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E-Tourism: Website performance a critical factor for customer loyalty

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Two weeks ago, right before CeBIT, the pilots of German airline went on strike. In order to gain information the Lufthansa customers immediately stormed the airline's website  which did not take long to break down. After its revival it took the web server 65 seconds (on average) to present a page instead of the usual 1 or 2 seconds. The disgruntled customers switched over to other vendors.

This incident goes to show that online tourist websites have become a crucial factor in the retailing of tourism services. Tourists have become accustomed to searching online travel sites for offers and booking whenever and wherever they please. But if the performance or design of such a website dos not meet the visitors' expectations they switch to the vendor's hotline, causing costs between 13 and 25 euros per call. says Compuware, a software vendor of website performance optimization tools (Gomez brand).
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