The travel industry is at the forefront of web globalization innovation and best practices. Take Booking.com, with support for 41 languages, or Uber, with support for 36 languages, or KLM, with support for 32 languages. And yet, if you wish to go online and research destinations, tourism websites are not so globally friendly. While the average leading travel website supports 30 languages, the leading tourism websites support just 12 languages, and many support considerably fewer.
The travel and tourism industry is growing at a faster pace than the global economy and by 2017 is projected to account for 1 of 9 jobs on this planet. And yet too many tourism organizations are under-investing in this growth industry. This report will help tourism organizations make the right choices when taking their websites global, or expanding their global reach.
About Destination: Marketing
There are three ingredients that go into producing this report:
- Interviews with web executives who manage global websites. With some companies, I’ve been following firsthand their web globalization development over more than a decade, and they have shared a wealth of insights into what works and what doesn’t.
- Hands-on understanding of web development, content creation and marketing. We have in-depth experience in marketing, content creation and website globalization, resulting in recommendations that are both practical and attainable.
- Fifteen years of studying global/multilingual websites. We're proud to say that no research firm has spent more time studying so many global websites over such a long time span. No research for this report is outsourced; every website is evaluated personally and has been since 2003.
How to use this report
This report serves two key purposes. First, we call out those websites that have excelled in the practice of web and mobile globalization. It’s important to study and learn from the best, and this report is intended to do just that. The web and marketing teams that contribute to the top 10 websites deserve recognition for being strong advocates for all web users, no matter where they live or what language they speak. Second, this report identifies best practices and emerging trends to help you avoid repeating common mistakes. It is intended to help you guide your web, marketing, and mobile teams to positive, efficient action.
Web globalization often leaves marketing and web teams with more questions than answers, such as:
- How is our global website doing compared with our competitors—and why?
- How do we design a website to best manage diverse brands and diverse locales?
- What languages should we support?
- How is our website doing compared with our competitors?
- How do we best implement geolocation to improve the global user experience?
Through website profiles, loaded with screen shots, you'll learn which practices to emulate and which to avoid. More than a dozen industries are profiled, with key globalization developments and best practices highlighted with screen shots.
Tourism websites aren’t keeping pace with global travelers
The Top 10 Global Tourism Websites
Part I: Best Practices in Tourism Websites
- Globalization is a journey, not a destination
- Learn from the best travel websites
- Embrace global consistency; local flexibility
- Develop a “world-ready” approach to web globalization
- Support mobile users, not just mobile devices
- Set and enforce weight limits
- From “select language” to “select country/region”
- Develop a global gateway strategy
- Country codes improve local usability
- A “universal” global gateway
- Use this global gateway icon
- Avoid using flags
- Use geolocation to improve the global user experience
- Localization is much more than translation
- Understand the cultural impact of images
- Slogans don’t travel so leave them at home
- Social networks should also be localized
- Prioritize local holidays and cultural events
- Are you using the right name?
- Begin planning your next domain name
- Build localized email lists
- Use machine translation to unlock content and languages
Part II: Language Leaders and Trends
- How to reach 95% of all Internet users
- Language leaders
- Language totals for all websites
- Most popular languages
- How many languages should “global” websites support?
Part III: The Websites and How They Were Scored
- The websites
- Scoring methodology
- Global Reach (Languages)
- Global Navigation
- Global/Mobile Architecture
- Localization & Social
- Methodology FAQ
Part IV: Tourism Website Scores and Analysis
- All website scores
- Global navigation leaders
- Country website scores and profiles
- Czech Republic
- Great Britain
- South Africa
- South Korea
- City website scores and profiles
- Las Vegas
- Los Angeles
- Regional website scores and profiles
- Åland Islands
- Nova Scotia
- Western Australia
- Globalization Terminology
- About the Author