Travel is a hot commodity worldwide. Just within the past decade, the U. S. hotel industry has seen an uplift in international travelers, with large increases in visitors hailing from China and South Korea. This adds to the already steady stream of visitors from Canada, Mexico, UK and Japan, who have been investing in travel to American cities for decades.
This growth in global guests and the ease of digital marketing across borders has given hotels massive opportunities to expand into new markets and succeed internationally.
However, when it comes to your hotel going global, it doesn’t make sense to stick with a one-size-fits-all hotel web design or booking engine. Every culture has its own assumptions, ideals and values. What works in one country may flop in another. So, you have to do it with style, requiring a comprehensive vision, strategic game plan and most of all, a localized hotel website and booking engine experience.
Before getting started, think about your feeder markets. Is your hotel located in a sunshine state where Canadians like to escape to during frigid winter months? Does your city offer major theme park attractions that are on all the agendas of Japanese tour companies? And, don’t overlook airlift. Is there a direct flight to your destination from London, Sydney or Mexico City?
The intent of localizing your hotel’s website for international visitors is to create an online experience that mirrors that of your domestic guests, which will make your global guests want to return to your destination time and time again. Stay consistent, stay sensitive and stay smart about cultural nuances that can make the difference between bouncing or booking.
Here are the four key elements to attracting guests from around the globe:
1. Get a Real Translation
If international visitors go to your hotel’s site and just see English, it sends a message that their business isn’t important or that you don’t care to make their online experience an inviting one.