Global Travel Agencies Craft Localization Strategies


Global Travel Agencies Craft Localization Strategies

By Liz Elting

Business 2 Community - July 24, 2013

As ambitious brands around the world continue to expand into new international markets, localization has become an increasingly crucial element of almost any successful business model. Products and services are becoming more accessible on an international scale due to the internet, and companies must make the extra effort to localize in order to stand out among their competitors.

This contrast is particularly evident in the travel field. Consumers from all regions can buy around-the-world plane tickets with the click of a button and arrange tours at sites halfway across the globe with a quick phone call That is thanks in large part to the ambition of airlines and travel agents, but those in the travel field need to continue to find ways to adapt to the diversity of their clientele by providing equally diverse services, while also maintaining their current offerings. Here are three strategies for any travel agency hoping to gain market share in our increasingly international society:

  1. Offer international support for all aspects of the site. This includes pricing in a variety of currencies, as well as flight information and customer service in multiple languages. While an agency might be based in a certain country, its customers could be located anywhere. Therefore, a website’s features need to reflect the range of people who might visit it.
  2. Pay attention to trends. Agents and airlines need to carefully track patterns and purchases across their consumer bases to determine which regions and demographics are becoming more prominent. If a company notices a sudden increase in senior citizens traveling to the Middle East, for example, it needs to adjust its marketing and services to reflect those changes. That attention to detail is what gains the loyalty of a new market segment.
  3. Maintain a focus on technology. According to a recent eMarketer report, digital travel sales comprised more than 40 percent of total travel sales in 2012, and the current estimate is for mobile travel sales (smartphones and tablets) to account for 10 percent, or approximately $13.6 billion, of the total digital travel market in 2013. For this reason, companies targeting global travelers need to offer services that are optimized to mobile devices to make the shopping experience as convenient and streamlined as possible. Ease-of-use is a differentiator that will encourage customers to come back to one site versus another.
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