Travel Industry Data Updates, April 22-26

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FOXTROTS*

 

Travel Industry Data Updates, April 22-26.

From http://www.travelbusinessanalyst.com

 

Travel business updates

26 April 2019

[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:

-On Middle East hotels Q1 occupancy +0.9% to 71.0%, average room rate -8.8% to US$148.43.

-On US hotels 14-20 April occupancy -6.2% to 65.7%, average room rate -1.9% to US$128.79.

[] PCW (Phocuswright) report on Europe’s three largest markets:

-Germany 43mn outbound travellers, 61% of adults.

-UK 33mn 60%.

-France 32mn 59%.

 

Our outlook for travel

25 April 2019

The following is extracted from our input for an external report.

[] Assessment of travel business in the past four months compared to what we would expect for that period:

Equal.

Our outlook for this period was not positive, and this has been the outcome. There seem to be more negative (or uncertain, which is almost the same) factors than positive ones. And this seems to be slowing growth in travel, and in some cases, slowing.

  Overall growth, according to WTO data, seems to be continuing as normal. But are there factors that require additional analysis (such as shorter trips, which may show up as bigger spend, because per-day spend is higher for shorter trips than for longer ones)?

[] Assessment of travel business in the next four months compared to what we would expect for that period:

Equal.

Same reasoning. Outlook has not been positive, and this seems unlikely to change in the next 12 months. Again, there are too many negative factors, and too many circumstances that may get worse.

  If only one or two negatives, that would not be a problem, but if there are more (we could count 10), there is a mathematical chance that at least one will ‘explode’.

 

Travel Canada-US

24 April 2019

Global Data forecasts travel from Canada to the US will fall from 23.3mn in 2013 to 14.9mn in 2022, falling at a -4.8% AAGR (annual average growth rate).

Other GD data:

-Visitor numbers fell from 23.3mn to 18.9mn over 2013-18, a -4.1% AAGR.

-33% of Canada (residents? GD reports ‘Canadians’) have no holiday plans.

-23% take city breaks.

We report on US official data:

-US data and forecasts on arrivals from Canada – 21.1mn +4% in 2018, 22.3mn +2% 2020, 23.7mn +3% 2022.

-That would represent +3.2% 2017-22.

 

Hotel business updates

23 April 2019

[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:

-On US hotels Q1 occupancy +0.4% to 61.8%, average room rate +1.1% to US$129.02.

-On US hotels March occupancy flat at 68.4%, average room rate +0.6% to US$132.66.

 

Russia outbound travel +6%

22 April 2019

Russian nationals made 44mn +6.1% outbound trips in 2018, according to Romir (with some government, some survey, and data).

Apart from border destinations (no data), top-5, were Turkey 5.72mn +26%, Germany 1.30mn +5%, Thailand 1.17mn +7%, Italy 1.09mn +22%, Spain 0.96mn +3%.

Top-5 leisure destinations were Turkey 4.50mn, Thailand 852,000, Italy 805,000, Spain 780,000, and UAE 749,000. Growth not given.

Other findings:

-Nine of top-10 destinations are known (at least in part) for their beach/seaside attractions.

-Of leading leisure destinations, 88% visit Tunisia for leisure reasons; Montenegro 82%; Greece 80%; Bulgaria 79%; UAE 78%.

-No visa required (considered an important factor) for Korea, Montenegro, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, UAE, Vietnam.

-Seaside/water destinations mostly attract youth aged 18-24, the most active travel sector of the market. 53% are interested in such destinations.

-Of those above-60 years, 10% will visit seaside/water destinations.

For this year:

-36% will visit a destination for its beach (or other waters) attractions – plus 16% ‘may’ go, 48% ‘will not’ go.

-17% (18, 65) to a cultural destination to visit sites such as museums, monuments etc. People aged 35-44 are more interested in this, 23%.

-16% (14 70) to an ecotourism destination (including hiking, fishing, rafting). Men chose this 22% compared with 11% for women.

-14% will visit a health resort – most popular among those above-60 years and those with high income (not defined).

-8% (10 82) to ski resorts; 15% of those aged 18-24.

*Notes:

-More in Romir’s Russian Tourism Market Report.

-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.

 

Travel Industry Data Updates, April 8-12

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Travel Industry Data Updates, April 8-12

From http://www.travelbusinessanalyst.com

 

TBA Tracking: Travel Traffic Indices – US, Europe

12 April 2019

Travel Traffic Index, US

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: 2019: Jan +4%E. 2018: Dec +5.4%P; Nov +5.6%.

Travel Traffic Index, Europe

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: 2019: Jan +4%E. 2018: Dec +5.4%P; Nov +6.0%.

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

 

TBA Tracking: Travel Traffic Indices – Asia Pacific, world

11 April 2019

Travel Traffic Index, 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: 2019: Jan +4%E. 2018: Dec +4.1%P; Nov +4.4%. (Percentage change over previous year. E=estimate, P=provisional.)

Travel Traffic Index, world

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: 2019: Jan +5%E. 2018: Dec +5.2%P; Nov +5.7%. (Percentage change over previous year. E=estimate, P=provisional.)

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

Travel business updates

10 April 2019

[] Luxembourg-based Corporacion America Airports, which operates 52 airports mainly in Latin America (in Europe in Armenia and Italy), reports passengers-handled in 2018 at 81.3mn +6.1%.

[] Marriott targets operating 1000 hotels in Asia Pacific by end-2020; it currently has 710. That would be an 18.8% annual average growth rate.

This year it targets adding 100 hotels.

[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels 31 March-6 April: occupancy +0.4% to 68.7%, average room rate +1.5% to US$130.79.

 

TBA Tracking: Stock Indices – travel, airline, hotel

9 April 2019

Travel stocks

The March ‘TBA-100 Index’ of travel stock prices, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows: World 222, Asia Pacific 100, Europe 194, US 371. (Base: December 2006.)

Airline stocks

The March ‘TBA-100 Index’ of airline stock prices worldwide, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows 214. Previous month 227. (Base 100: December 2004 or when first listed.)

Hotel stocks

The March ‘TBA-100 Index’ of hotel stock prices worldwide, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows 164. Previous month 180. (Base 100: December 2000 or when first listed.)

 

TBA Tracking: Indices, Travel Stocks

8 April 2019

The Baird/STR Hotel Stock Index in March for US hotel companies was 4642 -0.9% (over previous month). YTD, the stock index was +14.1%.

The ‘TBA Travel Stocks Index’ for March, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, shows: World 222, Asia Pacific 100, Europe 194, US 371.

The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Airline Stocks Index’ for March, from the current editions of our Travel Business Analyst newsletters, was at 214.

The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Hotel Stocks Index’ for March, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 164.

The worldwide ‘TBA-100 Hotel Stocks Index’ for March, from the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst, was at 128.

Notes: The Baird/STR hotel index is based on 1000 at February 2000. The TBA Hotel and Airline stocks indices are based on 100 at December 2000, the ‘TBA All-Travel Index’ 100 at December 2006, the ‘Net-Value Travel-Tech Index’ 100 at December 2014 – or when first listed if later.

 

 

 

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 Industry Data Updates, April 1-5

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Travel Industry Data Updates, April 1-5

From http://www.travelbusinessanalyst.com

 

Travel business updates

5 April 2019

[] Hyatt forecasts it will grow from 19 cities in India to 27 by end-2020 – with 14/2100 more hotels/rooms.

[] IATA (International Air Transport Association) reports February RPKs +5.3%, ASKs +5.4%, load factor 80.6% -0.1pt.

-RPKs by region – Asia Pacific +6.3%, Europe +7.3%, Middle East -0.9%, North America +4.2%.

-International RPKs +4.6%, ASKs +5.1%, load factor 79.5% -0.4pt. Asia Pacific RPKs +4.2%, Europe +7.6%, Middle East -0.8%, North America +4.2%.

-Domestic RPKs +6.4%, ASKs +5.8%, load factor 82.4% +0.5pt. RPKs in Australia -1.7%, Brazil +5.8%, China +11.4%, India +10.0%, Japan +2.5%, Russia +10.1%, US +4.5%.

[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports on US hotels:

-24-30 March occupancy +4.2% to 69.5%, average room rate +0.9% to US$131.77.

-17-23 March occupancy +0.2% to 69.6%, average room rate +0.2% to US$133.65.

 

Flat UK hotel sales

4 April 2019

PWC* (international accountants nee Price Waterhouse Coopers) forecasts a flat year for UK hotel deals – although it reports growth, and its figures show a fall! For 2018, it reports US$8.57bn (at US$1 to £0.77) +36%, and it forecasts (apparently for this year) +10% to US$7.79bn.

  Clearly, because figures can vary so much in one year – sometimes due to special cases – the industry should follow what some in the MICE industry, and we, do. That is to calculate growth in 5-year averages – to balance out distortions caused by unusually-big or -small deals in one year.

PWC also reports some operational data:

-Forecasts London occupancy growth +0.3%, ARR (average room rate) +1.4% for the next two years, taking it to US$196 +1.3% this year and US$199 +1.3% in 2020.

-Supply (we believe this data is just London) grew +2% in 2018, and PCW forecasts +4% in London this year.

-Regions (ie, everywhere outside London) occupancy this year -0.1%, ARR +0.5%, taking it to US$95.

-In 2020 it forecasts regions occupancy -0.1%, ARR +0.8%, although it gives the same figure as this year, US$95.

*Notes: At press time, PWC had not answered our request for clarifications.

 

Outbound – China, US

3 April 2019

[] Global Data forecasts outbound spend of ‘Chinese travellers‘* will be US$375bn in 2022, from US$244bn in 2018 (and US$295bn in 2020) an +11.3% AAGR (annual average growth rate) and +12.6% 2020-22. For this year it forecasts +9.7% to US$268bn.

*Notes: We presume GD is forecasting for all residents in China not just China nationals or ethnic Chinese.

[] The US has re-released US outbound travel data for 2018. The main figures are unchanged:

-Total nationals (thus excluding non-citizen residents) 93.0mn +6.1%.

-North America (Canada, Mexico) 51.3mn +3.8%.

-Overseas 41.8mn +9.0%. Shares: Europe 19% +1pt; change not given for rest – Asia 7%, Middle East 3%.

 

Hotel growth – Asia Pacific, Europe

2 April 2019

Research & Markets* (RM), a company, reports:

On hotels in Asia Pacific:

-2017 hotels 63,616, a +4.8% AAGR (annual average growth rate) over 2013-17.

-Forecasts 81,234 in 2022, a 5.0% AAGR (which calculates to the period 2017-22).

-RM gives fastest category growth without actual totals, reducing the value of that information. It reports a +6.8% AAGR, fastest, for luxury hotels over 2013-17, and +4.2% for midscale, slowest.

On hotels in Europe:

-2017 hotels 188,898, a +0.7% AAGR over 2013-17.

-Forecasts 204,925 in 2022, a 1.6% AAGR (again which calculates to the period 2017-22).

-Category growth, also without totals – a +3.3% AAGR, the fastest, for luxury hotels over 2013-17, and +0.2% for budget, slowest.

*Notes: We have run many critical reviews 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.

 

TBA Tracking; March travel stocks; another bad month

1 April 2019

Travel stock prices (US, Asia Pacific, Europe) in March. Airlines: biggest growth, Jet Airways +21%; biggest fall, Norwegian -24%. Hotels: NH, Spain +7%, Wyndham -10%. Tech: cTrip +28%, Trivago -14%. Others: Eurotunnel +4%, Thomas Cook -18%.

Previous month: Airlines: biggest growth, China Southern +15%; biggest fall, Norwegian -53% (sic). Hotels: Shangri-La +10%, MGM -10%. Tech: eDreams +9%, Booking -11%. Others: Avis +35%, TUI -32%.

TBA Travel Stocks Index: World 222, Asia Pacific 100, Europe 194, US 371. Index previous month: World 224, Asia Pacific 98, Europe 194, US 380.

NVTT (Net Value Travel Tech) Stocks Index: 128; previous month 124.

Stockmarkets. Biggest growth India +8%; biggest fall Istanbul -10%. Previous month: biggest growth Shanghai +12%; biggest fall India -2%.

Comments:

-Airlines are still performing badly. Of the 14 in AsPac, 8 are falling; in Europe 10 9 (the other was unchanged); US 7 6. And, unusually, hotels were almost as bad as airlines: AsPac 6 4 (plus one unchanged); Europe 5 3; US 9 7.

-India’s Jet Airways was top-growth airline following speculation of an ownership change, although it may also be shut down. Remarkably, it is the third of Etihad-owned airlines to fall into financial trouble. Its Air Berlin has shut down, and Alitalia is in bankruptcy. Despite that growth, Jet’s current price is -3% down on its end-2018 price.

-Strangely, the airline at the bottom of the table, Norwegian, was also surrounded by takeover and shutdown speculation.

-Another airline with strong growth was Air China +14%.

-Also falling big were ICAG (International Consolidated Airlines Group; AerLingus British Iberia Vueling, plus) -15%, and SAS -20%. We still think SAS’s survival is in question – although we have been expecting that for a decade.

-We have noticed sizeable monthly fluctuations in travel-tech shares (although our NVTT Index was up slightly). Does this mean that the investment community still cannot easily determine what may be good or bad news?

-Boeing’s price was -13%, fallout from the grounding of its B737max aircraft.

Info from Travel Business Analyst. Details in next month’s editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.

 

 

 

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.

 

Trottings*: Palawan, Philippines

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TROTTINGS*

 

Trottings*: Palawan, Philippines

Pristine islands, marine treasure trove, unique bio diversity

 

I thought I had seen many beautiful islands in my world travels, until I arrived in the Palawan archipelago.

 

Palawan’s endless coastlines, landscapes and seascapes are straight out of National Geographic spread. It feels like I entered a geological wonderland with stunning topography everywhere. Travelling along the coastline, the visual panoramas of karst limestone islands carpeted in lush greenery jutting out vertically from the seas is awe-inspiring.

 

Palawan is a terrestrial and marine treasure trove of the most bio-diverse islands in the Philippines. The island has had a Biosphere Reserve status since the early 1990s. With a farsighted former local mayor, Edward Hagedorn, who initiated and created blueprints for their conservation and sustainable development, most locals we met are well-versed in environmental preservation.

 

 

Where: Geographical location

Palawan is an elongated island province southwest Philippines, in the Mimaropa region. It is the largest province in the country in terms of total area of jurisdiction. Its capital is Puerto Princesa, but it is governed independently from the province.

 

The islands of Palawan stretch between Mindoro in the northeast and Borneo in the southwest. The province is named after its largest island, Palawan Island, measuring 450km long and 50km wide. Palawan, the least populated province in Philippines, consists of 431 districts (barangays) in 23 municipalities and the capital of Puerto Princesa.

 

Palawan is also the largest supplier of fish to the country.

 

 

Puerto Princesa, capital city

Landing in the capital, Puerto Princesa, was a welcome break after hectic Manila. It is the only urbanised centre in the low-density province, with low-rise buildings and an unhurried pace, retaining an old world charm.

 

 

Area

With Puerto Princesa City included for geographical purposes, the province’s land area is 17,030sq km.

 

 

Bio-diversity

The province also represents a significant habitat for bio-diversity conservation. The area contains a full mountain to the sea ecosystem and protects forests.

 

 

The Land

Pristine lagoons with serene turquoise-green waters, sparkling sea, emerald islets, hidden beaches, caves with unique formations, mountain ranges shrouded in mist, and a diverse variety of wildlife, many special to the islands. To many, this must be paradise on earth.

 

 

History

Researchers found evidence in Tabon Caves that man, along with his tools and artifacts, has continuously lived in Palawan for more than 50,000 years. They also found bone fragments, named the Tabon Man in the municipality of Quezon. Although the origin of the cave dwellers is not yet established, anthropologists believe they came from Borneo. It is known as the cradle of Philippine civilisation.

 

We visited a Batak village (highland tribes), and saw an interesting family performing a tribal dance. I believe their dances and culture are similar to the Bataks I have met in the Lake Toba region of Sumatra, Indonesia.

 

I bought some handwoven Batak baskets, which now adorn my desk.

 

 

Community-based tourism

Many of the tourist attractions are community-based projects employing locals and their families. Partly because Palawan does not have an advanced infrastructure and access, it also does not have some of the less-attractive aspects of big-numbers tourism.

 

For instance, I did not see large groups of tourists nor overcrowding in their attractions. The pace is laid-back, the locals are friendly and welcoming, sometimes breaking into a song after only little encouragement. Filipinos love to sing, and seem to be born with natural talents for music and dance.

 

 

Destination Highlights

-The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park

This park has a spectacular limestones karst landscape with a long navigable underground river. The lower section of the river is subject to tidal influences, so those planning to take the tour should check with the coastguard for weather conditions. Especially for those who get seasick easily and not keen to be tossed around in a kayak.

 

The river ride consists of a motorised boat then transfer onto a kayak. The cave’s ceiling seems like nature has created and produced a sci-fi movie landscape, with fantastic shaped rocks, gigantic mushrooms looming above.

 

 

Island Hopping in Honda Bay, Pandan & Cowrie Island

A short and scenic boat ride takes the visitor from the Wharf to Cowrie Island where you can snorkel, swim and laze around amid coconut trees. Lunch was a buffet smorgasbord of Filipino seafood, rice and sinigang soup, zinging with sour tamarind and spicy chilies.

 

Then another short boat ride to Pandan island. There is a family selling their fresh catch of seafood in giant sizes, displayed on a wooden stall. Visitors can have an amazing grilled seafood lunch with big crabs, squids, prawns for five for less than US$15. By big-city standards, this is a feast and a great-value deal.

 

 

-Shopping

Everything seems cheap converted from Filipino pesos to US$. There is a bazaar-like market where one can buy local handicrafts, dried mangoes, pearls, colourful clothing, and souvenir T-shirts. My favourite buys are dried mangoes, strands of pearls, beautiful woven handbags, and handcrafted leather bracelets.

 

 

-Crocodile Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center

At the entry, a large crocodile skeleton welcomes you. Visitors can walk over a metal bridge over a crocodile farm to see dozens of crocodiles lying on top, motionless for a long time.

 

The action starts when one crocodile from under the pile starts to move, the rest untangle themselves from the jam and scramble around. Fascinating but scary too if you imagine falling into the crocodile pits.

 

 

-Ugong Rock

Arrived on a windswept day in this almost deserted beach with undulating hills on east side and a splendid sea view on other. Activities available include cave climbing. The community guide may be an elderly white hair auntie outpacing you in stamina.

 

 

-Firefly watching in a mangrove river

This is one of the most unusual tours we have done. There is something special about being in a kayak watching the luminous fireflies emitting their bioluminescence in the silence of a moonlit night.

 

We had the incredible luck of a magical full moon and a knowledgeable guide – a combination of astronomer, botanist, etymologist. He held us enthralled in our canoe, pointing his laser beam light towards the sky and share insights of the constellations, etc.

 

 

Low Crime

Once when we were strolling in Puerto Princesa Chinatown, I saw our local guide’s wallet and phone sticking out of his back pockets. I told him he would be a target of pickpockets. He proudly told me “This is Palawan, we don’t worry. “There is zero crime here.” Certainly not zero, but unusually low.

 

 

 

*Trottings = Trip Jottings

*The Fox Trots: Travel Stories from The Fox’s Friends.

 

The Fox’s Friends; Renee Chew

 

TBA Tracking; March travel stocks; another bad month

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FOXTROTS*

 

TBA Tracking; March travel stocks; another bad month

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

 

Airlines: biggest growth, Jet Airways +21%; biggest fall, Norwegian -24%. Hotels: NH, Spain +7%, Wyndham -10%. Tech: cTrip +28%, Trivago -14%. Others: Eurotunnel +4%, Thomas Cook -18%.

 

Previous month: Airlines: biggest growth, China Southern +15%; biggest fall, Norwegian -53% (sic). Hotels: Shangri-La +10%, MGM -10%. Tech: eDreams +9%, Booking -11%. Others: Avis +35%, TUI -32%.

 

TBA Travel Stocks Index: World 222, Asia Pacific 100, Europe 194, US 371. Index previous month: World 224, Asia Pacific 98, Europe 194, US 380.

 

NVTT (Net Value Travel Tech) Stocks Index: 128; previous month 124.

 

Stockmarkets. Biggest growth India +8%; biggest fall Istanbul -10%. Previous month: biggest growth Shanghai +12%; biggest fall India -2%.

 

 

Comments:

-Airlines are still performing badly. Of the 14 in AsPac, 8 are falling; in Europe 10 9 (the other was unchanged); US 7 6. And, unusually, hotels were almost as bad as airlines: AsPac 6 4 (plus one unchanged); Europe 5 3; US 9 7.

 

-India’s Jet Airways was top-growth airline following speculation of an ownership change, although it may also be shut down. Remarkably, it is the third of Etihad-owned airlines to fall into financial trouble. Its Air Berlin has shut down, and Alitalia is in bankruptcy. Despite that growth, Jet’s current price is -3% down on its end-2018 price.

 

-Strangely, the airline at the bottom of the table, Norwegian, was also surrounded by takeover and shutdown speculation.

 

-Another airline with strong growth was Air China +14%.

 

-Also falling big were ICAG (International Consolidated Airlines Group; AerLingus British Iberia Vueling, plus) -15%, and SAS -20%. We still think SAS’s survival is in question – although we have been expecting that for a decade.

 

-We have noticed sizeable monthly fluctuations in travel-tech shares (although our NVTT Index was up slightly). Does this mean that the investment community still cannot easily determine what may be good or bad news?

 

-Boeing’s price was -13%, fallout from the grounding of its B737max aircraft.

 

Info from Travel Business Analyst. Details in next month’s editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.

 

 

 

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 Industry Data Updates, March 25-29

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Travel Industry Data Updates, March 25-29

From http://www.travelbusinessanalyst.com

 

TBA Tracking; China outbound – monthly

29 March 2019

We estimate that outbound travel from China, including travel to Hong Kong and Macau, grew +15% in the latest month. The earlier month was +14%, then +10%, +5%, +16%. Details in the current editions of WYSK: What-You-Should-Know, published by Travel Business Analyst.

 

Travel business updates

28 March 2019

[] Research by Phocuswright (PCW) found that the top-3 reasons travellers book trip activities in advance are: they wanted to book all activities in advance, 36%; easier to book online than in destination, 15%; less costly to book online, 12%.

In addition, important ‘trip-driver’ activities are most likely to be purchased before flight or hotels are booked. 37% who attended a sporting event and 32% who visited an amusement or theme park purchased the activity before transportation or lodging.

[] STR (nee Smith Travel Research) reports:

-That outlook for hotels in Kuala Lumpur is not good – although it does not make any forecast. Among the indicators: Jan-Feb occupancy (-7.4% to 63.4%), ARR (average room rate) -3.9% to US$81 (MR330.85); Lunar New Year occupancy (66.9%) -20.7% against LNY 2018; supply was +5.6% through February, presumed over Feb 18.

-On Middle East hotels in February: occupancy +3.3% to 72.2%, ARR -6.3% to US$150.13.

-On US hotels 10-16 March: occupancy -0.9% to 70.2%, ARR +0.6% to US$134.50.

 

Questions on Italy outbound

27 March 2019

Global Data* forecasts that outbound trips from Italy will be 36.2mn in 2022, a +2.6% AAGR (annual average growth rate; we calculate +2.7%) from 32.6mn in 2018 (and 34.5mn in 2020).

Unfortunately, the reasons that GD gives for this growth are bizarre. Some examples:

-Growth in ‘low cost airlines, which reduce travel costs’. But these, particularly Ryanair, have been around for 20 years, and there has even been a fall in recent months (of lower-fare airlines), although countered by a bankrupt Alitalia lowering its fares to bring any money in.

-‘An overwhelming interest’ for travel and different experiences. No comment, although we do not understand ‘overwhelming’ in this context. More than the market can handle?

-GD says the two main factors for decision-making for holidays are ‘affordability and accessibility’, and that both have been ‘boosted’ by airline competition.

-GD forecasts domestic trips will fall over 2020-22, but gives no data apart from adding that that the total number has been near double arrivals in the past decade. Our database indicates just over 60mn arrivals in Italy in 2018, which would mean GD is working on 120mn domestic ‘arrivals’ (arrival counts are made in different categories, so it is not possible to be more specific on this; we have no data but Germany, for example, is about 150mn).

-GD notes that this fall is ‘potentially due’ to issues such as ‘overtourism’ in Italy, ‘causing’ Italians (and presumably non-Italian residents) to travel internationally.

-GD says local visitor boards in Italy should introduce ‘specific’ (special) deals and incentives to ‘maintain [the travellers’] interest’. Presumably, though, this would worsen the ‘overtourism’ that GD reports is causing a fall?

-Growth in income for younger travellers. We are not qualified to comment on that.

*Notes:

-We have found in other reports that GD sometimes misreads/misinterprets/misreports core travel data.

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

 

Travel and the environment

26 March 2019

A survey from ITB Berlin (ITBB), via Travelzoo, found:

-69% of international travellers regard environmental protection as a ‘very important topic’. Germans* 74%, Spanish 73%, Chinese 88%, rate themselves highly as regards environmental awareness.

-54% said that they had been unhappy about the large number of (other) visitors in their destinations, particularly Chinese 84%, French 61%, Germans 60%.

-55% said they would choose a different destination if there were fewer tourists; 72% for Chinese. This is the type of bizarre/unrealistic responses that survey-participants have. Because if that complaining-55% did not go to those destinations, there would be fewer visitors there. They want others to make the sacrifice that they themselves are not willing to make.

-76% of German holidaymakers would be willing to spend an additional US$110-340 (at US$1 to €0.89), and 20% would pay US$560 more for a 1-week holiday trip – in order to encounter fewer (other) visitors.

-We feel (with no statistical/survey support) that not only is this not true (they would not pay more than US$20 to reduce numbers (by how many? who gets the money?). In addition, that they could easily pay more either on their trip or to take another, and encounter fewer other travellers – by taking a personalised tour of Angkor Wat for example.

*Notes: We do not know if this, and others in this section, is for all residents in Germany (or other nationalities stated here), or just German nationals in Germany – and Germans in other countries?

 

ITB on China travel

25 March 2019

Some excerpts from a survey by ITB China, the ITB exhibition in Shanghai, on adventure travel from the China market:

-52% think Chinese travellers would spend ‘more than’ US$1600 (Y10,000) on each adventure trip. Using ‘more’ is disingenuous, and useless in such a survey. To explain, US$1mn is ‘more than’ Y10,000, and which ITBC therefore tells us China travellers are willing to spend – which is obviously not true. We presume ITBC means ‘as much as Y10,000’.

-75% considered customised and personalised travel experiences to be in high demand for adventure travel.

-80% agree that adventure travel is a travel category that appeals most strongly to Chinese born in the 1980s and 1990s.

-most important aspects are safety 30%, local activities 26%, scenery 17%.

 

 

 

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.