Hint: it's the color of their first quarter financial report which was released yesterday.
Here are the similarities to the annual report filed a little bit ago:
- Website sales and fees account for 79.5% of total revenue
- Travel commissions account for 12.5% (no real surprise there)
- Marketing income is 7%
- Miscellaneous is 1%
On the expense side:
- 58.7% of the money earned went to the rep side of the business
- 9% of the money earned went to the travel side of the business --but they sell travel ;) ...really!
Which brings me to the huge increase in the number of people that are bailing out on YTB. Last year, for the entire year, YTB had 66,910 RTAs quit the program. This is a simple calculation on page 12 of the report. Number of RTAs at the end of 2006 plus the number of websites sold minus the current number of RTAs. That gives you the number that bailed. They lost 5,575 RTAs per month last year!
Let's look at the first quarter of 2008. At the end of the year in 2007, they had 131,065 RTAs in the program. During the first quarter of this year, they added 30,893 (which incidentally is an 8% drop in recruiting from 2007) websites, which should effectively bring them to 161,958. However, they only currently have 138,814 RTAs. That means that in the past three months, 23,144 RTAs have dropped out of YTB. That is 7,714 per month or a 38% INCREASE in drop outs.
My speculation on why?
- Loss of IATA
- Loss of RCCL
- Continued bad publicity from RTAs scamming people
- Lack of qualified travel leadership
- The Olympic debacle
- The 2 Fly Free debacle
- The Piccolo debacle
- name your own debacle
OK--YTB reporters, start your cotton gins! Spin spin spin. Hint--don't try the "well we wanted to lose money and RTAs" line--it did not work when IATAN shot you down a second time, it won't work now.
PS: I forgot to mention that they posted a NET LOSS of $3.5 MILLION.