FOXTROTS*

 

Trump slumpish

A fall in visitor arrivals in the US in the first-half would seem to confirm that this is indeed a Trump Slump – in other words, a fall caused primarily by the anti-foreigner actions and statements of the US president, Donald Trump.

 

That said, the fall was less in Q2 than in Q1, thus less for the first half.

 

The overall figures may not look so bad. There were 1.4mn fewer visitors in H1 out of a total of 33.9mn (and 1.0mn fewer from overseas out of 16.4mn). That is only 4% of the total (and 6% of the overseas total).

 

But even if not bad, it is certainly not good either. But perhaps worse is the inability of the US authorities to do anything about correcting the downturn. Because, alongside the anti-foreigner discourse, has been the reluctance to admit that anything might be wrong.

 

Observers are left with the opinion that – if the fall was discussed – more effort would go into either denying that the figures were correct, however absurd that seems, or explaining them with platitudes.

 

But nothing to turn the trend.

 

The following are our observations on the data:

 

-Of the top-2 contiguous sources, Canada has been growing, +5%, and now has a 28% share. Mexico continues to fall and faster, -9%, to a 24% share.

 

-Overseas visitors fell -8% in Q1, -4% Q2, -6% H1 – which is a sizeable fall.

 

-In the top-10 sources, only Korea and France grew in Q1, but in Q2 they were joined by a few – in order of size, UK, Japan, Germany, Australia, Italy. But for H1 there were only those two plus Germany and Italy.

 

-A few fell faster in Q2, of which China was the most significant – -6% compared with -0.5% in Q1. The others were Brazil (-15% -13%) and India (-18% -3%).

 

-Perhaps a big shock is that the top-5 overseas markets hardly fell (-0.1%). They fell -4% in Q1 but grew +4% in Q2. The main cause was Germany, switching from -12% in Q1 to +10% in Q2, for +0.3% in H1.

 

-The other big growth, in both Qs was from Korea. In fact, the US almost exactly maintained a fair market share of the Korea outbound market. In Q1 arrivals in the US were +16% compared with the +17% for all outbound travel from Korea. And in H1 +18% +19%.

 

-In conclusion, all nine regions into which the US breaks its arrivals fell in H1. Disregarding their size for a moment, little surprise was that the Middle East (the main target of Trump’s ‘travel ban’) fell the most – -30% in H1, and Africa, the 2nd-target next, with -27%. Lowest fall was Asia Pacific with -1%. But even the Caribbean, almost the closest but possibly less affected in the anti-foreigner positioning of Trump, also fell heavily, by -15%.

 

The Fox

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

 

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

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

 

Advertisements