If I can think of one industry where translation and localisation are the most important it would be tourism and leisure. Sure, there are lots of other industries where translation is important, paramount even, but rarely do these industries impact such a vast audience like the airline industry does. Airlines, hotels and public transport are all used on a daily basis by people looking for or going on holidays, business travel, people visiting friends and family. The touch-points are boundless.
It is therefore little wonder that year-on-year, the tourism and leisure sector, in particular the airline industry, are seeing growth. The International Air Transport Association has stated that the next 20 years are likely to see air travel double:
Interestingly, countries where they predict this growth to occur, dependant on living standards and wage averages within those markets, might be somewhat different to what you would expect based on economic growth models such as FIGS, BRICs and MINT.
For airlines, once they have decided which languages to focus on, they then need to have a comprehensive strategy of the processes and collateral needed to undertake the localisation process.
Most people would think about the initial customer facing processes; the website or booking portal, confirmation email etc. However, there is much more that needs to be considered. For example, safety information onboard, literature for staff recruitment and training, legal documents; the list really does go on. Airlines are also going to have to keep on top of the ever changing environments in which consumers are completing their purchases. Changes such as social media platforms enabling buy now buttons, Google showing flight times and prices without having to leave the search results page; search and social platforms have cottoned on to what other marketers have been doing for years; trying to keep users within their domain and not going elsewhere for further information. This epiphany is the latest change in the digital landscape that could see brands concentrating on marketing and selling methods outside of their own domain space. Ultimately this means that localising content that previously took a back seat could be thrust to the front of the queue.
Regardless – translation and localisation is a major part of the business strategy of airlines such as Emirates, Pegasus and many others who trust Capita Translation and Interpreting to work with them and meet their business requirements – no matter what the future holds.