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Issue 2001-7 - Thursday, April 19, 2001

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Who are the Internet users who visit What is the result of the acquisition of Degriftour by lastminute in terms of figures?

Who are the Internet users who visit What is the result of the acquisition of Degriftour by lastminute in terms of figures
? a million customers per quarter as well as promising results.

How do business travellers behave during their stay: a survey by Crowne Plazza. is a pure play Web site that proves atypical in the eTourism sector because of the products it chose to offer.

And yet, its "last minute" market segment added to the fact that this purchasing behaviour proves particularly well-fitted to travel offers resulted in directing a great part of lastminute's activity towards the eTourism sector; the site even acquired one the leading French actors in the eTourism sector,

For this reason, I thought it might prove interesting to analyse the interactions that might exist between, and the other eTourism French Web sites.


In order to do so, I based myself on the figures provided by BVA TFC Research, the subsidiary that was created jointly between the BVA Institute and eMarket Strategies, which constituted the first behavioural panel on the French market with 18.000 users who access the Internet from work and from home.

In order to analyse the site's positioning, it proves interesting to see which are the sites users visit BEFORE they arrive on

Among the most important upstream Web sites, Web site comes first, as could be expected.

Indeed, with a "tributary" rate of 34.23% (this rate measures the importance of the stream of visits generated by Web site on the sites upstream from it- whether they are distant from one rank or more - in the users' surf sessions), is by far the most important tributary site for users.

Then, we get sites such as Yahoo! and, but their tributary rates are much lower: 6.94 and 5.87% respectively.

Apart from, the second most important tributary site proves to be with a tributary rate of 4.37%.

Once again, and this is the proof that the synergy within the group was successfully established, arrives much ahead of the other Web sites with a "downstream" rate of 56.32% (this rate measures the importance of the stream of visits generated by on sites situated downstream from it, distant from one rank or more, in the users' surf sessions). This proves that it is mostly that benefits from the synergies that were established between the two sites (56.32% compared to 34.23% for

It also proves interesting to notice that the other Web sites downstream from are the same as the upstream ones: first comes Yahoo!, followed by and then by

Another element of our behavioural analysis concerns the EXCLUSIVE loyalty rate for the users who visit Web site.

During the analysed period, the percentage of's users who did NOT visit any other eTourism Web site was 23% (among the TO and online travel agencies).

As for the RELATIVE loyalty rate (visitors who visited but also visited one or more TO or Travel agencies Web sites), apart from, as we already mentioned its importance as exit site, 35.42% of the users who visited also visited, 20.38% visited and 17.24% visited

This latter affinity between the users who visit and is hardly surprising when we know how similar products prove to be on these two sites.

Besides, users mainly access Web site during working hours.

Over the analysed period, 64.75% of the users surfed from 9.00 A.M. to 07.00 P.M.

As for the surf that takes place between 07.01 P.M. and 02.00 A.M. (users who visit Web site are real night owls!), it does not represent more than 28.9% of all the visits.

From all these elements, it appears obvious that both sites and managed to establish the very synergies they wished for when the two companies got together. And yet, their future appear strongly tied up since these figures well show that should one of them see its activity drop, the other would be strongly affected by such decline.

The challenge was successfully managed up to now but the tendency remains to be confirmed in the coming months.

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. a million customers per quarter as well as promising results  

Expedia will publish its results for third fiscal period on April, 30. In the meantime, the site already started to reveal a few positive news about the first quarter of 2001.

First of all, the site just indicated that over a million customers made a purchase on the site in one single quarter, which does appear rather impressive.

As for its revenue for the quarter, it should reach $110 million, which represents an increase of 88% over the year-earlier quarter and 38% over the second quarter.

The company even thinks that its earnings before non-cash items have become profitable.

And yet, the company expects to report a loss that should reach $18 million for this third quarter.

Even if the company has not yet reached break-even point, these results still appear very encouraging according to the substantial investments that Expedia made and still makes to consolidate its online positioning.

According to Gregory Stanger, Expedia's chief financial officer, the fact that Expedia diversified its activities and no longer concentrates on selling airline tickets originated these good news.

Please also note that by extending its commercial activities, Expedia provides the site with a rather great sum of cash that should rise to $152 on March 31, 2001, when it was only $118 million on December 31, 2001.

Such a high quantity of cash managed to generate nearly $2 million of supplementary income in the form of interest income.

Even though the company has not quite managed to reach break-even point, it already has much more cash than it planned to in terms of assets.

This proves that, just like supermarkets, some important Web sites have become able to generate part of their revenues through other ways than their natural source of income.

This proves to be another important asset in this sector where margins are particularly low.

In France, a site such as from the Poliris group, and whose results keep on increasing in the French eTourism sector, successfully managed to diversify its activities as the group also positions itself among the leading online real estate agencies with the site

These two sites not only prove able to generate cross-linked traffic between them but their synergy also includes physical resources and Internet knowledge. By using the same call center for both sites, Poliris manages to overcome the classic seasonal problems: indeed, the periods of low activities in the eTourism sector are often compensated by a rise of traffic in the real estate sector.

What's more, the traffic that is generated on the Poliris group's Web sites allows the group to benefit from substantial advertising gains.

In my opinion, diversification also includes this type of synergy.

Source : Expedia

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   How do business travellers behave during their stay: a survey by Crowne Plazza  

The Crowne Plaza Travel Index is a survey that was conducted by the University of Nevada for the famous hotel chain; it polled a sample of 600 business travellers to study their behaviour when they travel.

Wireless, PC and the Internet: if business travellers were 33% to carry a laptop when they travelled in 1998, they are now 48%. For this reason, you will not be surprised to hear that 64% of American business travellers bring a cell phone with them (a figure that even seems rather low to me…) and 52% now check their e-mail when they travel (up from 39% two years ago).

These figures show that the following elements: Internet, telephone and computer, are now part of the business traveller's life (not to mention PDAs and other useful gadgets), but they also indicate that this traveller does not forget about life's pleasures and tries to go beyond the business part when travelling.

The study shows that 23% of business travellers manage to add some leisure time onto their trips and 33% try to find out about potential entertainments before they get to their destination.

The latter element proves interesting as hotel chains and Web sites display increasing efforts to keep in touch with their customers once they have arrived at the place of their stay so that they can provide them with a personalised and "localised" service but also to try and sell them some complementary products such as entertainment tickets or a restaurant outing.

Even if these poor travellers remain stressed out, 48% take daily vitamins to be in great shape, but old reflexes never die: 23% bring home hotel toiletries and 10% admit they make a mess in the room knowing someone else will clean it.

Source : Twcrossroads

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