Today, September 27th 2019 is World Tourism Day, a day aimed to foster awareness of the importance of tourism in the international community. So in the spirit of all things tourist we’ve decided to look at three of the best ways you can attract more international visitors to your hotel.
Develop an International Language Strategy
There can be no doubt that catering to foreign languages plays a valuable role in reaching out to overseas visitors. As a hotelier you can stay connected with your guests by making sure that you are accommodating as many foreign language speakers as possible. Technology has made great strides when it comes to real time translations and there are now translation services that specifically target travellers and hotels. One such company that understands the importance of multilingual customer service is Whym who offer a range of services customised and designed with hoteliers in mind.
Of course there are other low cost options available with Google Translate being one of the most popular. Google Translate is now used by more than 200 million people every month. It has proved so popular that they have now expanded their technology to include a camera translator which translates text from images in practically every language. They have also recently added pixel buds to their range which work with Google Assistant to provide real time translation in 40 languages!
Another easy way to reach your foreign language traveller is to make sure that you are using a Property Management System (PMS) that caters to foreign languages. Sirvoy’s booking engine is currently available in over two dozen languages and it automatically displays in the guests language. Added to that the PMS is available in eight languages with more on the way. This means that the system doesn’t just communicate with your guests but also aims to assist your staff who can change the systems language to whichever they are most comfortable working with.
Stay Connected to OTA’s
OTA’s have the budget and the time to spend attracting guests to the properties marketed on their sites that smaller hotels just don’t have. It’s vital to ensure that you are displaying your property on the OTA’s that are local to the guests you want to attract. It’s understandable that this can be a worry for most hoteliers as the more OTA’s you connect to, the more potential for things to go wrong. However if you ensure that your PMS has the facility to take care of the extra administration with a Channel Manager then you can enjoy all of the benefits with none of stress!
Showcase Your Destination Overseas
One of the best ways of doing this is by forming partnerships with tour operators and collaboration with travel agencies. Most travellers prefer to use these services when travelling further afield so it’s a great way to reach long haul guests. LinkedIn is a great place to get started as there are plenty of travel groups to join up with. Destination marketing websites are another good place to try when targeting individual locations as these will usually have an accommodation listings section. Here’s one I found when I did a quick search for Vancouver for example and you’ll find most tourist destinations will have a site similar to this.
Travel community websites are the other biggie with TripAdvisor being the obvious one. They are very often a first stop for most travellers looking to read experiences from other travellers. Because of this, it’s important to always make sure you ask your happy customers to leave their reviews on sites like these as this feedback will prove invaluable to your business in the long run.
As a final point, travel agencies and tour operators are going to want some really detailed content such as photographs, maps and descriptions so make sure you keep your website updated and the information current.
Start incorporating these simple suggestions into your marketing strategy and we are confident that you’ll soon be welcoming guests in as many languages as you can handle!