Monday, October 22, 2007

Not all European Tourist Boards are ready for summer rush

Tourists do lots of research on the web before traveling and National Tourist Boards websites are the number one web destinations. How well are National Tourism Boards’ websites prepared to pick out the best vacation seasons? MonitorUS conducted research to check speed and availability of European countries official websites out of several locations in the US and Europe.
National Tourist Boards’ websites have become very significant and critical gateways; they make the first impression, share information across geographical, linguistic and technological boundaries, creating the electronic market place. A good performing website entices potential tourists to use their services and to come to their country. Effective websites show close to 100% availability. MonitorUS has been monitoring European National Tourist Board sites during the 1-12 June 2007 and showed the following uptime results.

Finland was at 91.5% which meant that the site was down more than a day during the for mentioned period, and while we might think, 98% is good it actually means the site being down approximately 6 hours during 12 days! How many customers were lost during that time? High uptime is not only possible it is absolutely necessary to be effective. Finland and Denmark official tourism sites seem to have had serious issues during the first twelve days in June.

Mon.itor.Us also measures website load speed which is an important metric in delivering a quality web experience. Web customers aren’t going to stand in the “queue” to reach you. Slow loading means longer time waiting in the line. Table below presents official websites’ load speed for 12 days.
Several sites demonstrated poor speed which is almost equal to being down; the worst were Greece and UK websites.
On-going monitoring and measurement of website uptime and load speed is a best practice, if businesses want to be competitive. It is not only important to monitor your own sites but also sites which directly or indirectly may affect your performance. For example tour operators or hotels’ website traffic may be significantly affected by the Country Tourist websites low availability.

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