Whether you’re a tourist yourself preparing to visit a foreign country, or an owner/manager of a tourist destination property inside this country getting ready to welcome non-native-English speaking guests, knowing which tourist attractions accommodate people who speak different languages is crucial. If you’ve ever visited a foreign tourist destination that did not provide multilingual signs at the very least, then you already know all too well how frustrating it can be to be surrounded by people who don’t speak your language or even signs that aren’t in English. So for your convenience – or the convenience of your guests – we’ve compiled a list of famous tourist attractions (both here and in other countries) that provide exceptional multilingual services to their visitors.
Disney Theme Parks & Water Parks
Whether you visit a Disney destination here inside the US, or any of the multiple Disney properties throughout the world, you’ll find not only Disney employees who are multilingual, but signs and displays that are as well. But Disney goes above and beyond those basic services by providing their guests with translation devices at many of their locations. Called “Ears to the World, Disney’s Show Translator,” these devices are made available to visitors at the Guest Relations locations in each Disney property.
Gray Line Worldwide – New York City
One of the best ways to find multilingual tourist-related services is to sign up with a sightseeing tour. Many of these groups specifically cater to foreign tourists, so their staff, signage, maps, brochures, etc. are usually provided in multiple languages. The Gray Line Worldwide tour of New York City is one good example. This tour takes visitors to virtually every prime tourist destination in and around New York, including Times Square, Madison Square Garden, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, to name just a few.
Sometimes it’s not necessary to visit a specific theme park or take a sightseeing tour that provides multilingual services – sometimes it’s an entire city that is truly multilingual. San Francisco is one such municipality. Almost anywhere you go in the City by the Bay, you’ll find attractions and establishments that offer multilingual signs, displays and employees. This is due in part to its location as a key seaport on the West Coast, but perhaps even more so because of the ethnic and cultural diversity of its population. Some recent studies estimate that 400,000 multilingual people call San Francisco home.
On almost everyone’s list of the top 10 tourist locations on the planet is the Colloseum in Rome. Italian tour companies offer audio/video guides that lead visitors on tours of the magnificent structure, and provide maps and narration in a variety of different languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Arabian, Russian and Portuguese.
Mall of America
One of the most forward-thinking tourist attractions inside the US is the Minneapolis-based Mall of America. Welcoming about 3 million international visitors each year, the mall provides tourists with webpages and information about shopping, dining and other attractions in several different languages, including Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese.
It’s easy to see why so many popular tourist destinations offer multilingual services to their guests. In this day and age, worldwide travel is easier than ever before, so it makes sense for a tourist attraction and/or city to cater to foreign visitors. In fact, providing at least multilingual signs and displays is a must for any tourist destination that hopes to successfully compete in the tourist/travel industry. If you are in need of translation/interpretation services for your destination, the first step is simple: contact a reputable translation company that can provide you with the services of a team of skilled language professionals. Your future in the tourist/travel industry may depend on it!