When it comes to pushing the case for website translations, the numbers don’t lie.
Say you have a potential guest who wants to book your hotel for an upcoming vacation. They would be doing their research and eventually booking it online.
In fact, 67% of all hotel reservations are made via direct online bookings (as of 2019).
That’s great news because you already have a fantastic website, with a user-friendly interface and awesome images and videos of your hotel. You’re right on top of that!
Except that all your content is still in English.
Consumer research has shown that 75% of customers will only buy in their own language. So, if you only have an English language website, you’re missing out on generating revenue from a large number of potential customers who do not speak English.
This, coupled with competition that grows fiercer with each season and the constant effort to attract new customers from a wider reach, might be a good reason to take a serious look at getting the professionals in to help you with your website translations.
Once your website is up and speaking the language of your target audience, you’d be more likely to connect and engage them effectively, which will place you in much better stead against the competition.
To understand the need for translations and transcreation (creative translation) better, let’s take a closer look at the profile of your international customers.
Take, for example, the burgeoning Chinese outbound travel market.
In 2019, almost 169 million overseas trips were made by Chinese tourists from Mainland China.
Now, if you consider that less than 1% of the 1.4 billion Chinese population speak basic conversational English, that’s a huge market you could be losing out if you didn’t have a culturally customised Chinese language website (remember, we’re talking transcreation here).
Out of the total global population of 7.8 billion, only 1.34 billion speak English while the rest use English as their 2nd or 3rd language - or do not speak any English at all.
Therefore, the need for translations cannot get any more pressing than this because, as mentioned, the numbers don’t lie.
If you’re still not convinced, here are the 4 key reasons that might help you see why a website translation is worth the investment to boost your international customer base.
1. Stay On Top Of The Competition, Drive Direct Bookings
The very nature of the hotels and hospitality industry is to cater to a diversity of people and that can only be done effectively if you offer content in different languages.
Your potential customers are more likely to browse your website if they can see that its contents are in a language that is native to them.
Customers are also more likely to spend more time browsing through your content and making reservations if they have a clear understanding of what they are putting down their money for.
Without translations, you run the risk of losing out on revenue from the 75% of the world’s population that does not speak nor read English.
You don’t want to be sending customers to your competitors like OTAs (who make a commission of 15-30% of the overall booking cost) or to the other hotels in the vicinity, and risk missing the chance of them booking directly on your website.
2. Be Found Online / Improve Your Online Presence
Imagine how important it is to make sure that your website appears in search engine results when accommodation is being sought by potential customers.
Translations will boost your SEO by placing your business at a higher ranking on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS), when hotels are searched in languages other than English.
It is also important to note here that search engines do not rank websites that use automated translation software.
Using keywords from different languages will make your website more visible - and good visibility on search engines is of paramount importance when attracting new international customers.
In order to take full advantage of your SEO, create several separate pages for your websites in different languages. This way, you reach your target customers much more efficiently than merely piling several translations into one website.
This also helps place your website higher on SERPS in various languages.
3. International Customers Means Fewer Lull Seasons
Low and high seasons are the norm for hotels. With an international customer base, low seasons can be mitigated because different countries have different holiday seasons.
While October tends to be a lull period for most European countries, the Chinese tourists have their 7-day National Day Golden Week vacation which they usually use for long haul overseas travel.
With website translations catered to these international customers, the greater outreach you enjoy may mean more business during what used to be the off-season - and a healthier business as a result.
4. Creating Content That Caters To Diversity And Inclusion
Diversity and Inclusion is a concept that can easily be incorporated into the hotel industry if the necessary steps are also taken to cater to your guests’ specific needs - especially with preferences such as language.
Not only does it take away the potential risk putting off customers by having them digest information that is not in their native or dominant language, it also adds to the sense of belonging a hotel can instill in its guests.
It would make them feel ‘at home’, even when they are away from home.
Providing The Best User Experience
A well-translated website offers a personal touch and a familiarity with your brand, it also provides a much greater ease of use when small but important details, such as special offers and rates that are presented in your customers’ native currency.
Details like these encourage international customers to book directly on your website.
There is really no better way to show commitment and professionalism, not forgetting being respectful, towards your international guests by providing them with content that resonates and engages them in their preferred language.
Because, these numbers don’t lie.