The travel industry is one of the worst hit by the Covid-19 crisis, with job losses predicted to reach more than 100 million this year. This is a sad but not surprising statistic, as the travel and tourism sector has endured restrictions from more than 200 countries and territories, including border closures, travel bans and quarantine measures, while consumer confidence in global tourism has plummeted.
Now, as the world slowly begins to reopen its doors, the travel and tourism industry is bound to feel a sense of relief. As with many other affected industries, however, the travel sector needs to adapt to recover and keep pace with our post-Covid world.
This battle for survival will take place in the digital world, where travel operators must provide a superior online experience to not just survive but thrive in the years ahead. Here, travel agents must provide a highly accessible website, and also ensure it works across multiple platforms and devices to reach the widest potential audience.
In our latest research, we’re compared three major travel websites: Onthebeach.com, Lastminute.com, and Booking.com. We assessed each site’s homepage based on its accessibility and compatibility across different devices and browsers. The winner of this battle is the one that performs best across these two tests.
The Accessibility Battle
Accessibility is a vital asset for any website, where users must be able to understand, navigate and interact with a site with ease. At Digivante, we perform accessibility testing to cover the many issues that may prevent or discourage disabled users from using or purchasing from your site.
For this assessment, we ranked the travel platforms based on five fundamental accessibility areas: Controls and Forms, Design and Usability, Interaction, Structure and Layout, and Multimedia Accessibility.
We usually use a range of test cases when we conduct accessibility tests for our customers. For this specific assessment, we chose one test case and ran it against each homepage of the three travel websites.
Every site failed on 2/5 tests. What’s more, each one failed in the same accessibility areas – Controls and Forms, and Multimedia. But one site failed rather substantially, racking up 53 errors.
For Booking.com, we uncovered three errors. This included two labels or instructions errors on the homepage’s Controls and Forms. Within the Multimedia bracket, one error was observed were some alt text was missing.
For lastminute.com, we uncovered three labels or instructions errors (for Controls and Forms) and three missing alt text errors (for Multimedia).
However, for onthebeach.com, we observed 50 errors for its Controls and Forms. We also observed three errors with its Multimedia content.
- Result: with the least number of errors in both areas, we ranked Booking.com in first place. Lastminute.com came second. In a distant third, with a shopping 53 errors on its homepage, we have onthebeach.com.
The Compatibility Battle
Compatibility tests check website performance across a range of different devices and platforms, to see whether the site provides a consistent user experience.
For this assessment, we selected five popular smartphone devices and four web browsers, running the same test case for each travel operator’s homepage. For this test case, a guest user navigated to the homepage and then accessed the login section.
Booking.com passed every test, scoring a perfect 9/9 with no issues raised against any of the tests we ran. Lastminute.com scored 6/9, and Onthebeach.com scored 8/9. For Onthebeach.com, the only error was around a background image, which did not resize correctly on an iPhone 8/8+.
For Lastminute.com, we observed some layout issues on the iPhone 7 and Samsung S9 devices. These were relatively minor – a cursor was not aligned correctly for the iPhone 7 and the text layout of the search results glitched when we rotated the Samsung S9. The Lastminute.com homepage also did not display correctly on the Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft Edge platforms, where one deal was missing from the site. Again, this was when we used a Samsung S9 device.
- Result: again, Booking.com is the clear winner, with no compatibility issues discovered on its homepages during this test. Onthebeach.com came a close second, and Lastminute.com is in third place, with three issues observed.
And the winner is…
Coming first in both the Accessibility and Compatibility categories, it probably comes as no surprise that Booking.com is ranked as our top travel website. We ranked Lastminute.com second and Onthebeach.com third.
While both of these sites came third and second in different categories, Onthebeach.com contained 53 Accessibility errors. So, we had to place this site last in this test.
This test provides a snapshot of the many, different testing services we offer at Digivante. With our community of 55,000 carefully managed and vetted professional testers, working in 149 countries, we can test your website and online applications, evaluating your conversion paths, online launches and new functionality to make sure everything works first time, every time.