Travel and hospitality brands know better than most how important multilingual support is to providing a first-class customer experience. However, outdated practices are still preventing many in the industry from translating websites and apps with the speed and accuracy their business demands.
Years ago, consumers were hesitant to schedule a summer retreat without first consulting their friendly local travel agent. Today, travelers independently research, plan, and book elaborate excursions and last-minute lodging directly from their digital devices.
This fundamental shift in purchasing habits has made content marketing a competitive necessity in the travel and hospitality industry. From international airlines to boutique accommodations, brands are expanding their digital publishing strategies to ensure it’s their websites that appear on the other side of customers’ search queries and usher them toward conversion.
This mandate is further complicated by the fact that the industry’s target audience is disproportionately diverse — and only becoming more so.
Curious Millennials are committed to gathering more passport stamps than their parents, developing markets are significantly expanding the pool of first-time travelers, and everyone is seeking information in their native language.
As travel and hospitality brands start translating websites and apps at a greater speed and scale, however, the sustainability of their current practices will be called into question.
The digital content that greets travel customers is often the product of several interdependent systems. An airline website, for example, may pull its text and figures from a dozen different content management systems, reservation engines, and eCommerce enablement tools managed by just as many different teams.
In order to translate travel websites for multiple international audiences, localization teams first need to isolate the desired content from the rest of the source code. Traditionally that has required months of tedious manual labor that forces developers to put separate innovation projects on hold. After several weeks spent exchanging spreadsheets full of text strings with translators, project managers can often expect to wait once again until developers decide they have time to upload content for the localized site.
It doesn’t take a certified Scrum Master to see how that inefficient workflow might hurt brands relying on continuously updated multilingual content to drive their business. And it doesn’t take a dedicated team of new developers to find a solution either.
Smartling helps clients automate their source content collection process in several ways. With a little upfront effort, companies can leverage our flexible translation API or our pre-built CMS connectors to build digital bridges that will virtually eliminate developer requirements for years to come. Alternatively, our Global Delivery Network (GDN) can be leveraged for faster website launches with minimal IT involvement. All this translation proxy solution requires is a small, one-time adjustment to the domain configuration.
Once these initial modifications are in place, future content updates made on the source language website will immediately be detected and automatically pulled into the translation environment. Localization managers using our translation management system can then route jobs through customized workflows and retain comprehensive visibility thanks to its cloud-based collaboration features.
As soon as translations are approved, localized content can be published without any IT assistance by sending target text back across the same bridges originally built by the GDN, CMS connector, or API.