The Gomez Hotel Industry Homepage Benchmark for July reveals several key trends…
The Gomez Hotel Industry Homepage Benchmark for July reveals several key trends.
- Network data center average response times in the month of July outperformed benchmarks established the two previous months. Gomez metrics reveal that while June was a slow month on average for the industry, response times have normalized over the past 30 days.
- Marriott and Choice Hotels continue to lead the competition with the quickest response time; each delivers highly reliable Web sites, trailing only Starwood in Availability Ratings.
- For comparative purposes, Gomez stacked the Hotel Homepage Benchmark against its Top Travel Web Site Benchmark. The average response time for the most heavily trafficked travel sites was 4.26 seconds, substantially trailing the hotel average of 3.61 seconds. Availability was comparable with benchmarked hotels coming in at an average of 99.46% versus top travel sites, which demonstrated average availability of 99.53%.
We`ve determined that over the past four months hotel industry response times are holding steady. That`s not to say that there are not days when performance degrades and negatively affects the online experience, but when averaged over a month time frame the bumps tend to get smoothed out in the benchmark average. To keep things interesting, we decided to compare hotel site performance with that of highly trafficked travel hubs an analyst comments.
In the Top Travel category, Expedia blows away the competition with a lightning fast homepage, averaging 0.73 seconds to load. The next closest competitor, Hoteldiscounts, loads its homepage in 2.56 seconds on average. Interestingly, only the two fastest performers from the Hotel benchmark outperform the Hoteldiscount site; neither approaches Expedia`s bar-setting response time. On the slow end of the spectrum, Cheaptickets.com and Onetravel.com. weigh down the benchmark with 7-plus second page load times. Across a high-speed Network Data Center connection (T1), these pages force consumers to wait an inordinate amount of time.
But as always, content is king; if consumers can`t find it — or if a site doesn`t offer what they are looking for — they`re likely to go elsewhere. This is a lesson learned across every industry segment. The question is whether hotels are listening.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.