We know that with COVID-19 wrecking havoc to the world’s economies, it appears to make little or no sense to discuss translation in relation to the tourism and travel industry. After all, these industries have taken the biggest hit and been suffering huge losses in the past couple of weeks.
However, the night is the darkest just before the dawn, so this moment of vacuum might actually be right to rethink your current strategies and try out some new approaches to get out of the sinkhole in the nearest future. One of the approaches could be becoming more accessible to people from around the world when the world will stop being on a general lockdown.
Translation and travel go hand in hand
With modern translation technology, companies in the travel and tourism industry can localize their content in the most accessible way. Today we will tackle both the most obvious, as well as the less obvious approaches to becoming more accessible internationally. Perhaps you will find some ideas worth pursuing further with our team.
#1. Smart Localization Approach
Isn’t it counter-intuitive to invest now in a market that will take such a long time to recover? Let’s be clear – no-one is expecting you to invest your time and money just to localize your website into French so that French tourists might find you on the map, once all this blows over.
But let’s start with the obvious. Coronavirus or not, people have always valued the use of their native language when looking for any type of travel accommodation, from a dream vacation to work trips. It just makes life a lot easier, and people like to pay for things they feel more comfortable with.
Now, back to the investment part. If you want to prepare for what’s to come after the crisis, we want you to remember that there are a lot of cost-effective alternatives to, what we call, full human translation. This means that you don’t have to pay for a native speaker to translate the content, and another one to review it. You could be using machine translation and post-editing to lower the costs of localization up to 40%-50%. This way, you can still translate your content and not break the bank.
And if you already know you will need translation services in the future to come back to normal, you can grab 10% off your order at TUFT, the fastest and the most affordable translation services online, offering the machine translation and human review option. We are launching very soon!
#2. Internal content translation
Another often overlooked option is the internal translation of content. This is especially useful for users who have colleagues or friends in other countries. If these people are native speakers of other languages, why not ask them to help you with the localization of your content? You can repay the favor and translate their content into your native language. This way, everyone wins.
The only question is how you would organize such tasks. If you are located in different countries, and you need to keep track of progress, assign your content, harmonize terminology, and re-use old translations.
All of the above is possible with the use of a Translation Management System (TMS).
A TMS enables you to:
- Use Translation Memories as databases of old translations, so you don’t have to keep translating the same content over and over again
- Upload your content in the format you desire, as most modern systems support a multitude of formats out of the box. Our system, for example, supports around three dozen file formats
- Assign your content to people you want, without having to manually separate everything
- Keep track of what is happening and communicate with the people working on the project
Of course, these are just the basic features. All of them combined can save you a lot of time and money, which is what you will need.
#3. Multilingual customer experience
Imagine if you had the option to communicate with the people staying at your hotel, although you don’t speak the same language.
For example, your guest from Japan could have a problem with the air conditioner. Let’s also imagine that you don’t speak Japanese, and the guest doesn’t speak English. With a lot of effort from both sides, you might resolve this with various hand and face gestures, but what if it could be easier?
You could have a system in place which would enable the guest to reach out to you (via a QR code), and speak into his phone in their native language. The message in Japanese would then be automatically transcribed and translated into your language. You reply explaining to the guest that help is on the way and the message is returned to your guest the same way it arrived to you. The guest thanks you, and leaves a positive message which you could automatically use on social media and review websites.
What we just described is not a chatbot, but a way to communicate with your guests and make their stay more comfortable. Additionally, this would generate more positive reviews for you, and help attract new guests. What we described is our new product, Kumul, launched just a few weeks ago!
The futures of translation, travel, and tourism industries go hand in hand
The best thing you can do is to combine all three approaches above. But hey, we are all worried about the future of the hospitality sector. No-one is saying that anybody should implement everything today.
If you want, we can discuss all these things together and make global plans for when things return to normal. As always, there are no strings attached, so let’s talk about your future, and whether we can help.