In budget travel news, sightseeing tour company, Tours4Fun, announced a new partnership with Hop2 Travel for offering direct access for affordable flights. The Los Angeles based tour company will also add Hop2 offerings like car rentals, hotels, and even cruises for their clients. Argo takes a look at this news bit to evaluate some OTA corporate moves – is this news or not? Let’s see.
Tours4Fun’s site has also been upgraded to include Hop2’s flight search engine and other features (image left is just an idea of their coolness). The integration of these two businesses actually forms a pretty neat and useful conglomeration for savvy travelers.
In reality, Hop2 is a relative new kid on the block, one which shows movement – but one which has only scratched the surface where adaptation is concerned. At Alexa one million and something, Hop2 is not exactly knocking down doors converting customers. All of 2 followers on Twitter, and losing over 300,000 spots in Compete ranking, show some marketing work yet to be done.
While metrics do not say it all, inverse relationships usually brand news as less than credible. Tours4Fun is leaning hard on the PR or marketing hype end of the spectrum here. But let’s not condemn them too soon. The value is there.
Tours4Fun, on the other hand, is being adapted rather nicely by the online community. The growth curve for this company is the inverse of that of Hop2. As you can see in the comparative below, Tours4Fun has seen a nearly 200 percent change in unique visitors this year alone. So the adaptation of Hop2 is a value added as much for “offerings” as it is for user utility.
As a “mini-test” of usability, I ran a flight search from Frankfurt, here in Germany, to Palermo, Sicily. As you can see by the graphic, the price and airline are quite competitive. Air Ilitalia is maybe the best choice for Sicily, and while I can find a cheaper flight, this is in the ballpark. Interestingly, I checked the same route on world famed Kayak and got a price a bit cheaper, about €90 to be exact, but the Hop2 price is consistent with most good booking sites.
So, Tours4Fun has made a good choice to partner for some quick utility it would appear. Hop2’s engine seems to work without a hickup. So much for the tech side of things – now all they need is some marketing gurus. On top of this, Hop2’s economy has to be looked into. In the future, airline price will be an exacting metric, €90 difference on the same day and same airline – this will be a game loser. And for Tours4Fun, Businesswire communications are very expensive – my somewhat scathing article here, amid many other blurbs, is not the best ROI.
I like Tours4Fun very much, many of their tours are quite cutting edge, and they are offering great value for users, even on their blog. You just gotta do it all right guys, refine the message a bit.
Phil out for now.