts, it has:

-Stopped publishing Eurostar’s traffic. It had been falling all year, but was getting worse.

-Merged its car- and bus-traffic totals. Recently, we noticed that bus traffic was falling off, possibly because many go to the South of France, and that traffic fell after terrorist attacks in Nice last July.

-Don’t go to Eurostar for data. Its latest are for 2014!




Paris totals

On restated base figures, we estimate foreign arrivals into Paris fell 9% in 2016, although there was growth in the last two months of the year. Domestic arrivals did better, possibly ending the year flat, or -1%. (Core data via Tourmis; manipulations by Travel Business Analyst.)




The Fox

Remember, I’m an industry expert in the parallel world.

WTM miscounts; business falls

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

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.


WTM miscounts; business falls

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.





The Fox

Remember, I’m an industry expert in the parallel world.


Cry For Freedom

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TROTTINGS = Trip Jottings

The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox.


Cry For Freedom

I cry. I have lost my long-time ‘hero’ countries.


Broadly, I have liked and admired what the UK and the US stood for, how they went about business, and that they tried to do good for others not just themselves.


I don’t think I was hagiographic – condemning, as most sensible people must – the ridiculous gun regime in the US, for instance. (Including the fact that “it’s in the Constitution” is an argument for keeping it. The clause was needed on the Wild West; it is not needed now.)


I even defended (and still defend) the US decision to go fight Saddam Hussein. The west threatened him with invasion, and then hesitated. If the US had not gone in, today Hussein would be ruling most of the Arabian peninsula.


Back to today’s realities.


Today, I can no longer support my two ‘hero’ countries. They have become Little Englanders, believing that they alone are important and, more worryingly, right and righteous.


And they don’t like foreigners. Theresa May: “If you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means.” Donald Trump: well, nearly everything.


For sure, the UK and the US can lock themselves in and do everything themselves. It will cost more to buy a 100%-American iPhone, but obviously it can be done. (However, not only will non-American iPhones be cheaper, but possibly better. Because they can make enhancement choices based on what is better; American iPhones will have to choose America first.)


So now my heroes have gone, who is riding to the rescue?


France. Would that it could. It has an admirable socialist culture in its heart, but cannot realise that socialist economics cannot earn enough to pay for that culture. (Socialism as an economic policy does not work.)


Other big Europeans, such as Italy and Spain, are too troubled or politically insignificant (in world terms) to lead.


In the past, perhaps Netherlands, but it is torn at present with a Trump-like political challenge. Perhaps Austria, which has just dumped a potential Trump. Perhaps the Nordics. Although all these are too small to lead.


Then there are three countries that are ruled by Trump clones. Kaczynski in Poland, Putin in Russia, Erdogan in Turkey.


Outside Europe? Perhaps Australia, Canada, although at present politically insignificant (in world terms).


The only countries in Asia big enough to lead are China, India, Japan, Korea. Of course, China wants the honour, but with its Google-banning, wet-drone-stealing, illegal island-building, no way. India has too much domestic work to finish, including a sensitive moslem matter. Japan is parochial and frightened of the world. Korea perhaps, but it is presently in political turmoil.


I can see only one then – Germany. It is more socialist than I would like, but it has shown societal bravery (its refugee problem), willingness to help others (generally not militarily, mainly because many would worry about that), is culturally competent, creative, and liberal, has better bistros than France, and much else.


Meanwhile I’ll go to sleep, and hope this is just a nasty dream.



The Fox

Remember, I’m an intellectual in the parallel world.