How Travel and Hospitality Rely on Localization

by Drew Evans
3 Minute Read

Localization is a vital part of growth in most industries around the world. Some industries have historically relied on global expansion more than others, as businesses have customers across all borders. The travel and hospitality industries are no strangers to localization - with international travel becoming more economical, the primary source of new customers typically comes from abroad. And for economies that are fueled by tourism, localization becomes even more important. 

Travel and hospitality are constantly growing - in fact, according to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourism now represents 7% of the world’s exports in goods and services. Since the travel and hospitality industries involve multiple services (like air travel, car rental, hotel booking, restaurants, etc.), localization is arguably the most important lever behind their growth and development.

Localized Multilingual Website and Apps for the Target Audience 

As the research conducted by European Tourism Association shows, 40% of bookings in Europe and 44% of bookings in the United States are made online – and those numbers are only expected to grow. It’s believed that those percentages will reach the 50% mark in the next three years. 

What does this mean? Travelers are spending most of their time on websites, researching potential destinations, comparing prices, reading reviews from other travelers, and looking at all of the available activities and services.

And that’s how the travel and hospitality industry is turning those travelers into customers: with localized and multilingual websites and apps that engage visitors without losing track of the cultural appeal. Some businesses in this market are even investing more and thinking ahead by creating their own mobile apps with translated booking engines and international payment methods.

As travelers are always on the move, mobile is no longer the future for the travel and hospitality industries - it’s the present. Customers are looking for information in their native languages, but still want the local culture of the region. According to Think With Google, 70% of travelers with smartphones have done travel research.

The Impact of Localization

When appealing to an international audience, smaller details are easy to miss. For travel and hospitality, these details are extremely important - even the smallest difference can make a difference.

For example, visuals (like images and videos) can impact your audience, as the various components need to be culturally relevant. Depending on the audience that a company may be considering, what’s commonplace and appropriate may vary, so it’s especially important to think about that throughout the localization process.

Copy and content are also crucial for travel and hospitality. While it may seem obvious, small things like currency and measurements change depending on your audience, so it’s important to be careful and ensure that numbers and symbols line up. 

Beyond that, localized content needs to be available on-site at all times for patrons as well. Safety information, maps, services brochures, menus, and more are on the list of things to be translated for many hotels and travel agencies around the world. 

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The travel and hospitality industries rely on localization to remove the language and cultural barriers that will allow a faster growth, as the new potential clients will clearly understand what services are being offered to them. 

If you’re thinking about localizing your content to expand globally, be sure to request a live demo of the Lilt platform today and chat with an expert to see how adaptive machine translation can improve your efforts.