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No 2001/1 - Wednesday, January 23, 2001

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  Tour operator and online French agencies: quality and professionalism  

For this new eIndice of Tour Operator and online agencies, we were led to refine even more our audit methodology and this eIndice is now based on 222 criteria, when it used to include no more than 145 criteria in the past.

New functions, new services, increased expertise are what led us to increase the depth of our eIndices.

Due to these new requirements, we observe a general drop in the marks obtained by the sites (around 0.75 point). Please take this into account when judging of the sites quality in relation with our previous eIndice.

My first comment will be about the quality level obtained by the sites in this eIndice.

Our audit shows that most of them made great progress in the following categories:

  • Ease of browsing.
  • Search engines.
  • Segmentation.
  • Booking systems.
  • Presentation of the products.
  • Guides and advice…

This proves how mature these eTourism sites have become in the Internet sector.

My second comment will be about the "tightening" of the quality level between the sites of these eTourism actors.


As you can see, the gap between the first and the seventh site in this list does not represent more than 0.93 point, when the difference used to be as much as 2 points in our last eIndice.

Such a small gap out of a total of 222 criteria of analysis well proves the Internet maturity of these sites.

Of course, all these sites still have much room for manœuvre in such and such area. And yet, for many criteria, we noticed that Web standards are now well-respected, technical problems well mastered and that these actors are now beginning to integrate the Internet-only marketing approach correctly.

As you well know, we also analyze American eTourism sites on a regular basis and, frankly, we've noticed that the gap that used to exist between the United States and Europe has not only decreased but often disappeared and this applies to a great deal of issues.

Finally, we must not forget that the leader in this new eIndice is called Degriftour-lastminute.

The best mark ever obtained by Degriftour in our previous eIndices never exceeded 4.41 out of 10. The fact that it managed to get as much as 5.84 out of ten in one go (in view of the general drop estimated to 0.75 points, due to the increase of our criteria number) is a real achievement and we want to congratulate them.

It goes without saying that such achievement is due to the fact that Degriftour and lastminute were brought together and the result can be noticed throughout the site:

  • Human touch and friendly tone typically "lastminute" that can be found online but also in the newsletter, in the email answers…

  • "Redesigned" Graphic interface: pastel colours with the pink lastminute touch.

  • Quality of the product presentation, of the site layout.

  • Very good usability…

  • And let's not forget the technological control that was already an integral part of Degriftour.

This Degriftour-lastminute equation might have seemed rather straightforward on paper, and yet the fact that it managed, in such a short time, to express itself on line with such a high level of success is worth mentioning.

Degriftour-lastminute, which is already much ahead of the other French eTourism sites as far as brand knowledge and site traffic are concerned (those elements bear out in the analyses concerning net surfers' behaviour which is carried out by our partner BVA TFC Research through its panel of 13.000 net surfers, both at work and at home), strengthens its rank of leader in the French eTourism sector via this eIndice.

The successful online result of the alliance between those two companies turns our classification upside down, since Travelprice no longer comes first, when this has always been the case ever since our eIndices were launched.

eBookers holds on firm to its second position and please note that Club Med arrives in fourth position, we must admit that the quality of the site came as a good surprise.

As for Promovacances and Anyway, they worked their way up to the top quality Internet sites through new versions and regular improvements, and two new sites follow close behind: and

To cut it short, French eTourism is presently in full bloom, which can only please us since quality has materialized.

The small qualitative gaps that could be seen between those sites augur well of the future and the quality level that was achieved proves, if needs be, that each of these sites has but one ambition: remain among the leaders.

If French eTourism emerges as the great winner, we must not forget that European ambitions are not missing in this top 10: Degriftour-lastminute, Travelprice, eBookers, eDreams, all of these sites are looking for a European positioning and the great quality increase we have noticed should be a supplementary asset in these sites mutual strategies.

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