How Successful Travel Websites Reach Global Customers

A note from the Transifex Team: Today we’re happy to have our friends at TextMaster share some useful tips on how to optimize localized websites. Check out their blog for more great ideas and a few guest posts from us!

Ever wonder why some travel sites seem to have millions of international visitors while others are not so popular? It’s not just big booking websites that get foreign customers; tourist offices, hotel websites and even travel blogs can reach a wide audience by properly managing their translation.

Let’s take a look at what successfully multilingual travel sites have in common and what you can learn from them.

They understand their target audiences

A smart travel business, like any business, knows the needs and wants of their current and potential customers. This means knowing where they are located, their preferences and what languages they speak. It’s important to remember that one country doesn’t necessarily mean one language and by making their web content available in their visitor’s preferred language, they’re able to truly connect with that person. Successful travel businesses also remember to make their websites available in the language of their desired potential market. Just because they don’t have those customers yet, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t make all the information available to them.

They aren’t afraid to localize

When making a multilingual website, many owners stick to one text and just translate it into many languages. This works in many cases, but to really make a connection with their audiences, effective travel sites will localize to their content. This means that for airline booking sites, in January they’ll show summer promotions in Australia and winter promotions in Canada. They also offer special deals for local holidays and translate their content in a style that their audience is comfortable with, whether it’s more or less formal than the original text.

They don’t spread themselves too thin

Even large travel sites know that they cannot change their entire brand identity and product offerings for each region. While they localize as much as possible – currency, seasons, language, and measurements – they still maintain unified messaging and design. After all, if the brand is successful, why reinvent the wheel for every target audience?

They cover all their bases

Good travel sites combine effective content, design and user experience to attract visitors and increase conversions. They avoid making it too difficult get information or navigate their website. Complete website translation is crucial for this; if a visitor can’t get what they need because of poor or missing translation will leave very quickly. Every element of the travel site should be multilingual, from the menus to the forms to the text in pictures. The website should feel as though it was created in that language, rather than translated from another one.

It’s not magic – it’s just localization

Successful travel sites, whether it’s a booking site or a city’s tourist office website, didn’t just magically attract foreign customers. They took the time to truly understand their target audience and adapted their web content so that it really made an impact with them. Luckily, this isn’t reserved for the giants in the industry; every travel company can start reaching a more global audience by properly localizing their website.

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