As we all know, the Internet is the fabric that connects our digital world. If your hospitality business has a web presence and wants to reach international users, you want to make sure that anyone who visits your hotel website can understand it.
Contrary to popular belief, only having an English version of your hotel website isn’t enough if you want to attract international users. According to a 2014 survey by Common Sense Advisory, an independent marketing research company, 75% of non-Anglophone Internet users prefer to make purchases in their native language. Furthermore, 60% of the same group rarely or never buys from English websites.
This survey included 3,000 people from Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Spain, and Turkey. Interestingly, 50% of these same responders preferred that at least the navigation elements and some content was translated, and 17% of responders strongly shared this preference. So, it appears that it’s not a deal-breaker if your hotel website isn’t fully optimised for each language. However, you need to translate the basics so your hotel website is easier to navigate.
In a 2011 Gallup survey of language preferences in the EU, nine out of 10 Internet users report that given the choice, they’d prefer to use a website in their own language. Additionally, 19% reported they would never browse a website in a foreign language, and 42% said they would never buy anything in a language other than their own. The survey also found that 56.2% of EU Internet users prioritise making purchases in their own language over finding a better price.
One factor which can break this pattern is the global prestige of the brand. Internet users from certain countries are more inclined to buy a product from a global brand with a website in a foreign language than a similar, but smaller-brand product with information in their native language. For example, 83% of Egyptians responded that they would do this, while only 56% of Germans responded so.
Regardless, it appears that translating your hotel website is the way to go if you want to expand the reach of your hospitality business online. If you’re looking to optimise your translations, we at Umi would be more than happy to help.
Common Sense Advisory survey
Gallup survey on EU language preference