With its contribution of six-trillion pounds to the global economy, tourism is one of the most important industries in the world. However, it has many cultural boundaries to overcome. For example, a single destination has to speak an array of languages if it wants to attract a wide variety of visitors.
Then throw the digital revolution into the mix. These days most people go online to plan and book their travel adventures. They scour the internet for the best deals, for inspiration, for useful information, and much of this is communicated in the form of translated language.
So the opportunities for marketing miscommunication are plentiful, which is why demand for marketing translators is slowly on the rise. However, according to some experts, marketing translation is still greatly underutilized in the tourism industry. The team at Creative Translation – a leading translation firm based in London – are explicit with their message: if the travel and tourism industry wants to stay ahead of the game, it needs to make marketing translation an integral part of its strategies.
Here, we have teamed up with the translation specialists over at Absolute Translations to take a look at the main reasons why tourism needs marketing translators.
Avoid costly mistakes online
Automated translation software – such as Google Translate – might be free, but it’s also very unreliable. It cannot detect nuances of language like idioms and colloquialisms. It essentially strips the copy of charm, character and sense, rendering the content meaningless and, well, useless for many people. Not to mention the occasions when it gets the translation incredibly wrong, thereby making a bad impression on the audience.
Professional marketing translators, on the other hand, know how to translate the nuances for the target language. They have a repertoire of idiomatic expressions combined with a deep understanding of the living language – that is, the ordinary everyday language of the target audience. And their expertise means they avoid the howlers that translation software often makes.
The marketing benefits of professional translation are backed up by a study carried out by Common Sense Advisory. Out of the 2,400 customers surveyed, the majority said they are more likely to make a purchase when the copy is in their own language. (And by their own language they mean how the natives speak and write it.)
Think about how important that is. Many travel companies are aiming to expand into the global market by having multiple language-versions of a website. That’s a big investment: one that could be negated by poor translations. Besides, shouldn’t we also have some compassion for all the holidaymakers around the world having to wade through badly translated copy?
It’s safe to say that investing in professional marketing translators not only gives online travel and tourism websites a competitive edge, it also helps improve the industry as a whole.
. . .it also helps people make buying decisions and therefore improves conversion rates
The digital revolution has given people the power to design and plan their own holidays. They seek out information from a wide variety of online sources and they eventually make buying decisions about destination, transport, accommodation, activities, entertainment etc. But some of those sources have badly translated content that leaves the user scratching their head and inevitably the they abandon the website.
Properly translated content, however, can significantly reduce the abandonment rate, as it helps people get the information they need quickly, thereby moving them through the buyer journey and onto the conversion stage.
It can also give tourism websites a huge SEO boost
As we’ve seen, the internet is a huge part of modern holiday planning. So getting found via search engines is an essential part of succeeding online. A seasoned marketing translator with the right skills can make sure the copy is properly optimized for search engines. So not only will companies have web content that’s been translated to a very high standard, they will also be found by potential customers.
And of course, marketing translators know how to persuade
As well as being translation experts with SEO know-how, marketing translators also have specialist copywriting skills. This is important because marketing communication needs to sell the benefits, paint a beautiful picture and entice people to take some kind of action, be it making a booking or buying something on location. Having professionally crafted marketing copy can help tourism firms acquire a bigger slice of the market.
Finally, marketing translation improves tourist retention by creating a better experience
People are less likely to return to a destination if they’ve had a bad experience. Let’s face it, no one wants to get lost in a strange place where they can’t understand the language. So properly translated signs, menus, maps and guides are essential for giving visitors a smooth experience and a great time. As a result they’ll be more likely to:
- make a return visit,
- recommend a destination to friends and family,
- and leave stellar reviews on places like TripAdvisor.
And that’s what marketing translation boils down to: giving holidaymakers and tourists the best possible experience.