Four Tips to Successful Localization for Global Travel Brands

The online travel and hospitality industry is highly competitive and there is an imperative need for compelling content to reach international audiences, using the latest digital technologies and platforms. Global travel brands need to rely on a robust, scalable, cost-effective, quality-driven and worry-free globalization and localization services. Once this has been established, clients can focus their attention on succeeding in a crowded market and focus on what’s coming up next in this ever-evolving industry.

Understanding a client’s travel brand and product range is of utmost importance. Translators need to translate linguistically and culturally adapt content and adopt the appropriate tone of voice. This ensures the right message reaches and engages the target audience, whether the audience is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C).

Providing on-demand and rapid turnaround of translations is key for Welocalize clients in this sector, so that regular content and marketing updates reach international audiences as quickly as possible.

Regardless of industry sector, the key to a successful localization solution is partnership. By forging a trusted relationship between client and vendor, brands can build a mature localization model, transparent to all parties, which is driven by the top business objectives and priorities.

A true example of a successful localization partnership is Welocalize’s relationship with low-cost airline, Wizz Air. We developed a scalable localization solution that would deliver to Wizz Air’s growing international objectives. In 2016, with a robust localization process now in place, Wizz Air accomplished their goal to launch their rebranded website on all platforms in 23 languages across 38 markets.

Download Welocalize case study – Wizz Air: Culturally Adapting Web Content to Reach 38 Markets and Enhance User Experience

Having worked for many years overseeing localization programs for clients in the online travel and hospitality sector, there are a couple of key pieces of advice.

#1: Hold a Discovery Session

Rather than rushing straight into translation and localization, it is advisable for global travel brands to engage in a discovery session with their localization service provider (LSP). During this session, clients can share valuable and relevant information so that their LSP can build a customized localization program. This involves developing a sequence of events that will lay the foundations for a robust, cost-effective, quality driven and most importantly scalable localization solution.

A discovery session should be an open and frank discussion to address questions and related topics, such as:

  • What are the key business and localization objectives?
  • What are the immediate challenges?
  • Who are the key stakeholders?
  • Brand and product overview
  • Overview of content types (legal, UI, emails, SEO, marketing)
  • Overview of technologies (CMS, connectors, client portal, file types)
  • Review language assets, including the status of existing language assets such as glossaries, style guides, translation memories, SEO, and keywords
  • International and SEO strategy
  • Localization budget, contracts and invoicing process

#2: Develop Localization Program Plan and Sequence of Events

Once the discovery process has been completed, a localization program plan and sequence of events can be built using expert insights from localization specialists in technology, quality, talent and project management.

This team are accountable for the successful rollout of the localization solution. Further in-depth and often on-site discovery sessions may be required in order to build a technology driven automated workflow that will interface with the client’s CMS and relevant translation management system (TMS).

#3: Perform Program Maintenance

Once a localization program has started to be rolled out, it is vital to perform regular maintenance to ensure new locales, file formats and technology changes are fully supported. The ongoing update and maintenance of the language assets, including translation memory, glossaries, style guides are crucial.

#4: Look Ahead

Regular communication between client and LSP is highly recommended. The online travel and hospitality sector is a very fast-paced industry and demands are evolving all of the time. If LSP’s are in tune with client’s short and long term plans, then more preparation and resource allocation can take place.

For ongoing success in the travel and hospitality sector, it is important to fully understand this market and the importance of quick turnaround of content in every target language. I hope this advice will help global brands enter new and emerging markets with their travel products and services.


Based in Dublin, Paula Carey is a Senior Project Manager at Welocalize