Why is localization a key point in the tourism and travel industry?
What happens when a website is originally created in English? If we consider that the native English speaking market is just a small percentage of the whole market – “One out of four of the world’s population speak English to some level of competence” – it surely doesn’t mean that one out of four have English as their mother tongue.* If your Website is only addressing the English speaking community, your company is effectively targeting about 20% of its potential market.
Why choosing to localize
When visitors land on a website and can’t find content localized in their native language, chances are they will look for the information needed elsewhere and you may have lost a potential customer. As human beings we feel a need to communicate effectively with others, we’ll browse a website in depth if we’re able to understand the content and information presented to us.
By localizing your website, users reaching it will not solely be interested in reading its content, but will be enticed to visit your hotel, your city, using your traveling services, and the like. Users will not learn a language or use a dictionary to try and get the message. They are interested in you addressing them in their native language, so it makes sense you go the extra mile and meet them half way by looking into professional localization
- Removing barriers
Translating and localizing your products/services will allow a faster growth by removing any language or cultural barriers that would prevent potential clients from understanding what you’re offering. They will in turn be inclined to purchase your product or service. It’s not just a question of translating a website –removing language barriers- into different languages. The content not being localized will also have an impact: culture differences can remain one last barrier for the overall comprehension. This is why the localization process has to be done by professionals who will not only translate the message to the target language but also write the content with the targeted culture in mind.
A professional localizer will make use of key phrases and words that attract and appeal to the the intended public as if the message had originally emerged from inside the culture!
- Opening doors, allowing to cross borders
This opens up a new opportunity for both travelers and website owners. Companies that offer a multilingual site will find an increase in traffic and, consequently, will be able to convert all those potential leads into sales. By simplifying the travel experience to visitors, the reward will be a non disputable increased revenue from those same foreign visitors. Besides, the more people feeling comfortable visiting a tourist destination, the more popular it will become worldwide and the more revenue will be generated from tourism altogether.
Still wondering if it’s worth it?
Let’s see three real-life examples:
• TimeLess Rooms: This enticing place with suggestive rooms, free wi-fi, a small garden to enjoy a few drinks and self-service breakfast in a private room, has been localized and is now available in English and Italian. Visitors can book online.
Project manager, Enrico Cassinelli, explained that “after the localization…the website page views increased by 33% and, at the same time, the bounce rate for foreign visitors went down consistently, from an average of 79% to an average of 33%.”
• Deira Suites: This hotel apartment can welcome a wider range of visitors as their site is now multilingual. Being available in English, Russian, Arabic and Persian, Deira Suites Hotel Apartment can offer their spacious and luxuriously appointed 2 and 3 bedroom suites to larger audiences.
Bilal Karimbath, the webmaster, stated that “WPML together with ICanLocalize translators made this multilingual Website possible.” Deira Suites gets more reservations now it has become multilingual.
• Upper Camps Bay Guest House: a superbly designed multi-level self catering unit situated at the foot of Table Mountain and overlooking the breathtaking Camps Bay beach, Lions Head and the Twelve Apostles Mountain Range.
Robyn Parker said that she decided to translate her website into six languages (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Korean) in order to expand to new markets and get bookings. It’s a success now!
To sum up
The investment that the translation of your website required will quickly pay off when travelers begin to visit your place or use your services. Undoubtedly, localization is a crucial point in the expansion of tourism and travel industry.