Travel Industry Data Updates, March 18-22






TBA Tracking: Travel Traffic Indices – Asia Pacific, Europe, US, world

22 March 2019

Asia Pacific

Our Asia Pacific ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current Asia Pacific edition of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2018: Dec +5%E; Nov +5.7%P; Oct +4.9%.


Our Europe ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current Europe edition of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2018: Dec +6%E; Nov +5.6%P; Oct +6.6%.


Our US ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2018: Dec +5%E; Nov +5.0%P; Oct +5.0%.


Our world ‘TBA Travel Industry Index’ from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows monthly traffic growth of: 2018: Dec +5%E; Nov +5.7%P; Oct +5.8%.

(Percentage change over previous year. E=estimate, P=provisional.)


Travel business updates

21 March 2019

[] ARC (the Airlines Reporting Corporation, handling financial settlements between US-based travel agencies and airlines), reports for February: air tickets sold US $8.3bn +2.8%; average US roundtrip ticket US$486 flat; passenger trips 25.9mn +2.1% (domestic -0.3%, international +5%, ARC-rounded); EMD (electronic miscellaneous document) sales US$6.4mn -2%, ARC-rounded; EMD transactions not numbered, -13%, ARC-rounded; online sales growth +9.2%.

[] IATA (International Air Transport Association) reports February airline share price movements ‘generally muted’. Our database shows +2.0%.

[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels in February: occupancy +0.7% to 62.2%, average room rate +1.9% to US$128.94.


New research on Asean, Spain

20 March 2019

Two new reports from Research & Markets* (RM), a company.

[] On Asean destinations:

-‘Business travel’ 37.1mn in 2018, +35.2% over 2014-18. We presume this is business-travel arrivals in the 10 destinations. RM does not clarify, nor give the overall total, nor take account of the different counting methods – most notably between the DMOs of Malaysia and Singapore.

  We estimate 133mn total-arrivals in Asean based on counts by DMOs. But 140mn if Singapore followed the same methodology as Malaysia, and 120mn if Malaysia followed the same methodology as Singapore.

  (Our WYSK-What-You-Should-Know monthly-report shows other adjustments to better standardise the totals.)

-61% of ‘tourism’ in Asean (we presume international visitor arrivals) is for leisure.

-RM makes a surprising observation:

‘The low price of items such as food and accommodation in much of the Asean region, makes it easy to travel around on a budget.’

We presume RM means ‘low budget’ (which, of course, still has no value if not accompanied by a figure). We also presume RM is commenting on prices outside Asean’s capitals and other centres – where prices are as high as in other destination regions.

[] On Spain:

-Outbound trips 18.4mn, forecast to grow ‘between 2018 and 2019’ (no further clarification) +6.4%.

-Outbound travel spend US$40.8bn +7.1% 2018 over 2017 (note different period than some other categories). Forecasts +15.6% AAGR (annual average growth rate) over 2019-22.

-Domestic trips 166.7mn +3.9%, over ‘2018 and 2019’.

-‘Spanish tourists’ spend an average US$212.09 +9.3% (quoted in US$) per domestic trip. We presume this is all domestic travellers, not just Spanish nationals; a Wikipedia report indicates there are about 6mn non-Spanish living in Spain, near-13% of the total.

Period not given; we presume 2018 over 2017. RM compares that Spain domestic-travel total with growth (not dollar counts) in France +3.3%, Germany +4.4%, but gives period of 2017-19 without further clarification.

-Forecasts +10.6% AAGR for outbound air travel over 2016-9.

-Forecasts average trip length ‘for the Spanish tourist’ to be 10 days in 2022.

*Notes: We have run many critical reports on RM reports, and we advise users to treat its findings with caution – most apparently due to imprecision in its editorial commentary. At press time, RM had not answered our request for clarifications.


New China hotels

19 March 2019

Lodging Econometrics on China’s hotel pipeline:

-2761 +12% hotels, 580,635 +6% rooms.

-Main cities – Guangzhou 132/28,694, Shanghai 123/25,283, Chengdu 109/23,478, Hangzhou 90/17,978, Suzhou 84/15,436.

-Main companies – Hilton 386/86,880, InterContinental 314/72,758, Jinjiang 288/33,043, Marriott 283/77,340, Accor 186/33,683.

-Of the main brands (may not always be in this position in the total list) – Hampton (Hilton) 194/30,345, DoubleTree (Hilton) 67/19,453, Holiday Inn Express 150/28,257, Holiday Inn 57/15,401, 7 Days (Jinjiang) 121/9541, Vienna (Jinjiang) 83/11,614, Marriott 64/19,463, Courtyard (Marriott) 35/9025, Ibis (Accor) 74/7849, Mercure (Accor) 50/8874.


Air updates

18 March 2019

Data from Washington Aviation Summary:

-813.8mn +5.5% travellers passed through US airport checkpoints in 2018. 4239 firearms were found in carry-on bags – reported as a ‘record’ but no other data given. Top-3 airports – Atlanta 298 (of which 253 were loaded firearms), Dallas 219 (193), Phoenix 129 (120). As these three total less than 700, the practice is spread wide through the country.

Airline ancillary revenue* was US$65bn in 2018. CI* are worryingly inconsistent. In 2018, they were reporting US$92.9bn and even US$82.2bn in 2017. CI do not give a growth rate, and so we are unable to analyse further. We presume this new US$65bn figure needs a qualification, and that it is not actually the grand total. In 2014, the global total was US$28.5bn.

On that US$65bn, Asia Pacific was US$18.8bn, Europe US$22.5bn, North America US$16.5bn, Africa/Middle East US$4.2bn, Latin America/Caribbean US$2.8bn. No growth rate given for these; according to our data, they would be falls, but as noted, CI are probably providing different data under the same generic description


-From Car Trawler, Idea Works = CI.

-Ancillary revenue (in the travel business usually used only for airlines although it could be used for other travel sectors) is generated by extra activities and services – for airlines this would be anything in addition to the air fare. Activities for airlines could be commission from hotel bookings, sale of frequent flyer points to partners. A big problem for measurement is that some airlines – usually no-frills-airlines but now often all types of airlines – charge extra for baggage transport and food (= ancillary), and others do not.

-A full report on this topic in our WYSK: What-You-Should-Know monthly-report contains some important additional information, qualification, and analysis.




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.