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What Can Other Industries Learn from Travel and Leisure Companies?
Posted by Rebecca Ray on January 27, 2016  in the following blogs: Global Marketing, Best Practices
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Travelers visit on average 22 sites before booking accommodations. They contribute more than 80 entries to TripAdvisor every minute. Meanwhile, the entire travel sector is undergoing major transformation as Marriott acquires Starwood, Uber up-ends the transportation sector, and all brands try to figure out how to replicate in China their previous success elsewhere.
 
Travelers from China, the U.K., and Germany Spent the Most in 2014
Source: Common Sense Advisory, Inc. and U.N. World Tourism Organization


Amid all of this change, CSA Research recently analyzed how travel and leisure (T&L) companies exploit multilingual content to support global customer experience (CX). Their challenges parallel those of other industries as they struggle to adapt to quickly evolving customer preferences and expectations as mobile, personalization, and Millennials dominate the landscape. At the same time, they must find ways to stay ahead of brutal competition from well-funded local start-ups and disruptors.

Companies in retail, high-tech, consumer goods, life sciences, financial services, and manufacturing can learn from the following areas in which T&L excels, as well as from their cautionary tales. Language providers hoping to service the travel sector can pick up pointers about the sector's special needs and requirements:

  1. Embrace user-generated content (UGC) and machine translation (MT). Brands whose success is directly tied to the availability and quality of user reviews tackle UGC with real-time and post-edited MT (click here to take the latest survey from CSA Research on MT). They understand the connection between how UGC delivery affects brand perception and their bottom line - especially among the Millennial crowd that routinely factors in other opinions before tapping the "confirm" button.
  2. Master the science of content tiering. Travel companies have a hard time describing their global customer personas and content usage patterns. As a result, they often translate too much content into too many languages. Don't fall into the same trap. Classify your content by local market factors, content type, and quality requirements. This allows you to prioritize the right pieces to localize for each market and to obtain the most for every translation dollar, euro, yen, and pound.
  3. Integrate online and offline worlds. Mobile devices allow interaction on a more personal level with prospects and clients, but that comes with the responsibility to provide upgraded experiences. Travel brands enhance digital access to their audience's offline lives. Examples include services such as mobile check-in and keyless access at hotels and resorts, and free Wi-Fi on planes.
Travel and leisure companies process a wide range of content types from internal and external sources. Their material requires varying levels of linguistic quality and often includes large volumes of user-generated text and images. At the same time, they face heavy competition within and outside their industry. As they race to personalize the content experience through mobilizing and socializing it, companies in other industries can apply the lessons learned to their own sectors.

 

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Keywords: B2B and B2C global marketing, Global branding, Global mobile, Global social media, Localization, Machine translation, Online customer experience

  
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