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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.