Translations: A Major Component in the Tourism Industry

Translation In The Tourism Industry

Over the last year or two, a number of separate pieces of research conducted by organizations as diverse as ABTA and independent website over the last year or two have consistently shown that around 80% of consumers now book their holiday online, with up to 90% researching online. This clearly creates a massive opportunity for all travel companies to reach a more global customer base than ever before.

Who are Your Ideal Customers?

To succeed though, it is obviously important to be able to communicate with the customer in their own language. A successful company needs to focus on which markets (and languages) they want to target, and what their target customer profile is. No company can be all things to all people, so you need to focus on getting it absolutely right for your target market. You should understand what your target customers’ interests are and how the tourism experiences that you offer meet their needs and values. The products then need to evolve with your customers’ needs and values — or you will get left behind.

Commit to Creating Great Content

Arguably more than any other product holidays are something that the buyer needs to be able to visualize in their head and make a real emotional connection with. Obviously photos can help with this, but to connect with the destination on a personal level will take more than just images.

Bear in mind that for most people a holiday is not a decision that they consider and make in a short period of time, but one that they may well mull over for months. Think about the social media that your target demographic uses most and make the most of these channels to promote your company, destinations, values, products — everything that you are. The reality is that there are likely to be other companies offering the same destination, so what is it that is different about you?

Don’t Get Lost in Translation

The tourist industry is no different to any other in that while it is a global industry, it does need to still bear in mind the specific needs and culture of each market that it operates in. There are other main social media platforms like Wechat in China or VKontakte in Russia so plowing huge investment into Facebook isn’t likely to get you the result you are hoping for.

It is important to remember that there is a lot of finer detail that goes with holidays — what facilities are available, how to reach the property, collect keys and a million and one other tiny details. The smallest error can result in a big misunderstanding and very unhappy customers. Simply put, it isn’t worth it. There will always be the temptation to use a machine translation, but at the moment they just aren’t reliable. If you want to check, all you need to do is translate any English sentence into a language of your choice, then another at random, then click back to English. What you get will bear no resemblance to the original.

Your company’s mission, values, and offerings need more than a direct word for word translation. They need an understanding of the local context and culture to ensure they carry the same inherent meaning that they do in the original.

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