The language of travel….Its not english!

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Travel industry knows only one language – The language of clicks! What about the site and social interactions? If you are one of those people who think that the official language of the web is English, then it’s time for a big surprise. Chinese language takes the centrestage when it comes to the most popular language on the web. A reliable web survey reveals that more than 75% of internet users browse Non-English pages and more than 95% conduct search in their native language. So, if your English travel site is trying to pull in global travelers, it’s to change gears – towards a more Multi-lingual marketing and content strategy.

And even if the site manages to be visible, is the right message being conveyed? And is the message conveyed in the right language?


Its true that one cannot have a website translated into more than 100 global languages, but then an intelligent market study of your potential guests will reveal the most popular mode of interaction.  Shortlisting of 4 to 5 languages in the first phase of multi-lingual marketing strategy will set the ball rolling for a robust global engagement campaign. Many of the tech savvy travel site owners might be tempted to go for the automated translation offered by Google, but it would be a marketing folly to say the least….

Just to prove the above point, let’s travel south towards the pacific rim…

Most of the Japanese reserve their travel plans for New Year, Golden Week in early May and one in August (O-bon) – and everyone in the travel industry knows their appetite for globetrotting. Apart from being extremely conversant with the technology, most of the Japanese are meticulous planners too – Can we expect these Japanese guests to Niagara?

The only roadblock for a hotel owner in Niagara falls is that the searches from this part of the world will be conducted in Japanese. Does that mean that all hotels in Niagara will be missing out on this travel-hungry bunch from Tokyo.

Not, if one of these hotels have their website translated in Japanese…

One comment on “The language of travel….Its not english!

  1. Miles Carter on said:

    Good article Palash, I think you are right to point out the value of the Japanese to the tourism industry for many areas – and it is an under-translated language in many areas online.

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