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Resonate With Global Travelers Through Travel Language Services

Three tips based on current travel trends to achieve a genuine connection

Travel is back.

With the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic largely behind much of the world, more and more people are embracing travel and venturing to new destinations.

We highlighted how translation could support the travel industry as the pandemic receded. During this time, it was incumbent upon the tourism industry to make travelers feel safe again by providing essential information to global customers in their native languages via professional translation services.

For instance:

  • Hotel brands could reassure travelers about safety by communicating extra efforts to disinfect rooms.
  • Tourism departments could better prepare visitors and prevent inconveniences by communicating country-centric rules, such as vaccine requirements.

While providing safety and logistical information is essential, travel and hospitality brands must do more to capture the hearts of prospective travelers now that we are moving into a new travel phase. This phase — marked by pre-pandemic travel activity — makes it paramount for travel brands to create content in multiple languages that truly resonates with global travelers. Language services for travel & hospitality brands can help achieve this goal.

What Is the State of Travel in 2023?

If you worked in travel & hospitality during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, you know just how detrimental the pandemic was to the tourism industry. It brought international travel to a near standstill. Hotel rooms went vacant. Tourist attractions closed. Indeed, these were terrible times. Fortunately, travel is now on the upswing, as demonstrated by the following projections and statistics from Squaremouth, a travel insurance tech company:

  • International travel is expected to rebound to pre-pandemic levels in 2023
  • Older travelers returned to pre-pandemic numbers as we headed into 2023
  • Travelers are poised to spend 25+ percent more money on travel than before 2019

The U.S. Travel Association paints a similarly optimistic picture. It reports that travel spending in February 2023 was five percent higher than in 2019 and nine percent higher than in 2022. The organization also says Americans’ desire for leisure travel is at a record high.

All this data is great news if you’re in the travel & hospitality business. But how can you stand out from your competition and entice people to visit your location? See your tourist attraction? Go on your tour? Fly with your airlines? Rent your car? Stay at your hotel? Eat at your restaurant and so forth?

Your secret weapon continues to be your ability to provide prospective customers with content that will resonate with them no matter where they are from and what language they speak.

Follow these three tips — informed by current travel trends — to resonate with global travelers.

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Tip #1 Know Your Traveler and Their Current Needs

Leisure travelers

Leisure travelers want novel and authentic experiences more than ever.

Is your destination lesser known? Alternatively, has it been featured in a movie or television show? (We’re looking at you, White Lotus television series, with breathtaking images of Maui and Sicily.) Or are you offering a wellness retreat like no other?

You’re in luck. These are some of the things leisure travelers now seek during planned vacations in 2023, according to the American Express Travel 2023 Global Travel Trends Report. After enduring a pandemic-induced mundane existence, people crave memorable experiences. They want excitement. They want authenticity. They want renewal.

Notably, the American Express report indicates most travelers are keen to support local businesses, with 69 percent of the respondents expressing they would spend more money if they knew locals would benefit. In addition, 88 percent of those surveyed equated authenticity with dining and shopping experiences at local small businesses.

What’s the takeaway from all this? Content that highlights your unique differentiators to meet the desires of today’s leisure travelers is a winning strategy. Craft messaging to tourists accordingly and use professional translation to break through every target language barrier and make your content available globally.

“Bleisure” travelers

The pandemic has permanently changed how we live and work. Travel industry news site Skift identifies the prominence of the “bleisure” traveler or one who blends business and pleasure. Among its findings:

  • Blended travel was valued at $495.5 billion in 2022
  • Business trips that included weekends jumped from 33 percent in 2021 to 38 percent in 2022.

Moreover, work-from-anywhere policies are likely to stay. An Upwork study projects that 22 percent of the American workforce — 36.2 million workers — will work remotely by 2025.

These statistics make a strong case for vigorous travel marketing targeted to the bleisure traveler. Just as you craft messaging that speaks directly to leisure travelers, finetune your content to ensure bleisure travelers from all over the world that your offering meets their needs.

When applicable, you may highlight your dependable Wi-Fi, newly designed workspaces, or home-like amenities that cater to remote workers who plan to stay at their destination longer-term. You can make this content accessible to global tourists through travel language services.

Capitalize on traveler-related trends with these language services

While nuanced messaging that speaks directly to your target audience’s concerns is a given requirement, providing that messaging to your global target audiences in their native language is equally important.

A survey of 8,709 consumers in 29 countries found:

  • 65% of buyers prefer to purchase a product when content is in their local language, even if that content contains some errors
  • 66% of users turn to online Machine Translation (MT) when evaluating products available in other languages
  • 40% of consumers will not buy products that are presented in other languages

(Source: “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy — B2C,” CSA Research, June 2020)

You can get your content in multiple languages via travel translation services or, depending on your needs, go one step further with transcreation services.

During transcreation, expert translators adjust a message in one language to make it culturally appropriate for another audience. Instead of translating the content word for word, the language specialist may write an entirely new text for a particular market that matches the original text’s style, tone, and emotion. While transcreation typically costs more than translation, costs may be reduced by introducing automated or Machine Translation (MT) into the workflow, with post-editing following the MT when needed.

Professional Language Services Providers (LSPs), like Lionbridge, can translate and transcreate content and lower costs by incorporating Machine Translation.

Tip #2 — Embrace Video Marketing

Online business publication Travel Market Report — among other travel sources — underscores videos’ importance in increasing travel sales.

Indeed, video is a must-have strategy as it makes viewers almost feel like they are on-site or experiencing the service. Videos can help you connect with potential customers in ways that words alone simply cannot. Videos can help generate more traffic to your site and boost revenues.

Recent studies underscore why video is a critical strategic asset, specifically for travel & hospitality brands:

  • Approximately 40 percent of travelers aged 30+ prefer to use TikTok over Google when looking into travel, according to Skift.
  • Online video is a vital factor in every stage of the APAC traveler’s journey — dream, plan, book, organize, go, and share, according to a Think with Google consumer study in conjunction with data analytics and brand consultancy Kantar Group.
  • 53 percent of Generation Z APAC travelers specifically turn to YouTube, according to the same study.
  • 46 percent of survey respondents indicate they would be more likely to visit a new destination following a virtual visit, making Virtual Reality (VR) a top travel trend for 2023, according to eviivo software company.

Think video production is too expensive? There is a wide range of options to meet varying budgets. It’s now more cost-effective than ever to produce simple videos. Grab your smartphone and go. But be sure to cater to the needs of your global audiences. Further investment in your video will go a long way toward creating strong connections with prospective customers worldwide.

Capitalize on the video trend with these language services

You can expand your video’s reach to global audiences with video and audio localization services that enable you to appeal to the cultural preferences of your target market. Why localize your video content? It lets you to get the most out of your assets and connect with people you would otherwise miss.

The following approaches can help you get the most out of your video:

Transcription — This technique converts audio into verbatim text using speech-to-text technology and/or human transcribers. The viewer can see a printed version of the spoken words on their screen in the video’s originating language.

Subtitling and captioning — These techniques also let viewers see a printed version of the spoken words on their screen. However, the words are in the viewer’s native tongue. Captioning addresses sound effects and designates who is speaking. It makes your video more accessible to those who are deaf or hard of hearing. It also benefits non-native speakers and people who cannot turn on sound while watching videos. Subtitling and captioning help increase watch times. They also help improve search results by providing text files that search engines can read.

Transcription and subtitling are cost-effective solutions that are suited for videos that appear on social media. Captioning is for content that must comply with regulatory requirements, such as those mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Voiceover and dubbing — These techniques provide a full auditory experience to video content by enabling viewers to hear the audio in their native tongue. A voiceover, or one-voice narrative, suffices for basic multimedia localization requirements. Dubbing services involving multiple voice actors to get the message across exactly as intended are suited for high-visibility content with numerous voices.

Voiceover and dubbing are suited for high-value videos that require an enhanced customer experience.

Video creation — Video can be tailored to your needs and design requirements when you start from scratch. When work is executed with localization in mind, it’s easy and cost-efficient to localize it later. Video creation is appropriate for low- and high-visibility content due to a wide range of variables.

Companies with multimedia expertise, like Lionbridge, can provide end-to-end video services, including cutting-edge offerings like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR).

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Tip #3 — Invest in Technology

As travel is on the rise, so are travel & hospitality tech budgets.

In addition to the Virtual Reality (VR) trend, other travel tech trends in hospitality, as reported by Business Leader magazine, include:

  • Mobile apps as a driver of growth
  • The importance of omnichannel platforms
  • Automation, including website chatbots
  • More compelling websites

Are you keeping up with these trends?

How to capitalize on the technology trend

Get the most out of technology trends by optimizing your multilingual e-commerce websites and delivering outstanding global digital experiences.

Your website needs to be fast, mobile-friendly, and secure to ensure optimal website performance and reap the benefits of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). And the right content must land in the right market.

If you created English content for the UK, but it is showing up on sites targeting American audiences, you’ve got geo-targeting issues.

Even minor vocabulary-related offenses can erode consumer confidence in your brand and result in lost sales opportunities. For example, a British reader will expect to see words like tube, timetable, and holiday instead of subway, schedule, and vacation, which are appropriate words when targeting Americans.

Website optimization and global geo-targeting are just a couple of ways to enhance your customers’ digital experiences. The bottom line is that the more information you collect about your customer engagement, the more opportunities you will have to strengthen it.

How Can Lionbridge Help?

Lionbridge can help you resonate with global travelers through its various travel language services.

These offerings include:

  • Core language services — Translation, localization, and content creation deliver expertly tailored content for each locale.
  • Multimedia services —Transcription & subtitling, voiceover & dubbing, and video creation enable you to expand your customer base and strengthen relationships with them.
  • Global digital marketing services — Website content optimization improves Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) results, and Global Digital Experience Assessments examine your technology and content to measure and enhance your brand’s digital experiences across languages and markets.

Get in touch

Ready for your brand to take off? Reach out to us today for all your travel translation and language needs.

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Janette Mandell
Janette Mandell