We recently discussed why travel marketers should not be overlooking the modern, predominantly middle-class tourist. In this post, however, we’ll focus on how translating travel websites can be one of the easiest marketing tools you can use. Let’s start by answering the question, why is translation important to the tourism sector anyway?
Changed Profile of the International Tourist
The international tourist of today is not the same as they were some years ago. Yes, they’re still out for some fun and frolick, but they go about it in ways distinctly different from their earlier counterparts. For instance, the growth in global tourism is coming from countries which predominantly do not speak English. So, the very first step of an international trip – online research – is most likely not happening on an English-only website. The modern consumer is more multilingual and connected than ever. These characteristics apply to the international traveler, too.
Ever-Increasing Demand for Translated Travel Content
More and more, tourists hunger for content, but they aren’t just reading up on exotic beaches, but also booking their tickets and hotel accommodation. Online travel sales accounted for more than 40% of total travel sales in 2012, according to a report. In this context, we should note the findings of a multi-country study of online buyer behavior. The study found that more than 70% of consumers preferred a website in their own language, when it came to actually buying something. Are you connecting the language dots so far?
Now, factor in these bits of data: A bulk of online travel research is already happening on mobile phones and this trend is expected to strengthen. Next, note that translated mobile apps have a far greater chance of being downloaded and even bought than monolingual ones.
In all, this means that you can only cater to the demand for tourism content if you translate website content and apps.
Rise of the Chinese Tourist and What It Means for You
According to a Hotels.com report, the total number of Chinese tourists was more than those from US and Germany put together in 2012. And, this number is set to steadily grow. They’re all language-sensitive and used to consuming information in their own language. Hotels.com also says that the Chinese indicated a high level of dissatisfaction with the current offering of travel products.
As today’s independent travelers do not rely as much on tour guides or ticketing agents, at least the offline ones, they seek out more information online than their earlier counterparts. Many globetrotters want to get out there on their own and explore, irrespective of whether they are traveling alone or with family.
Translating Your Website Will Help You Reach More Global Tourists, Period
The global tourist, just like the global consumer, is multilingual and needs to be addressed in his or her own language, if you want their renminbis, rupees, reals, etc.
Global businesses have discovered that with the addition of each new language, they have been able to increase their sales or user base in the target countries exponentially. A study found that Fortune 500 companies that increased their translation budget were 1.5 times more likely than their peers to report an increase in total revenue.
So translation really can be your most valuable asset. But how is it easier to deploy than other marketing tactics? If you’ve ever worked on a translation project before, you know just how complicated and time-consuming it can be.
In the past, the tedious process of translation started with the hunt for translation providers. Then companies found themselves embroiled in the extraction of translatable strings and code, sending it for translation, and finally re-inserting the translated strings. And all of this was done manually.
This doesn’t have to be standard operating procedure any more. Translation software helps to automate the entire process, making it more efficient and speedy. If you want to translate travel websites quickly, your best bet is to choose a platform that automatically collects source content and delivers translated content back, allows for in-context translation (improving translation quality), and is flexible enough to accommodate your many different types of multilingual publishing requirements.
Bottom line: The need for in-language travel information exists – and so does a solution to cater to that need.