Summer, at last! If you’re among the lucky ones going on holiday this year, you’ve probably already made all your bookings: all you need to do is hop on the next bus to the airport! Of course, planning your trip wasn’t easy. You had to spend hours looking online for the best hotel, the best flight… Fortunately, Google makes things much easier these days, and all the offers can often be found on a couple of specialized websites. Thus, tourism businesses from everywhere in the world can sell their stays or activities to foreign tourists they wouldn’t be able to reach otherwise.
Now, please note that I wrote FOREIGN tourists. Don’t you think it would make sense to speak to them in their language, then? Well, some businesses seem to think it’s useless. I must say I’m appalled by the number of tourism-related companies that don’t even take the trouble to prepare a correct translation for their website. More than any other sector, the tourism industry heavily relies on its foreign customers, making translation a crucial part of tourism marketing. According to a survey published by the Harvard Business Review, more than half of the consumers from 8 countries say the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price, while 42% of the European consumers say they never buy a product or service in another language. So if you’re a tourism manager and didn’t translate your website, you’re literally overlooking nearly half of your potential customers!
So, what should I do to make sure I reach as many travelers as possible?
Here are the steps you should take:
1) Choose the languages into which your content should be translated
Obviously, you won’t be able to translate your website and your promotional materials into every single language on Earth. That’s why it’s essential to identify the main languages spoken by your potential customers. In order to do that, review the audience of your website and have a look at the languages spoken by its visitors. You can then choose the most important ones and have your materials translated accordingly.
2) Translate your content
Hire a professional translator or an agency to translate your content. Don’t forget to adapt the keywords in the target language if your content must be optimized for SEO!
3) Don’t focus only on your website
Translating your website is only the first step. Don’t neglect other materials such as brochures, posters or signs, whether you use them to attract your customers or as part of your services. Feelings play a big part in the opinion your customers have on your services, so show them documents written in their language to make them feel at home!
Have you ever translated tourism materials for your business? How did you proceed?