With the current momentum in international travel, it is vital to consider travel website translation in order to reach more global tourists. According to the World Tourism Organization of the United Nations (UNWTO), international tourists arrivals around the world in 2017 increased by 7%, which is higher than the regular trend of 4%. According to the organization, it is the strongest results shown by the industry since 2010.
The growth in the first four months of the current year is seen in Asia and the Pacific with more than 8%. Europe had more than 7%; Africa grew by over 6%, while the Middle East and the Americas grew by more than 4% and 3% respectively. The estimated global earning of the tourism industry at the end of 2017 was US$ 1,332 billion.
What do these figures tell you? This means that most major international destinations are enjoying robust growth, which indicates that to sustain this kind of growth and encourage more global tourists, it is important to target travelers from these global regions in their own language. If you are an operator in the tourism industry, you understand that the growth is being led by non-English speaking countries.
Important travel sources
In 2017, tourists from China were the biggest spenders at $257.7 billion. The country is followed, in descending order, by the United States ($135.2 billion), Germany ($83.7 billion), the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Canada, Russia, South Korea and Italy. All these countries spent billions in international travel.
Outside of these countries are more tourists who want to see more of the world, such as India and Brazil.
Thus, travel website translation has become a very essential marketing tool in the travel industry.
If your website is only available in one language, it could be overwhelming when you realize the range of languages you have to choose from to translate your travel website.
Things to consider for travel website translation
With improved Internet access global travelers today are more informed and discerning. They understand those travel agencies need their business. Tourism is a hospitality and service industry. As such, they expect much from a travel agency. They expect very good service, which includes having information available in their own language.
1. Choose the right translator
When it comes to travel website translation, it is important to choose the right translator or language services provider (LSP). You should work with a subject matter expert, a translator who is not only well-versed in the tourism industry but also one who knows the culture of your target markets.
The content of your travel website should be written by professionals. Likewise, you need a professional translator to do justice to the translation. You have to provide highly informative content in any language, with clear descriptions, not only about the various destinations but also about your travel packages, rates, and inclusions, as well as your company practices and regulations.
If every bit of information is clear, it is easier for the translator to translate your customer-facing information, marketing materials and other travel content into other languages, avoiding vague descriptions.
2. Cost of translation
The cost of travel website translation depends on many variables, including how much content needs translation. It is better to have a long-term working relationship with an LSP since your website needs regular updating. Discussing your target markets, your business goals and your future objectives will help the LSP come up with an efficient translation solution that would be mutually beneficial.
Although you know the travel industry, there are also many benefits from working with the subject matter experts of an LSP. These translators have worked with other travel agencies and other travel industry organizations, making them privy to information that they can share with you. They also have the linguistic capability as well as the cultural knowledge to help skew your information and marketing thrusts. Because it is increasingly evident that more of your clients are not English-speakers, travel website translation is no longer one of the marketing options but a vital business decision.
3. Providing the right information
Travel website translation is more important than ever today as more people around the world become interested in global travel. Many have become more affluent while others save up in order to see other parts of the world.
The United States is a major destination of international travelers. But the demographics of travelers to the U.S. has changed. Today, more people who visit the country are not English speakers. The country receives visitors from China, India, Spain, Japan and many other countries in Europe. The question is whether or not these popular destinations are ready for international tourists. This means having signage, brochures, booklets and other materials translated into other languages that correspond to the diverse clientele they get today.
The tourist attractions in a country are just destinations. But for a travel agency, what is expected of them is the information about the destinations. Thus it is important that everything should be translated to ensure that the travel experience of tourists is seamless and memorable. Travel website translations include sites for airlines and airports, car rentals, destinations, travel itinerary, hotels, restaurants, and transportation.
As a travel operator, you cannot afford to have your customer agreements and terms of service unintelligible to non-English speakers. Imagine the result if the client has to use an online translation tool to translate important documents. With the state these online translation tools are in, you can expect disastrous results. Legally binding documents should be properly translated so that travelers could fully understand the document they are signing and the responsibilities that come with signing the legal documents.
Providing tourists with the ways to enjoy their stay means having information available in their language.
Knowing your foreign visitors
Getting ready for travel website translation means knowing the nationalities who are coming and which languages should be used. Travel is a very dynamic business and needs constant updating. The ethnicities of international travelers continuously change. In the past, only people from affluent nations could afford to travel to other parts of the world.
Today, the face of international travelers has changed. The Chinese tourists, which were once cloistered and travel only to local destinations, are now the biggest spenders in recent years. Other countries from East Asia, North America, and Western Europe now produce more international travelers. These nations speak Chinese, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, German and Italian. It is essential to know your expected clients to ensure that you are ready with information for them, together with skewing your content according to their cultural preferences.
Challenges of travel content translation
For translators, translating for the travel industry provides a lot of fun and opportunities to be more creative. At the same time, researching the destinations could be a revelation.
1. It’s not easy to translate travel-related content
It is easy to make the mistake, especially if the translator is new, to think that translating for the travel industry is easy. The texts are not very long and often not very technical. The companies in the travel industry do not often consider providing a budget for professional translation, as their content is more straightforward and could be handled by machine translation and other cheaper means.
What travel companies should realize is that their industry-related content is a challenge to translate and that when the quality of the translation is poor, it can harm their reputation. English speakers, especially those from the United Kingdom do not take kindly to travel websites whose English translation is bad.
Even if you use an online translation tool for your website, the organization will classify your site as ‘automatically generated content’ and your search ranking performance will be quite poor.
2. It can be culture-specific
Each aspect of the travel industry has its own distinctive and peculiar attributes that need creative solutions and a bit more research. Some of the terms may be culture-specific, such as locations, events, and food. Sometimes translating them from one language to another could result in something unintelligible. Using the original terms is not enough at times and the translator has to add explanations or a gloss to the translation for it to be understood.
3. Writing must be appealing
In most cases, some translators translate the text literally, resulting in a clunky and unappealing text. Writing for the travel industry requires creativity because the content has to appeal to the readers. The content must be convincing so they can persuade the prospective traveler to visit, which requires the language to be unique and vivid.
It is difficult to describe a destination or an event when you are not able to see or experience whatever you are describing. If the translator does not do research, the descriptions would remain ambiguous.
Creating great content
Travel website translation needs the full collaboration of the travel operator and the translator or the translation agency. The two parties have to work together to ensure that they meet their goal, which is to create great content for their clients.
Tourism is a very dynamic industry and information needs regular updating. If you are in the travel industry, it is advisable to have a long-term collaboration with a professional language services provider. Day Translations, Inc. has a team of travel industry experts who are capable of translating your travel website and provide you with other industry insights that they gain from working with other organizations operating within the travel industry. Our human translators work with more than 100 language pairs, ensuring that your travel website could be available in all your target languages.
Capture your target audiences and their patronage. Get your travel website translated by professionals with the right feel for the business. Call us at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us. You can reach us any time, as we are open 24/7, every day of the year.
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