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How Businesses are Failing Tourism Translation

Apr 2016

Translation ,

Since 2012, China has topped the tourist leaderboards for both sheer numbers of international travelers as well as the money they spend when abroad.

Some 120 million Chinese tourists holidayed abroad in 2015, spending an estimated £74 billion during their trips. South Korea, Taiwan and Japan remained the top destinations for Chinese tourists last year, although several European countries are starting to muscle their way onto the rankings.

Tourism Translation

While many Asian countries have already begun to cater to Chinese tourism trends, western countries and brands are lagging behind, and the lack of support is becoming much more apparent.

Many companies still believe that a translated website and localised brochure is enough to entice visitors. Sadly, it isn’t. Many Chinese tourists now expect businesses to offer options which cater to their cultural and linguistics requirements.

While western businesses are generally lagging behind, there are several companies leading the way in Chinese translations.

For example, L.A. Tourism ensures its Chinese social media accounts are staffed 24-7. If a Chinese tourist in Hollywood wants to check the opening times for Madame Tussauds, there will always be someone there to ensure they have a good experience.

Perhaps the best example is hotel icon Hilton Worldwide, which launched its Chinese-specific accommodation option, Huanying, back in 2010.

Huanying roughly translates to welcome in Mandarin and symbolises the hotel chains intention to court the Chinese market. Now in over 110 Hilton properties across 30 countries, Huanying provides a set of specific amenities, including tea kettles, jasmine tea, Mandarin television channels and special Chinese breakfast dishes.

“The primary focus of Huanying is to make Chinese travelers feel at home and welcome because we’re seeing the trend from regimented group delegations with a tour operator coming out of China toward more individual travelers inbound to the United States and many other countries,” said HIlton’s Global Head Rob Palleschi.


Chinese Tourism in Scotland

Earlier this year, we wrote about Chinese tourism in Scotland. Hordes of Scottish tourism experts met in Edinburgh to discuss how to best market Scotland towards the Chinese market, highlighting possible approaches and existing deficiencies.

With 214,000 tourists visiting the UK from China in 2015, the market is already sizeable and it’s growing every single year.


If you are concerned about your multilingual marketing approach or need Chinese translations for tourism, get in touch with our team to see how we can help.

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