Tourism is one of the largest economic sectors in the world, and one out of every ten jobs is related to travel or tourism. Even though the industry saw big losses during the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation has substantially improved.
From 2020 to 2021, travel and tourism’s contribution to the global gross domestic product increased by 21.7%. And experts project a 10.47% annual growth rate in revenue through 2026.
Despite this increase, tourism companies still need to work hard to attract customers and stand out from the competition. Nowadays, travellers expect a high level of customisation and connection, so it’s crucial for tourism businesses to appeal to customers in their native languages.
But why exactly is tourism translation so important, and how does it boost business?
The benefits of tourism translation
It’s easy to understand that travellers like to go where they can communicate easily. One of the main benefits of tourism translation is bringing in customers, but it offers other benefits too.
1. Attract customers
This benefit is perhaps the most obvious advantage of travel and tourism translations. Travellers often avoid destinations where they can’t communicate and get around easily. It’s difficult for them to understand travel arrangements, and they can easily lose interest.
And even those who do speak some of the local language – or English if it’s commonly spoken there – often find it hard to understand everything completely. When they have to sift through confusing information in another language, they’re unlikely to give that company their business.
Offering services and materials in customers’ native languages removes barriers and saves them time and stress. It makes it easier for them to trust the company and feel comfortable making payments and booking reservations – and this means that leads are more likely to become customers.
2. Reach new audiences
Tourism translation also brings in more leads from wider audiences. For each language a company uses, it opens a whole new audience and market. It also boosts their online presence and position in search engines, making it easier for people to come across the company’s marking material.
It’s most useful to translate content for target audiences in particular regions. For example, imagine a company in Spain does market research and finds out that in Japan, an interest in Spanish culture is trending, but interest among Germans is decreasing. It would make more sense to invest in tourism document translations in Japanese than in German.
3. Strengthen image and reputation
Offering high-quality tourism translation makes businesses appear more professional and interested in their clients. It shows that they put effort and money into specific markets and that they know how to take care of their customer base.
It’s also a good way to build customer loyalty and offer high-quality content. Travellers expect the companies they book with – whether for accommodation, car rentals, tours or excursions – to understand their clients. And communicating in their clients’ languages does just that.
Types of tourism document translations
There’s a lot more to tourism translation than just translating a website. Although having a multilingual website is very important, there are a lot of other documents related to tourism that benefit from translation.
- online booking systems
- blogs and travel articles
- social network content
- marketing emails and newsletters
- informational brochures and pamphlets
- client communication
- menus and catalogues
- directions and maps
Which documents are most important in tourism translation?
In an ideal world, tourism companies would have multilingual staff and translate all their materials, from websites to press releases to emails, into multiple languages. However, most businesses do not have the resources for that level of integration, so they have to decide which areas to focus on.
For tourism businesses, the top priorities are multilingual websites and booking systems. Customers rely heavily on these resources to learn about and communicate with a company, so it’s crucial that these first-line resources appear in the target customer’s language.
Social media activities and company blogs can also offer customers insight into the culture and vibe of a business. They can heavily influence customers’ decisions about where to travel and how to get there, so this content should be prioritised in tourism translations. And because it takes a lot of effort to build up these resources, it makes sense to invest a bit more into translating the material and multiplying its reach.
Why professional tourism translation is key
To save money and hassle, many tourism companies are tempted to use machine translations rather than hire professional translators. However, we’ve all seen embarrassing mistakes made by automatic translators. While a bad translation might be funny on a T-shirt, poorly translated text can have disastrous effects for a business if it is offensive or provides incorrect information. Working with a professional translation service helps to avoid these mistakes.
They understand the industry
Tourism content often needs to evoke an emotional response to be effective. It also needs to be culturally sensitive and speak to a specific audience. Specialised translators understand these unique needs and are well versed in local, up-to-date terminology and expectations.
They provide accurate content
Professional translation services know how to keep translations consistent across multiple documents and languages. They hire well-trained, vetted translators who have the cultural intelligence and linguistic skills to provide precise translations. Customers appreciate this level of detail, and they are more likely to trust businesses that communicate accurately rather than those that have confusing grammatical or vocabulary mistakes in their content.
They work efficiently
The translation teams that work for professional services have experience with tight deadlines and effective client communication. They have streamlined processes and employ project managers to make sure they deliver on time and provide good customer service.
People in the tourism industry know how important image is, and tourism translation helps companies build their reputations and professionalism. By connecting with clients in their native languages, tourism businesses show that they prioritise cultural sensitivity and invest in meeting their clients’ needs.