Hotel Industry Blog

The Importance of Translation when Building Online Relationships & Revenues

By Des O'Mahony | On Tue, April 29, 2008

“Research shows that online, people are 3 times more likely to buy if the website is in their own language”, writes Mark Rodgers of Cipherion Translations.

The Celtic Tiger has brought Irish hotels into the 21st century. Most hotels have a strong online presence in the form of a professionally developed website which is seamlessly connected to a booking engine. However, with the current uncertainty in a number of our main markets, the industry is now at a watershed – how to keep the online momentum going while still focusing on revenues and profitability.

Building online relationships with your customers is essential at any time, but vital in today’s uncertainty. The Internet allows you to be a global player, in control of how your hotel is marketed online. However, sometimes you have ten seconds to build that initial relationship so how do you differentiate yourself from your competition?

I’d recommend translating your website. Research shows that online, people are 3 times more likely to buy if the website is in their own language.

At the recent Bookassist industry seminar, I was delighted to be invited by Bookassist to present hotels with a multi-lingual strategy. It was fascinating to hear Roshan mention that a recent survey of Bookassist’s main hotel clients in Ireland showed on average over 55% of their entire revenue is now generated online.

Wouldn’t it be great to start getting an even greater portion of that revenue directly from your own website?

Here’s how we, at Cipherion Translations approach it. Think of Christophe and Sophie for a moment. They are sitting at home in Lyon, at their white oak kitchen table, drinking a nice Bordeaux while getting excited about their upcoming holiday to Ireland. They know that they’ll visit Dublin, then Waterford and straight over to Galway. They just need to decide where to stay….

However, most of our hotel websites are currently in English. So while most European tourists like Christophe and Sophie have fluent English, think of their delight when they come upon your site in their own language. You’re delighting the customer and exceeding their expectations even before they arrive at your hotel. You’re building that initial relationship.

So how have the overseas visitors been able to find us in the past? This is where the third party operators, Expedia, Travelocity and the like have had a head start. They have been marketing your hotel in multiple languages for years… and likely getting a significant chunk of the online business from the European visitors.

Essentially, they are building that initial relationship, in French or in German. They have had a significant advantage since your website was previously only available in English.

FACT: Online, people are 3 times more likely to buy if the website is in their own language.

We’d love to help you build that initial relationship with your customers. We work closely with Bookassist, who already has a multi-lingual booking engine. We’ll help you translate your website to delight the customers when they come to your website. Bookassist has already done the rest for you by allowing your customers to book in their own language.

Cipherion Translations have teams of marketing specialists in over 40 languages. Because you only need to “hire” our marketing team for a day or two, the costs are not significant… and in conjunction with the multi-lingual booking engine from Bookassist you can start to grab a larger share of the business that used to come to you through third party websites.

So whether you only wish to market based on a translated home page, or feel that you want to tell the visitor more about your hotel, our team can quickly provide you with translations that will engage and hold your visitors attention. We ensure that during those initial 10 seconds the online visitor will get maximum value from the website.

The Internet and Web 2.0 now allows you to easily attract customers from all over Europe. So it’s vital that you market to this audience in their own language – to build that initial relationship with them.

Remember the fact: people are 3 times more likely to buy online if the website is in their own language. Cipherion Translations can provide you with the marketing experts in each language to guarantee that a visitor’s initial 10 seconds are meaningful and thus increase the chances of the customer wanting to book directly from your website. Bookassist, with their multi-lingual booking engine will take care of the rest.

In summary, thinking global means taking action. Translation is a cost-effective way to build your revenues and build relationships with your customers. Now is the time to think about differentiating yourself on the Internet.

Mark Rodgers is Managing Director at Cipherion Translations.

Labels: web design, tips, marketing, brand

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