Travel Industry Data Updates, March 25-29



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.


-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.