I’ve been doing a lot of travel lately and I can just see how important “multilingual” is becoming in the hospitality business. Many web developers are already building great multilingual tourism, but I’m sure there’s a lot more that we can do to make your work easier.
So, if you are building hospitality sites today, or you’re planning to build them in the near future, I’d love to learn from you.
Themes for Hospitality Sites
Are you using specialty themes, or taking ‘general purpose’ themes and adapting them?
Our friends over at Hermes Themes are building themes that are dedicated to hotels and are all multilingual-ready. If you are using other hotel-specific themes, or are building your own, tell us.
And, what features do you look for in your hotel themes?
Booking and Channel Management Systems
To me, the toughest part in a multilingual hospitality site looks like the reservation system. I bet that many who read this blog know how to show hotel rooms in different languages.
But when it comes to room availability and order process, I’m not sure how things work.
- Are you using a 3rd party system for order management?
- A WordPress plugin to handle it?
- or maybe, the hotel staff does it manually?
To add to it all, there’s what’s called “channel management”. Channel Management allows hotels to synchronize their listings across different travel websites, like Expedia.com and Booking.com. When a customer books a room, the availability is immediately updated on the different travel sites, so that rooms cannot be double booked.
I know of a few dedicated systems for channel management, but I haven’t seen real integration with WordPress for any of them.
Are you familiar with this? What are you using for your booking and channel management?
Guest Contact and Communication
Last, but certainly not least, I’m curious about how hotel staff (your clients) handle visitor inquiries. Once you have a translated website, people would assume that they can contact the hotel in these languages. Yes, it’s great to have hotel staff that speaks different languages, but it’s not always possible. If you want to get business from Europe and Asia, you’ll need staff that speaks some 10 languages. That’s tough even for pretty large hotels.
- Do your clients restrict the site languages to those languages that they speak?
- Do they use Google translation, or another form of free instant translation?
- Anyone using human translation for this communication?
Fill Our Survey
I know that it’s a lot to ask and I’m not sure that we can help with everything right away. The more you give us, the more we have to work with. When we learn about different themes and plugins that require compatibility, we can get in touch and get things moving. If we’re talking about third-party system, we can certainly approach them and see if they’re interested.
…and help us make WPML better for you!
Update, we received a ton of great information in the survey. You are welcome to see the multilingual hospitality sites survey results.