WYSK: ITB Asia’s misleading data

WYSK = What You Should Know.

Messe Berlin (MB) continues its practice of using misleading and/or incorrect data for its events, the latest one for the 11th ITB Asia (ITBA), due in Singapore this October.


However, most of these appear to be due more to ineptitude than duplicity.


MB reports:

-Exhibitor numbers expected to be +21.8%, which would make 1136. ‘Presence’ from Europe (which we presume means exhibitor numbers) +13.8%; previous data not given.


-85% of exhibition space booked. But if there is 22% growth in exhibitors, how can booked space be down – surely exhibitors are not reducing their booth sizes?


-MB describes the 2017 ITBA as an ‘enormous success’ with ‘record-breaking numbers with 113 countries’ at the event. ‘Record-breaking’ has occurred on most measures in most of the nine years. Not many figures were released for the 2017 event but attendance grew only +0.2% and countries +2.7% – although exhibitor growth was good, +11.1%. We interpreted some of these small growths as a relative loss due to the start of ITB China – when China is the biggest single part of growth in Asia’s traffic growth.


-MB reported worldwide outbound trips as growing +3.9% in 2017. In fact*, that was 2016 data, and for only Jan-Aug.


-Likewise the +11% growth given as Asia outbound growth* in 2017 – data was for Jan-Aug 2016 only.


-In addition, those figures MB uses include data for China, yet China should now be excluded from the ITBA prospectus, because China now has its own stand-alone event.


-Blatant misuse continued, with MB forecasting +4-5% growth in worldwide outbound travel ‘over the next year’. In fact*, this was a forecast for 2017!



-MB (mis)-uses its own ITB Berlin World Travel Trends for its data.

-A report on this topic in our Travel Business Analyst newsletter contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.

-At press time, MB had not answered our request for clarifications.


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.