In late 2014, Amazon announced it would start its own online travel service for select cities. Unlike the many other online travel businesses, Skift explained that Amazon was going after a growing and niche market: independent hotels. It could help connect people who want a one-of-a-kind stay with hotels that have a lower profile around the country.
The involvement of a company like Amazon in the travel service world is a perfect example of how quickly and significantly the online travel industry is changing all the time. Stay on top of this dynamic business by following and capitalizing on these three recent trends in online travel.
"1 in 4 online travel businesses are already marketing internationally."
1. Increasing levels of focus on international travelers
Online travel businesses are targeting their messages internationally more than any other industry. According to VerbalizeIt data, about 26 percent of travel and tourism companies are communicating with international clients. That's nearly double the 14 percent overall average among industries.
While the travel industry is more focused on international business than other industries, North American companies are among the least active when it comes to international communication. Asian, European and South American businesses are already focused more on international communication than the U.S., where only 1 in 100 small businesses have an international presence.
As the trend toward internationalization continues, this is the perfect opportunity for American online travel businesses to focus on website and app translation with an international audience in mind.
2. Increasing focus on regionalization
Although it sounds counterintuitive, regionalization is also becoming increasingly popular among travel businesses. While the internationalization of websites and apps casts a large net to bring in business, regionalization uses a precise and directed attack to target a specific section of consumers and clients.
The number of travelers in China has exploded over the past several years and other regions are poised for massive growth. By 2020, about 50 million Indians are expected to travel internationally, Tourism Australia predicted. In many of these areas where growth is underway and expected to continue, people aren't searching or buying in English.
"By 2020, about 50 million Indians are expected to travel internationally."
Regionalize your business's online communication through app translation and localization to capitalize on the untapped potential of these new users and likely travelers. Reach them in their own languages or dialects before your competitors can.
3. Margin pressure from both upstream and downstream
With increased competition from new companies such as Amazon and unpredictable variances in business or vacation travel, many online travel agents and companies are feeling margin pressure. To address this trend, many executives may want to consider reevaluating their translation strategies.
While reaching international and regional customers is critical to a business' success, doing it in a cost-inefficient way is also important. Use professional translation services that can help your business deliver its message directly without hurting your already pinched margins.