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Performance Tracking  > 2011 Vacation Planning  > Introduction

WebSitePulse 2011 Vacation Planning Websites Performance & Uptime Report

The vacation season is knocking on the door and for the people in the e-tourism industry it will surely be one busy season. It is now a fact that online travel sales have surpassed the offline ones in the US and the other markets are following suit. A research by eMarketer shows that this year the online sales of business and holiday travel will increase with another 8.5% this year to $107.4 billion, up from $99 billion in 2010. The report indicates that more than 114 million people will research travel online this year, and 93.9 million will book it.

However, the latest trends show that online travel buyers are increasingly going to the websites of the tourism suppliers, rather than using online travel agencies. One of the reasons is that the sites of the suppliers have improved drastically and often guarantee the lowest price. Another reason for this trend is the growing complexity of travel web sites in the past two years. According to Henri H. Harteveldt, vice president and principal analyst of airline and travel research for Forrester, most leisure travelers think that the websites are not helping them find the value they are looking for. Additionally, results from different studies show that price comes second when searching for a vacation online. The decisive factor appears to be whether the portal is able to provide them a better and positive user experience.
Faced with these issues, the most popular online booking destinations will have to make sure that the services they are offering are fast, stable and constantly available. WebSitePulse will be keeping an eye on their availability and response times and, as usual, will be publishing the statistics in our Vacation Planning Performance Tracking report. We have selected twelve popular travel websites from US, Europe and Australia that rank at the highest search engine positions. We will monitor these sites continuously from May 16 through June 30, 2011 and measure the performance levels and the availability of these websites independently and from various remote worldwide monitoring locations to best reflect the End Users' experience.
The reports and charts will be updated daily showing the results from the previous day and for the entire monitoring period to the current date. 
The WebSitePulse Performance Reports measure Website Uptime and Website Response Time as the most important metrics for the availability and the reliability of any web-based operation, critical for the End Users' overall online experience. The Reports reflect not only the performance of the websites home pages, but typically measure a complete web transaction representative for the End Users' interactions with a website. Measurements of the multi-step web transactions are made every 15 minutes, simultaneously from 4 different monitoring locations. The WebSitePulse advanced monitoring system has automated, built-in false alarm prevention and error verification controls that ensure the reliability of the measurement results. The Reports reflect the most common website performance criteria - response time and availability. In-depth analytical information is also collected and stored in the WebSitePulse system for future references. The WebSitePulse Application Monitoring service is used to collect data and produce the Report.