Current Conditions 17 March 2015

The image below shows the latest status for a number of factors driving tourism. Based on an analysis of over forty different series, grouped into eight ‘segments’, the chart above clearly comes with a hefty health warning, with the ‘scoring’ of each factor being as much art as it is science.

To read more detail about transport, weather, tourism and economic news which is affecting current tourism conditions open each section in the links below.

CC Jul 14 image
Transport News
  • IATA report that European carriers saw international air traffic increase by 5% compared with a year ago 

  • Heathrow had a record February, with the number of terminal passengers up 1.1% on a year ago but once again growth was driven by strong increases in transfer traffic which rose 5.0%.  Traffic on routes to/from Africa and Asia Pacific was lower than a year before, but domestic, European, Middle East, Latin America and North America volumes all witnessed healthy growth 

  • During February Gatwick saw an annual increase of 7.2% in the number of terminal passengers.  European scheduled traffic rose 9.6%, North Atlantic 9.5%, other long-haul 7.6% while domestic traffic fell 6.5% 

  • Edinburgh Airport saw an annual increase of 6.5% in the number of international passengers using the airport during February, while domestic passenger volumes jumped 9.5% 

  • Glasgow Airport saw an annual increase of 24.9% in the number of international passengers using the airport during February, while domestic passenger volumes increased by 6.9% 

  • Stansted Airport handled 25% more passengers during February than a year ago

  • London City Airport had a record February with passenger traffic up 33% on a year ago

  • British Airways report revenue passenger kms in February 2015 were 3.3% up on a year ago 

  • BA franchise partner Sun-Air will launch flights from Gothenburg to Cambridge from 2 March operating twice daily Mondays to Thursdays, with the route being viable thanks to demand from biopharmaceutical Astra Zeneca 

  • From late April bmi Regional will launch flights to Bristol from Paris Charles de Gaulle (11 flights per week) and Dusseldorf (6 flights per week) 

  • Wizz Air will launch its twice-weekly flight from Kosice (Slovakia) to Doncaster Sheffield three months earlier than originally planned with the first flight now set for 7 June 

  • From July EgyptAir is to resume flights from Cairo to Manchester, operating 3 times per week initially, then increasing to 5 per week from July 

  • From late March bmi Regional is axing its flights between Aberdeen and Manchester where it currently operates 16 flights per week 

  • Hainan Airlines will operate flights from Beijing to Birmingham on Mondays and Fridays between 3 July and 28 August 

  • From August Korean Air will start to introduce its new 747 8I aircraft on flights from Seoul to London Heathrow, with the ‘stretched’ version of the 747 accommodating 368 passengers 

  • Malaysia Airlines says it will cut seat capacity by 10% as part of its restructuring programme and hints that its focus will be more on profitable domestic and regional routes rather than long-haul operations 

  • From July Avianca will increase its flights from Bogota to Heathrow from four per week to a daily rotation 

  • From late May Aer Lingus will operate five times per week from Dublin to Doncaster Sheffield 

  • From late April VLM will launch flights from Waterford to London Luton with double-daily flights on week days and one per day at weekends, while flights will also operate four times per week from Waterford to Birmingham  

  • From late October Ryanair will launch flights from Berlin Schoenefeld to Glasgow (4 per week) and increase flights from Berlin to London Stansted from 2 to 4 per day 

  • From June Wizz Air will fly twice per week from Ohrid (Macedonia) to London Luton 

  • Lufthansa pilots to take strike action on 18 March impacting the carriers short and medium haul routes 

  • Air traffic control strike in Italy disrupts some flights to the UK on 17 February 

  • According to Met Office figures February brought temperatures that were above the seasonal norm, sunshine amounts that were well above average but rainfall totals were close to average 

Domestic Economic News
Domestic Economic News
  • UK consumer price inflation fell to an annual rate of 0.3% in January 

  • In the three months to December UK unemployment fell to 5.7% of the workforce while average earnings (excluding bonuses) rose by 1.7% 

European Economic News
European Economic News
  • The German economy grew by 0.7% in the final three months of 2014, beating expectations 

  • The French economy grew by just 0.1% in the final three months of 2014 

  • Sweden’s central bank cuts interest rates from 0.0% to -0.1% and introduces Quantitative Easing 

  • In the year to January consumer prices fell at an annual rate of 0.4% in France 

  • The European Central Bank begins buying government bonds in an attempt to boost the Eurozone economy and lessen the chance of persistent deflation taking hold – with one of the outcomes being a further weakening in the value of the euro against sterling  

US Economic News
US Economic News
  • The dollar continues to strengthen against both sterling and the euro 

  • US unemployment fell to 5.5% in February with the economy adding 295,000 jobs 

Global Economic News
Global Economic News
  • The Reserve Bank of India cuts interest rates from 7.75% to 7.5%

  • The Australian economy continues to experience a decelerating rate of growth, expanding at an annual rate of 2.5% in the final quarter of 2014 

  • Brazil’s central bank increases base rates to 12.75% to try and combat inflation  

Tourism News
Tourism News
  • STR Global figures show that London hotel supply increased by 3.4% in January compared with a year ago while demand rose by 5.3%.  Occupancy increased 1.8% to 69.4% and average daily room rates reached £124.33, 2.5% up on a year ago 

  • According to STR Global hotel supply in London increased at an annual rate of 3.5% in February while demand rose by 4.1%.  Occupancy increased by 0.6 percentage points to 77.3% and average daily room rates were up 0.7% to £128.47 

  • According to STR Global at the end of January there were 4,470 hotel rooms in the ‘under contract’ pipeline in Greater London 

  • According to STR Global during January UK hotels saw occupancy of 62.9% up from 58.6% a year before, average daily room rates stood at £77.47 up 4.9% and revenue per available room reached £48.74, up 9.4% on a year ago  

Trends update

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2012 to 2015 editions of Trends Update