Travel Further with Translation
As the World Travel Market event heads to London next week, we thought it would be fitting to look at how translation and other multilingual services play a role in the travel industry. Of course language goes hand-in-hand with translation, the necessity is undeniable. Everyone has tried picking up a phrase or two to say while in a foreign country, some making a mistake and accidentally personally insulting their family… but hey-ho, live and learn, right?
Speaking of which, let’s learn more about the travel industry. Let’s start with the big stuff: travel and tourism contributes $7.58tn to the global economy. There are currently 1,087m people travelling every year. Although those figures are massively attractive and the travel industry was one of the sectors with the highest growth rate post-recession in the UK, there is a lot of potential for further growth.
Each year, in the UK alone, £48bn is lost in exports due to lack of language skills. That struggle is translated to the travel industry. Although the sector is much more advanced than others in regards to language services – the entire industry rests on the laurels of language – there is continuous room for improvement with a keen eye focused on the future. By the year 2030, UNWTO predicted that over 5bn people will have access to domestic travel.
Currently, as mentioned, the travel industry is ahead of the curve in regards to providing their marketing materials, websites and some – the savviest of the lot – their TripAdvisor reviews translated into several different languages to appeal to more people. For your information, not that we’re bragging or anything (totally are), but we can provide these services in over 200 languages. Again, just an FYI.
There are an estimated 150-200 languages with over 1m speakers in the world. According to Statista, a reliable source of all things statistical, English is the second most spoken language in the world by having 375m native speakers, but 1.5bn who speak it as a second language. Top of the list is Chinese, of course, with an estimated 2.082bn speakers – 982m of which speak it as a first language. When surveyed, consumers said that they spend 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their native language. Can you get them to stick around?
What is clear is that travel is highly reliant on language and culture so one bad experience of accidentally insulting another’s culture (or family, as stated above) should inspire companies, especially those that aims to attract other cultures to visit them, to look into localisation as well as translation.
Travel continues to thrive as an industry. As stated many a time on this site before, the internet and globalisation are revolutionising how we see the world. Instead of confining ourselves to our doorsteps, maybe taking a trip down a few domestic streets, more and more are now gallivanting to our other countries to feel another culture, another climate, another life. With technology too, travel is becoming easier and more affordable. Not every citizen has access that Western society does, a prevalent travelling culture with even memes regarding gap years abroad, but as the prediction is set for 5/7th of the population having more common access to travel, shouldn’t you start preparing today?
Written by Ashley Norris.