Running a successful international travel business is a challenge, to say the least. This highly competitive industry is jam packed with people trying to do exactly the same thing you are attempting: to effectively market your company so that you can achieve the success goals that you’ve set for yourself and your business. If you’re at a loss regarding how exactly to start that process, we have one concept that you should keep in mind to help you maintain your focus – make your company as visible/accessible as possible to your target markets.
The first step in that process is to identity exactly where those target markets are located. International travel, by definition, will involve appealing to people from different parts of the globe who are interested in travel. And that means your marketing content must be easily understood by — and be relatable to — a wide variety of people, many of whom may speak different languages and come from different cultures.
After identifying your target markets, you’ll need to secure the services of a qualified team of translator/localization experts – in other words, professional linguists who can not only translate your marketing content from one language to another, but who can also revise that content, if needed, so it’s appropriate for people of different cultural backgrounds. As a travel professional, you no doubt already understand how the cultural, political and religious norms of people around the world mean that they interpret images and concepts from much different points of view. A marketing campaign that is entirely suitable for a US market may be inappropriate or even offensive to people in Asia or the Middle East, for example. A qualified team of language professionals who are not only fluent in the target audience’s language, but also familiar with their cultural norms, is a must-have if you want to make your company visible and accessible to those potential clients.
Once you’ve secured the services of your translation team, it’s time to focus on your content. That includes your website, newsletters, flyers, videos, guidebooks, social media posts, brochures, blogs, etc. Here are some key issues to keep in mind when reaching out to a global market:
- Begin with translating and localizing your website. The content should be available in however many languages are necessary for the target markets you want to reach. It makes sense to use the same content for each market, and that means that your site should be appropriate for everyone. So at the same time your translation team is working on translating language, they’ll also need to review images and any other graphical elements for appropriateness. Anything that’s questionable for one segment of your audience should be removed. And don’t forget the importance of localizing measurements and currency units as well. If your potential customers have to take the time to figure this out on their own, they’re likely to find another travel agency site that provides them with that convenience.
- Now, employ these same guidelines with your other content. Your website is the foundation of your business, but to become an international travel agent in every sense, you’ll need to pay equal attention to ALL of your content. That means that newsletters should be produced in every target language; flyers and brochures should be just as carefully translated and reviewed for appropriateness as your website; blogs should be not only translated into your target languages; the topic of each blog should be relevant to all potential customers; and videos should include either subtitles or dubbing for your target markets.
If that sounds like a lot of work, it is! But the rewards you’ll receive will be well worth the effort. The best place to start is by forming your team of language/localization professionals. The best way to do this is by contacting a reputable translation agency. They will match your needs with linguists who can provide the highest quality translation and localization services possible. You CAN compete and succeed in the international marketplace, and there’s no better time to start than right now!