Travel and tourism industry: Why quality translation is needed

It’s that time of the year in London again…

The leaves have fully unfolded on trees and flowers bloom…

The weather is warmer (though you can never take British weather for granted)…

There are more fun activities to do outside and events to attend…

People are planning their holiday escapes and searching for the best flights and luxury hotel packages …

June is half way in and the English school year is about to end…

Yes, that’s right, summer is here — which is why we’ve decided to dedicate this week’s blog post to the travel and tourism industry.

This blog post will discuss the importance translation plays as a growth strategy for businesses — both large and small — in the travel and tourism industry; the common challenges in the field of translation; automatic translation (a.k.a Artificial Intelligence and Machine Translation) and why professional tourism translators are more trustworthy; and lastly, what you should look for in an agency that does tourism translations.

Why translation in the travel and tourism industry go hand in hand? 

Believe it or not, before the turn of the century, planning a holiday meant you had to visit your nearest local travel agency or for the more adventurous travellers/tourists, relying on trusted word-of-mouth recommendations. It wasn’t as easy as switching on your Apple Mac Book or iPhone mobile device to access and browse the internet. But as the years have gone by, people and technology have evolved together. Today, people can access the internet within seconds from any remote location, which means the ever-connected tourist consumers can book their own flights and hotels/hostels online with travel websites (TripAdvisor and Ryan-air being an obvious example among many), choose to do Couchsurfing (staying with a stranger), and even search reviews for the best restaurants and dining experiences, all thanks to technology and the internet boom.

This is the reason why companies such as governments, restaurants, museums, hotels, airlines, transportation services, and other kinds of companies in the travel and tourism industry, are now understanding the importance of being able to reach out and spread their message to more and more people, in as many countries, cities and regions as possible. And the only way to do that is by speaking their customers’ native language — quite literally.

This is where translation in tourism has become so important because many companies rely heavily on their travel-related content to be translated accurately and correctly; content such as catalogues, brochures, websites, leaflets, tour guides, menus and road signs etc. But amongst each source of content, accessing travel websites through the internet seems to be the most popular way for people to plan their travels at a time most convenient for them. As mentioned earlier in this blog post, people are much more inclined to book holidays online when web content is tailored to their own language.

In 2012, Common Sense Advisory surveyed 2,430 web consumers in eight countries to learn more about how language affected their buying habits. They found out that:

* 72.1% of consumers spend most of their time on websites translated in their own language.

* 72.4% of consumers said they would be more inclined to buy a product/service with information in their own language.

* 56.2% of consumers said that their ability to access information in their own language was more important than price.

    These statistics prove that more than half of consumers preferred a website in their own language when it actually came to purchasing something.

    Translated mobile apps are no different.

    A study, “The impact of App Translations” from Distomo showed that localising iPhone application text resulted in significantly more downloads — 128% more per country; as a result, companies saw a 26% increase in revenue for each country.

    In all, this means one thing: in order for companies to cater to the high-demand for tourism content, they need to be translating their travel-related website content and apps.

    What other way is professional translation used for in travel businesses?

    Let’s talk SEO (Search engine optimisation). Another reason why translators are so important for travel businesses is because of their ability to impact SEO. If translators are able to effectively make content available to the targeted audience through specific words/terms and phrases, then the more likely web consumers will find you in popular search engines like Google. All you have to do is make your website enticing enough for them to click on. Though It might be a case of “easier said than done,” SEO translation can really help your travel business with breaking into a foreign market.

    It is clear that using professional translation in the tourism industry is, without a doubt, highly beneficial and a constant need. However, multinationals tend to use automated translation to fill this need and rely less on human translators. But this raises questions as to how effective automated translation is, and whether it’s more proficient than human translators?

    Translation blunders in the travel and tourism industry

    A common issue with machine translation in the travel and tourism industry seems to be that it’s not 100% reliable yet.

    Not so with human translators.

    There are many reasons why human translators are better — first and foremost, their attention to detail, their understanding of specific and diversified terminology of each country, activity or topic, and their ability to work collaboratively in a team with other translators; saving a considerable amount of time and money! If you ask us, it’s definitely the safer choice for businesses.

    There are endless examples of mistranslations throughout the travel and tourism industry and, surprisingly, road signs happen to be one of them.

    That’s right. Despite it being 2018, machine translation still fails to localise something as simple as road signs. In China, for example, road signs are often so wrong and misleading that it can almost become a laughing matter for international travellers. Yes, mistranslated Chinese-English road signs might seem comical at first, but it can also leave some people feeling left baffled, and possibly concerned about their safety.

    A prime example of a “translation gone wrong” would be the notice, “To take notice of the safe, the slippery are very crafty.” This sign can easily puzzle any English speaking foreigner visiting China as it fails to achieve it’s simple goal of warning people about slippery pavement.

    This is another reason why professional human translators are needed to save the day (and possibly someone’s life), to make up for the inefficiencies of machine translation.

    What you should look for in an agency that does travel translations?

    1) A travel business must look for a translation company that specialises in speaking their customers mother tongue as well as other languages that can benefit the travel business going forward. Language Direct is a full-service translation provider with expertise in over 189 languages. Our travel and tourism translation services helps you stand out in a saturated market and ensure you are delivering a seamless multilingual presence.

    2) A travel business must ensure that the translation provider they select is able to provide a quick, reliable, consistent service each time. Language Direct’s project management team follows a strict operational procedure to ensure consistency:

    Once our project management team has received your request, our project manager will immediately reach out to our pool of qualified and experienced translators to see whether they are available to take on the project and will quickly provide you with a quote and turnaround time to fit in with your requirements.

    The file is then sent to the translator (or sometimes a team of translators depending on how big the project is) to complete the translation at hand.

    As soon as the file is sent back, the file will be proofread by another experienced translator as well as the project manager to ensure it aligns with the original.

    3) A travel business must ensure that the translation provider they opt to go with, is able to accurately translate a range of marketing materials. Language Direct’s network of professional freelance translators are able to translate everything from web content, video, email campaigns to brochures, holiday guides, hotel information, press releases and promotional material. Our attention to detail and accuracy will make your customers “wish they were there.”

    Are you bending over backwards as a travel business and feel as though that it is difficult to generate new leads and customers? What if I told you that it doesn’t have to be that way? Spice things up to help your business stand out by investing in a professional translator at Language Direct — a translation service that provides top-notch translation in over 180 languages. Soon enough you will be generating new customers and helping them make informed travel decisions. To get a free quote call us on +44-748-061-5693 or visit our Language Direct website.