Rae Steinbach, of Morningtrans.com, says English-only sites are alienating users in a globalised world
According to research, approximately 70% of internet users aren’t native English speakers. This can be very limiting for both businesses and their customers, especially within the travel industry.
Travel websites tend to be very region-specific, and are thus often only available in a single language. This prevents those sites from attracting more users and hinders those regions from attracting more tourism. It makes sense, then, that sites which translate information for multiple audiences will see increased returns. Content translation services are a valuable resource for teams within the travel industry that are looking to expand their global reach and appeal.
Major booking sites and travel blogs like Expedia and Lonely Planet only cater to English readers. Thus, a large number of potential guests are unable to take advantage of the information and services they provide.
Although any website benefits when it’s been translated into other languages, this is particularly beneficial to travel websites. By their very nature, they often serve international users. This trend is only growing more common in our ever globalizing world.
In many Asian and South American regions, incomes are on the rise. People have more money to spend, and they’re often looking to spend it on travel. In fact, Chinese people tend to spend the most money when visiting other countries, and China’s rapid economic growth has made the country the second-largest tourism and travel market in the world.
This presents a major opportunity to travel sites looking to grow their audiences. That said, due to the nature of travel, it’s essential that every aspect of the site be properly translated and localized. Details about travel-related services like vehicle rentals, tours, and various hotel amenities require careful translations so you can ensure your customers thoroughly understand what’s being offered.
Get Customers Involved
Additionally, travel sites in particular tend to benefit from user-generated content. Testimonials, reviews, pictures, and the like can be very effective in making a given destination seem more appealing to potential tourists.
This content essentially costs nothing for the site to generate, and can allow them to highlight the benefits of a certain company’s services or a destination’s attractions. Translate the content, and those benefits are highlighted for a much wider range of customers. In fact, by offering comment forms and related features in multiple languages, sites are more likely to encourage former customers from around the world to leave reviews.
On the other hand, if user-generated content is only available in one language, the information will just resonate with those who speak or understand that language.
With the travel industry growing alongside these emerging international markets, travel sites stand to benefit in major ways from translated content. To ensure it’s accurate, sites should coordinate with professional translation firms. They won’t just deliver error-free content; they’ll also employ their knowledge of localization practices to optimize the site for each audience it targets.