Business is booming in the travel and hospitality industry, with $1.25 trillion in revenue recorded globally in 2014. That number is expected to increase to $1.8 trillion by 2030. By its very nature, the travel industry is international and companies must cater to multilingual audiences by creating personalized native brand experiences. Those that don’t risk upsetting or even losing customers.
Travel in the US continues to grow year over year, but is no match for the growth occurring in the Chinese travel market, which grew by 62 percent between 2012 and 2014 and makes up roughly 13 percent of the global travel market. Additionally, six of the top 10 countries of origin for international travel are non-English speaking countries and make up nearly two thirds of all international travel expenditures.
These travelers are very discerning and aware of the myriad choices they have. Failure to market to them on their own terms could prove costly – in fact, a study by Common Sense Advisory found that 75 percent of buyers prefer to buy products in their native language. That number is even greater in Europe as 80 percent of consumers in the European Union’s 27 countries were not likely to buy travel services online if the company did not offer a website in their native language.
Customers appreciate it when you talk to them on their level, and brands can do this by developing personalized experiences for each market they do business in. Companies should take into account more than just language, but also regional preferences and tastes, market variables, currencies, customs, and differing buyer personas and behavior when developing an initial positioning strategy. Brands that understand consumers have choice and make the effort to consistently offer personalized experiences significantly increase their ability to develop messages that truly resonate, drive conversions, and create happy, loyal customers.
Technology can help
But many brands risk missing the boat when it comes to marketing to an international audience. A recent survey of 300 travel and hospitality professionals conducted by EyeforTravel on behalf of Smartling found that 45 percent of respondents reported their organizations don’t have a language strategy.
It might seem like a fairly daunting task to begin marketing in other languages, especially when you take into account that there are more than 7,000 languages spoken worldwide. But when you consider the fact that you can reach nearly 89 percent of the world’s GDP by translating into just 11 key languages it seems much more manageable.
Technology is available to help ambitious brands reach global audiences through translated and localized content. A translation management system that integrates into your existing tech stack can help streamline the process for global content creation by up to 90 percent – making it possible for you to better reach and retain customers around the globe.
Download our white paper, Smart Translation: How Tech Can Help You Reach a Global Audience, to gain insights on the travel industry as a whole and why it’s important for travel and hospitality brands to expand their reach globally through translated and localized content.