Every day we read on financial news the list of countries and nationalities suffering worst from the crisis.
Here in Western Europe we like to think that our welfare system + high private saving society shielded us from the worst, in spite of GDP figures going worse then average. The theory goes that GDP went down because we're export oriented countries and demand from profligate countries fell. Yet, the theory continues, if you look at the fiscal deficit and unemployment growth rate you'll see who are the really sick ones.
Whatever, I'm not going to argue on the general theory, I'd just like to make our experience public as a sort of BigMac Index. Let's see which nationalities really cut spending on holidays in 2009 as compared to a year earlier, worse to best.
1. Germany: They lost 7 percentage points compared to a year earlier.
2. Poland: They lost 2.3 percentage points
3. The U.K.: They lost 2.2 percentage points
4. Spain: minus 1.4 percentage points
5. Ireland: minus 1 percentage points
6. Austria: minus 0.5 percentage points
USA: increase of 6.5 percentage points
France: increase 2 percentage points
Italy: increase 1.5 percentage points
Danemark: increase 1.2 percentage points
Australia: 1 percentage point
One note, this statistic was made using market share, not nominal growth. Therefore those nationalities (like US and Germany) holding large shares of our market were obviously more likely to bigger jumps or falls.
Still, Germany's fall is huge! We all know Poland, UK, Spain and Ireland are suffering (Greece, baltic countries and Island, getting a lot of headlines, are too small in market share to make sense counting in this contest). Nobody told us (in the news I mean) that the Germans were suffering like that! Did we uncover something? Or is it just travel? Or just us?
And the Americans... reading the headlines you would think they're bankrupt. Not on our experience! France, DK and Australia we all know are faring better than others. But what happened to us Italians? We're also bankrupt in the news! What's all this traveling about?