With innovations in technology and the internet, planning a vacation has never been easier. People have become more active and hands-on in preparing for their trips. From browsing the best places to visit, to booking hotels and restaurants. It only takes a few hours to finalize an itinerary that is suited for the preferences of the traveler. Little do people know that travel and tour agencies have a special ingredient for attracting visitors. Translation truly puts the “T” in travel and tourism. However, challenging it is to describe astonishing destinations, translators are more than capable of enticing potential visitors.
What’s in it for travel and tour companies?
There are numerous travel-related agencies that need translation services: resorts, accommodations, restaurants, local governments, airlines, and more. One of the goals of the aforementioned stakeholders is to reach the highest possible number of people and to inspire them. The main question is, how can an agency convince the people to travel if it can’t speak their language? If English can be understood by a lot of people, why is there a need to translate?
- Clients are wary of poorly translated materials
It is only natural for people to have second thoughts when accessing websites, especially for matters involving expenses. Even the slightest errors can send off the wrong messages. It also calls into question the integrity of the company.
- Market expansion
While translation is not the only way of reaching clients, it is still an indication of a good start. It has also been proven that potential visitors feel more secure when browsing for tourism information in their own languages.
- Enhanced search engine optimization
SEO strategies vary from language to language. If tourism companies want to rank higher on search engines, they should make sure to consider SEO words and phrases for the target languages. In that way, the website gains more exposure.
Challenges of travel and tourism translation
The kind of translation required for the travel industry is far more complex than simply translating adjectives, verbs, and nouns. Below are some of the most common yet complicated challenges of travel and tourism translation.
- The content has to be culturally adept for each language: localization
Translators must use words that can are familiar with the target audience. The words to be used must be widely used in the client’s mother tongue. It helps to have a translator who has been immersed in the culture of the destination country and who can maintain the authenticity of the message while not sacrificing the quality.
- The translator must be aware of what he/she is translating
Describing a tourist spot must be both clear and inviting – this is usually a challenge for translators who have not visited the places yet. Having firsthand experience and knowledge of the places can help the translator depict the places’ realistic details.
- Effective writing technique: transcreation
In travel companies, literal word per word translation would not work. It entails a lot of creativity to make the places appealing to the visitors.
How can translators help?
With the help of translation, tourists feel more confident in organizing their trips and enjoying them. Since tourism caters to everyone from every corner of the world, translation became a necessary task. When translators are able to relay information correctly, it will benefit both the customers as well as the businesses and a country’s economy as a whole. Even translating travel materials such as brochures and maps can make great differences in the tourist’s experience. Businesses can generate more revenue because people are comforted knowing that they are able to purchase from credible establishments.
Creative translated language is also a crucial part in attracting visitors. Studies show that people are more likely to spend money if they are provided with accurate and alluring details. Translators with experience in search engine optimization are greatly beneficial for travel businesses to remain relevant on the internet. Furthermore, the translators can provide tourists with understanding of certain cultures, products, and services of the host country.
Best practices for travel and tourism translation
Travel and tourism can be promoted in a number of ways. Below are some examples of what professional translators are expected to translate:
- Hotel descriptions
- Tourism guides
- Social media posts
- Restaurant menus
Aside from knowing what kinds of content to translate, translators are also advised to use accessible languages. Although this area does not include technical terms, it’s a salient point to make the materials tourist-friendly for every nationality. Additionally, translators with knowledge in marketing are highly valued because they can effectively advertise products, services, or activities. Localizing content can also attract tourists because it prevents inappropriate messages. Are tourism translation services worth it? They definitely are and availing of such services should be one of the prime considerations of travel companies.
In light of the ensuing COVID-19 pandemic, travel and tourism has been one of the most affected sectors. Millions of flights, reservations, and plans have been cancelled in consideration of people’s health and safety. This 2021, with developments in vaccination and recovery programs being made, countries have been easing travel restrictions. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), host countries committed to global safety and proper hygiene are rewarded for their caution and services.
Since there is no definite end to the pandemic, people are always advised to practice the recommended practices and precautions when travelling locally or internationally. In these times, translators are responsible for informing travelers about a country’s requirements, protocols, and guidelines. While the pandemic momentarily slowed down the travel industry, it will remain to be relevant and worthwhile. With travel and tourism, people are able to become memory keepers of valuable experiences, lessons, and life stories.
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