Driving customers to your hotel can be a constant uphill battle. Off seasons and increased competition from alternative accommodation providers are just a couple of barriers hoteliers face.
Let’s put a few other facts out there too.
Did you know that 57% of all reservations within the travel industry are made online?
And, on top of that, 47% of the web is non English speaking…
Shall we give you the third stinger? 75% of consumers will only buy in their own language (according to a report by CSA Research).
Which means, you might just find yourself with a big problem on your hands if you want to attract foreign visitors to your hotel and you’re not thinking about offering your website in another language.
By presenting information in languages your future guests can understand, you’ll be more likely to land those international bookings – an area growing at an extortionate rate.
Take the Chinese market, for example. In 2018, Chinese residents took 149.7m overseas trips and are now the world’s most powerful outbound market. And, considering less than 10% of the Chinese population speak English, it’s a huge market you could be missing out on.
We only have to look at the graph above to see that 5 out of the 9 countries listed as spending the most money on international tourism are non English speaking.
After all, it just makes sense if you’re conducting business online and targeting customers in other countries!
In this article we’ll discuss in more detail why translating your website is an absolute must, look at some hotels doing website translation right, and show you a simple and fast website translation solution.
4 reasons to translate your hotel website
Still need some convincing? Let’s dive in further as to why you should translate your hotel’s website, beginning with the value of your global customers.
1. International guests are vital to your business’ success
As a hotelier you’ll have already determined your high and low seasons for your domestic clientele. As you know, this can lead to long stretches of time when you can have fewer guests than you’d like. But, reaching a more global customer pool can help minimize this issue.
Naturally, each country has a different time period in which it’s normal to holiday. Which is exactly what you’ll want to tap into.
For example, one of the key times Chinese tourists travel abroad is around the time of their National Day on 1 October – which is typically a quieter period for tourism within European countries.
Translating your website and reaching a wider global audience may encourage more international visitors to stay at your hotel. You can then keep your profits up when domestic travel is light and avoid dry spells.
2. You’ll be more competitive in the hospitality industry
It’s never been more important to stand out within the tourism industry. With an industry worth $7.6 trillion – competition is fierce.
It can be tempting to assume you can get away without translating your website. After all, English is spoken by 20% of people globally.
It’s also the most prevalent language on the internet, as we mentioned earlier.
However, most of the people who speak English have learned it as a second language.
And when 9 out of 10 website users said that when given the chance, they preferred to visit the site in their own language, we can really see how important website translation is for the hotel industry.
What’s more, 42% won’t purchase products or services from ‘monolingual’ websites.
In a nutshell, if your website isn’t translated, you’re losing sales. People searching for a hotel may pass over your site if it’s only available in English.
Even if they do take the time to try and decipher your web copy, they’re still less likely to book a room as the booking process may be too complicated for them.
It’s even been shown that potential guests from non-English speaking countries prefer to pay a higher rate at a hotel that offers web content in their native language.
Ultimately, an English-only site will make it harder to compete with other hotels that have translated their content.
3. Translation can improve search engine optimization (SEO)
Approximately 57% of hotel bookings are made online each year.
As such, having visibility for your website is key to filling up your rooms. The best way to do this is to make sure your site appears in search engine results when potential customers are looking for somewhere to stay.
Translating your site can boost your SEO in a few different ways.
For starters, targeting keywords in different languages can help improve your rankings.
Doing keyword research in the languages most popular among your target audience could help you improve your non-English search results.
Creating separate pages for content in different languages is also key. This helps Google crawl and index your site accurately for higher placement on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This is much more preferable to incorporating copy in several languages on the same page – which is often penalized by Google search bots.
In order for this strategy to be successful, you’ll need to carry out multilingual SEO best practices on your site. This includes optimizing for search after translating your content – not before.
Using Weglot to translate your site is a good place to start as some of the more ‘tricky’ areas of multilingual SEO are already automatically taken care of.
4. Localization can increase conversions
A key strategy that goes hand-in-hand with translation is localization. This involves taking things a step further and considering the cultural norms and preferences of your international guests, not just their language.
87% of those seeking a hotel for an upcoming trip are more likely to book a room on a website that provides a personalized experience. For international travelers, this includes localization.
And, in terms of website localization this can include anything from changing images to be appropriate for different target markets, how text is displayed – for example Arabic should be written from left to right – or simply displaying your language switcher as the language name, not a country flag.
When choosing a tool to translate your site, finding one that will prime your content for localization is key. Weglot does exactly this, with every step of the conversion process from the landing page to the confirmation email in your future guests’ preferred languages.
5 examples of multilingual hotel websites
Facts and figures may demonstrate concrete reasons why you should translate your hotel website. However, nothing speaks quite as loudly as a successful multilingual hotel site in action.
Consider Hotel de France Vannes:
Their site is available in both French and English. They also specifically cater to business travelers, offering overnight packages with a meal service included.
On the other hand, the Italian hotel Miramonti appeals to tourists visiting the Alps:
You can read their site in seven different languages from across Europe – ensuring their key markets get a tailored experience. Even their blog is translated to provide valuable information to prospective visitors and help improve that all important SEO.
Further afield, Thai beach resort KohKoon knows how to appeal to both Asian and European visitors:
Its content is available in six languages, including Korean, French, and German. Extra localization points for its helpful currency switcher to make booking a room simpler for all its markets.
Le Taos is a hotel and mountain apartment residence offering private ski lockers, equipment rentals, and lessons in addition to lodging:
This site’s content is available in five languages – including Hebrew – to provide short and long-term guests with all the information they need to have a successful trip.
Finally, there’s the Acorn Hotel in Glasgow. Like the Miramonti, they’ve translated their blog to share the largest volume of useful information with the maximum number of people:
Making the effort to translate your hotel website can go a long way to demonstrate your professionalism in the hospitality industry and attract international guests.
Using Weglot to translate your hotel website
There are many reasons why translating your hotel website could be beneficial to your bottom line. However, before you can start drawing in guests from around the world, you’ll need to actually translate the content on your website.
Weglot can help with this by translating and displaying your website content in as many languages as needed.
Benefits of Weglot? Your hotel site will be multilingual in minutes without the need for developers, code or duplicated sites. And, it’s compatible with all website technologies (WordPress, Squarespace, Webflow, Wix…).
Failing to translate your hotel website could lead you to miss out on potential bookings.
Leads who don’t speak your country’s native language may steer clear of content they can’t read, and you won’t receive the SEO benefits of translating your site either.
But, you’ve now seen the benefits website translation can add to your sales and localization, from the point of view of working within the hospitality industry.
So let’s recap on the four reasons why you should consider translating your hotel website:
- International guests are vital to your business’ success
- You can attract new customers from around the world
- Translation can improve SEO
- Localization can increase conversions
Try the 10 day Weglot free trial today (no credit card required for sign up).