Travel Business News February 18-22

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Travel Business News February 18-22



US travel business updates

22 February 2019

[] ARC (the Airlines Reporting Corporation, handling financial settlements between US-based travel agencies and airlines), reports:

-for January: air tickets sold US$8.66bn +3.2 %; average US roundtrip ticket US$476 +$17; passenger trips 27.7mn +0.4% (domestic +1%, international +3%); EMD (electronic miscellaneous document) sales US$6.9mn -5%; EMD transactions NA -5%.

-with the Expedia Group their 2019 travel outlook study, the 5th. Selected extracts: Extending a mid-week trip to include a Saturday night stay can save up to 25% on airfares; Booking hotel rooms on Friday provides the best chance for the lowest rate.


[] Hotel News Now reports on US hotel transactions in 2018: transactions 707 +25%; transaction revenue US$29.5bn +49%.


[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels in 10-16 February: occupancy +0.7% to 63.5%, average room rate +2.7% to US$131.99.


[] STR reports on US hotels in January: occupancy +0.7% to 54.8%, average room rate +0.8% to US$124.39.



ITB Berlin update

21 February 2019

Messe Berlin reports that its ITB Berlin exhibition, due next month, is ‘bigger’. Reported data:

-10,000 companies and organisations. 2018 – same, 10,000.

-From ‘over 180’ countries. 2018 – 186.

-Travel technology area +20%, space obtained by moving the ITB Convention to the adjacent City Cube centre.

-New exhibitors: Albatros (sic) Exhibition, Alltours, Atmantan resort, Durak & Reinhardt, Karma Group, Kesari Tours, Kurzurlaub, Mystic Cruises, Saudi General Investment, Scenic Cruises, Setubal, St Helena, Tour East, Trans Indus, Uday Samuadra resort, Urlaubsguru.

-New exhibitors in adventure, responsible tourism, youth – Croatia national parks, Delius Klasing, Federal Association for School Trips, Madagascar, Tourism Watch, Tuscany, WWF Germany, WWF Borneo

-New exhibitors in LGBT+ – European Historic Thermal Towns, Keihan Hotel Japan, Malta’s DMO, New York, Piedmont’s DMO, Thrive Summit.

-New exhibitors in medical tourism – AA Stomatologica Romania, CGH Earth India, Cluster Dalmatia Croatia, Dormio-Med Dorota Kowalczyk Poland, MKT Plus Poland, Viaggiare Sorridere Albania.

-New exhibitors in travel tech – Atomize, Booking Suite, Gastromatic, Loopon, Ratehawk, Travelor.

-Larger exhibition stands for Australia, Balearics,, Egypt, Fujairah, Karnataka, Luxembourg, Namibia, Oman, Portugal, Russia, Tamil Nadu, Venezuela. But although the total exhibition space is the same as in 2018, MB does not list those taking smaller areas or not rebooking.



Travel business updates

20 February 2019

[] Radisson Hospitality has reported its 2018 results.

As the company is moving off the (Sweden) stock exchange, this may be its last published annual report. The company was bought by China-based HNAG (HNA was originally a mis-acronym for Hainan Airlines; now a no-meaning corporate name for a Hainan-based conglomerate; we use ‘HNAG’ when covering the group.) But following HNAG’s continuing financial problems, Radisson has been sold to China’s Jinjiang Hotels.

Selected extracts:

-Revenue US$1.08bn (at US$1 to €0.89) -0.8%.

-Operating profit US$116mn +26.3%.

-7196 -3.7% rooms contracted, 4083 -19.0% rooms opened, 2003 -52.3% rooms left Radisson.

Forecasts +4.5-5.0% revenue for 2019.


[] IATA (International Air Transport Association) reports 2018 safety performance. Selected extracts:

-The accident rate (accidents per 1mn flights) was 1.35, one accident every 740,000 flights. This was a fall compared to 1.11 in 2017.

-There were 11 fatal accidents with 523 deaths compared with 6/19 in 2017; one accident in 2017 killed 35 on the ground.



TBA Tracking: Indices – travel stocks, travel-tech stocks

19 February 2019

Travel stocks

The January ‘TBA-100 Index’ of travel stock prices, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows: World 227, Asia Pacific 98, Europe 184, US 384.

(Base: December 2006.)

Travel-Tech stocks

Our ‘Net-Value Travel-Tech Index’ for travel stocks of OTAs (+Amadeus) in January, from the current edition of our monthly Net Value report, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 125; previous month 115.

(Base: December 2014 or when first listed.)



TBA Tracking: Updates on outbound travel, hotel results

18 February 2019

Asia Pacific outbound nationals/residents travel

Our calculation of Asia Pacific nationals/residents departures for latest-month September, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows +4.6%; previous month +12.8%. YTD +11.0%.

World hotel results

The November hotel-track from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows occupancy growth in points: World +0.1; Asia Pacific +3.0; Europe -2.8; US +0.2.



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.


What’s working; what’s not. Airlines in Asia Pacific

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What’s working; what’s not. Airlines in Asia Pacific

Our summary of traffic results for the leading airlines in Asia Pacific, excerpts from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, over the full-year 2018.


Seat sales at biggest FSAs (full-service-airlines) in Asia Pacific (whole-group results for all), in alphabetical order: Air China +8%; Cathay +2%; China Eastern +9%; China Southern +11%; Japan +3%; Singapore +7%.


Notes (on notable details):

-Air China. International faster, at +14%.


-Cathay. Serious problems; we hope management is looking hard at what to do. We think its Cathay Pacific is the troubled one, but although Cathay Dragon has mainly China-mainland routes, some of its others are marginal routes. These figures indicate that traffic at one of the two is falling.


-China Eastern. The airline’s figures do not add up. As we cannot get an explanation, we simply add up the published data. This shows international up only +2%, although MU will tell you growth is +10%. Internationally, it has slipped to be 3rd-largest of China’s Big-3.


-China Southern. International shoots up at +16%. It now sells 18mn internationally compared with just above 15mn at Air China and just below 15mn at China Eastern.


-Japan. International +7% – which is fast growth.


-Singapore. The group is now following the restructure we proposed in 2013 – albeit five years later and after ridiculing the proposal at the time. Although growth at its Scoot should be faster, the group’s +7% looks good.


Cathay Pacific should adapt its business model to something like Singapore’s – that may not happen though because Cathay thinks Hong Kong is superior to Singapore (the city-state), and Cathay’s management is stuck in the straight-tie British-colonial past.


-Others of note:

Air Asia is less transparent than others, publishing only quarterly data – although when it launched it promised to be above industry norms. Over the year, the AA group sold 79mn +12% seats, almost the same pace as its +13% in 2017. In seats sold it is the region’s 4th-largetst airline after China’s Big-3.


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.

Travel stocks – December + January + 2000-18 review

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Travel stocks – December + January + 2000-18 review


Following almost-universal falls in travel stock prices in October, they were almost as bad in the last month of 2018. In Asia Pacific, Europe, US in December:


Airlines: biggest growth, Korean +4%; biggest fall, Hawaiian -34%. Hotels: Shangri-La +5%, Wyndham -14%. Tech: Lastminute +8%, eDreams -27%. Others: Genting +27%, Hertz -27%.


Previous month: Airlines: biggest growth, China Southern +26%; biggest fall, Easyjet -7%. Hotels: Wyndham +16%, NH Hoteles -16%. Tech: Travelport +2%, cTrip -13%. Others: HNA +37%, Thomas Cook -33%.


TBA Travel Stocks Index: World 206, Asia Pacific 96, Europe 175, US 345. Index previous month: World 222, Asia Pacific 98, Europe 184, US 384.


NVTT (Net Value Travel Tech) Stocks Index: 115; previous month 126.


Stockmarkets. Biggest growth Kuala Lumpur +1%; biggest fall Tokyo -10%. Previous month: biggest growth Hong Kong +6%; biggest fall Dublin -4%.



Of the 81 travel stocks we track monthly, only 17 grew, of which nine were in Asia Pacific.


Among airlines (14 in AsPac, 10 Europe, 7 US) only Air New Zealand, Korean Air grew – none in Europe or the US.


Among hotels (10 in AsPac, 5 Europe, 9 US), we show Shangri-La as fastest. It was actually Belmond, +38%, but during the month that company agreed to be bought by luxury-group LVMH, boosting its stock price. However, it was actually one of the few companies to have grown in 2018; it was +50% above its end-2017 price before the LVMH offer was made public.


Of note is the market’s reaction following Jinjiang’s offer to buy the rest of Radisson Hotels from the (still)-troubled HNA group – JJ’s shares fell -10% in the month.


(Separately, HNA’s price – in our ‘Others’ category – fell in nine of the past 12 months, and ended the year -65% below its end-2017 price.)


We have long-thought that travel-tech companies (0 in AsPac, 3 Europe, 5 US) would perform better than other travel stocks. But more often more recently, travel-tech has matched the market.


In December, only two of our eight grew, and only three (including those two, Lastminute and Travelport) were above their end-2017 prices.


Among ‘Others’ (3 in AsPac, 8 Europe, 7 US) one notable fact in 2018 was the fall of the world’s two leading car-rental companies, Avis and Hertz. They almost take it in turns to be worst performer in our ‘Others’ category each month. Over the year Avis was -49% below its end-2017 price, Hertz -38%.


Stockmarkets (10 in AsPac, 9 Europe, 5 US) also had a bad month. Our best performer, Kuala Lumpur, was actually the only one to grow. And almost as bad as Tokyo was the -10% of Travel Weekly’s stock index in the US. (They are rounded; Tokyo was -10.5%, TW -10.3%.)


China stocks (6 plus 2 US-quoted) all fell – even its three main airlines (Air China, China Eastern, China Southern) which are do so well in business terms. If these falls are a reaction to the trade war started by the US, surely this is over-reaction?







Travel stock prices (US, Asia Pacific, Europe) in January.

Airlines: biggest growth, Southwest +24%; biggest fall, Norwegian -28%. Hotels: Wynn +32%, Shangri-La -12%. Tech: cTrip +25%, Trivago -2%. Others: Boeing +27%, Thomas Cook -5%.


TBA Travel Stocks Index: World 227, Asia Pacific 98, Europe 194, US 388.


NVTT (Net Value Travel Tech) Stocks Index: 125.


Stockmarkets. Biggest growth Istanbul +12%; biggest fall Kuala Lumpur -0.1%.



-Of the leading growth stocks (and most of the others), their impressive-looking growths are actually a Dead Cat Bounce. Of our four categories, three were still below their end-2017 prices; only Boeing was ahead.






2000-18 review

Our report on travel stock prices* over the periods since 2015, 2010, 2000 is now available. As expected, there are a few shocks.


[] Europe.

-Total. In the eight years since 2010, AAGR (annual average growth rate) for stocks has been +3%.

-Airlines. 2010-8 AAGR +3%. Best performer Ryanair +14%, worst Air France-KLM -4%.

-Hotels. 2010-8 AAGR +4%. Best performer InterContinental +17%, worst Millennium & Copthorne -3%.

-Others. 2010-8 AAGR +3%. Best performer Airbus +22%, worst Thomas Cook -20%.


[] Asia Pacific.

-Total. 2010-8 AAGR -1%.

-Airlines. 2010-8 AAGR flat. Best performer All Nippon +38%, worst Thai -16%.

-Hotels. 2010-8 AAGR -3%. Best performer Mandarin Oriental flat, worst Banyan -9%.

-Others (only 3; two to 2015). 2010-8 AAGR -3%. Best performer China Travel +2%, worst Genting -10%. The 3rd company, China’s HNA, is new to our listing; it was -65% 2018 over 2017.


[] US.

-Total. AAGR 2015-8 (not 2010-18 as other regions; our full records had not started in 2010) +5%.

-Airlines. 2015-8 AAGR +11%. Best performer United +15%, worst Jet Blue -11%.

-Hotels. 2015-8 AAGR +12%. Best performer Belmond +38%, worst Wyndham -21%.

-Others. 2015-8 AAGR +3%. Best performer Boeing +31%, worst Avis Budget -15%.


[] Travel tech. AAGR 2015-8 (not 2010-18 as other regions; our full records had not started in 2010) +4%. Best performer Amadeus +14%, worst cTrip -17%.


[] Stockmarkets. 2010-8 AAGR +4%. Best performer Wellington +13%, worst Madrid -2%.



*A full report on this topic in our WYSK: What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis – including ‘best’ and ‘worst’ based on differences between company price-  and stockmarket-movements.



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.