How Does Translation Technology Fit in the Tourism Industry?

Translation and Localization in the Tourism Industry

According to Deloitte’s Travel and Hospitality Industry Outlook for 2019, the past 10 years have seen an “historic burst in travel demand.”  From 2009 to 2017, in the United States only, hotel gross bookings grew from $116 billion to $185 billion, while airline revenues jumped from $155 billion to $222 billion. Even in my relatively small country (the Netherlands), in 2018 tourism registered an increase of 7% compared to 2017 (for a total of 19.1 million tourists).

Now, a new historic growth is expected all over the world. Just to give you an example, according to a CLSA report, by 2021 Chinese tourists will spend $429 billion on travel. Top favorites are destinations like Japan (probably because of the Olympics planned for 2020), Thailand, and other destinations in Southeast Asia.

Digital Innovation in the Tourism Industry

The growth of the travel industry is affecting not only the big industry players, but also the field of travel technology. Once the prerogative of big travel organisations, travel technology in all its shapes (websites, apps, chatbots, etc.) has now become available also to small businesses — from boutique hotels to small tour operators — that no longer have to buy ad space in newspapers or specialized magazines to reach their target groups. There are so many marketing and promotional opportunities online, and the traditional website ads go along with multi-channel campaigns and the latest tools, like chatbots.

Travel technology makes life easier also for travelers, who can now book their dream trip on a website or through apps; they can reserve flights, accommodations and museum visits, rent a car or buy some leisure, all in translation.

Translation Technology & the Tourism Industry

Former German chancellor, Willy Brandt, is often reported to have said, “If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen!

In 2014 Common Sense Advisor published a report titled “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy”. This principle applies to every industry, and especially to the travel and hospitality industry. After all, your clients will book an international tour through your website only if they are 100% confident of its content before handing over their credit card information to you. And once they reach their holiday or business destination, every single bit of information has to be just right and up to date, so that they won’t feel lost and enjoy their time far from home.

So, if you want to reach new and potential clients everywhere in the world, the next best investment you can make for your company is in another kind of technology, i.e. translation technology.

Not only can translation technology help when localizing all your marketing content, it also allows you to manage and automate your translation projects as well as create new processes to cut your localization costs.

Localization Plan of Action for the Tourism Industry

For each of your localization requirements there is a different technological solution. And it’s by analyzing your customer base, your market, and your content, that you can create a “bouquet” of specifications that will help you assemble the right localization workflow for your business.

A translation project management system  is a platform that provides all the functionalities you need and want and allows you to work in the most flexible way. Think of it as a transparent ikebana vase, where every flower or shrub is carefully chosen to serve a purpose.

Translation memories are essential elements for an efficient localization plan. Translation memories will help you reuse previously localized content (in short, you will never translate the same sentence twice), thus reducing overall costs and turnaround time as well as increasing consistency of your translation.

Machine translation is the right fit if you need to translate content rapidly and save money at the same time. Whether emails, attachments, MS Word files, or any other type of volatile content, to get a good idea of what the text says, you can choose among many machine translation systems.

Connectors are the right complement to your content ecosystem. There are connectors for CMDMS, and ECMS, just to mention a few. Your translators will be able to access the content to be localized, translate it in context (for example in the case of a website, they will translate directly on the page). You will then publish the final version on your website (or another platform) with a few clicks. There are also connectors like the Beebox, to be used for iOS and Android apps. The Beebox, for instance, can parse your file, convert it into a bilingual format for easy translation, and then rebuild your code file when the text is translated. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.