Localisation of tourism content: why and how to do it
Similarly to marketing materials such as billboards or catalogues, tourism content also needs to be localised to engage and attract a specific target audience. When talking about this kind of localisation, websites or brochures are usually the first things that spring to mind. But let’s analyse an often overlooked item –a city map, especially the one distributed for free.
English and Arabic city maps
A good example of localisation of tourist maps is a map of Zurich with different content in English for international visitors and different content in Arabic for tourists from Arabic speaking countries.
The first important difference is the layout. While the English map has a typical folding format, the Arabic map is rather a booklet with a list of attractions, where the map itself seems to be an extra element.
Another striking feature of the Arabic version are the photos tailored to the cultural needs. Images of luxurious brands, wealthy families on a shopping tour, fancy hotels and restaurants together with description of numerous spectacular events and trips, entertainment parks for children, spas and vibrant night life should attract Arabic visitors to the city and nearby area. The content is thus clearly directed to affluent families enjoying luxurious holiday.
The English map, apart from presenting main attractions and natural landscapes, mentions also Christmas markets, summer activities (e.g. water parks), lists cultural points of interests and presents all aspects of the city life. So, rather than trying to convince the visitors to spend their money, it strives to provide a full image of city to make the stay in Zurich a great experience in every season.
Benefits of tourism content localisation
Why put so much effort into localising content of the free maps? Well, there are many good reasons. First, tourists are very likely to use the maps, so why not present the city in a way that appeals to them the most? Appropriate photos, description of relevant points of interests and attractions will successfully draw more engaged visitors. The same content for tourists from all countries and regions may not always do the trick, as every nationality may be interested in other aspects of the same area. Some would rather spend time outdoors or have active holidays, others are more interested in the night life or galleries and museums. Of course, to some extent the individual’s personality is what determines the choice of holiday activities, but there are some main patterns among visitors from a specific country. That’s why tailoring tourism content to the needs and expectations is an efficient way to connect with, attract and retain more visitors with particular interests and preferences.
Have you come across other examples of localisation in the tourist industry? Have you seen any maps addressed to a particular group of visitors? Share it below!
About the author: Dorota Pawlak
Dorota helps businesses, organisations and individuals to communicate successfully across cultures in the online and offline world. She is an entrepreneur and a qualified translator specialising in IT and localisation of websites, games and software.