How flexible should your tourism translator be?

19th March 2019

Emily Robertshaw

In the run up to English tourism week, we’re looking into the importance of translation in the tourism industry and also how flexible your tourism translators should be when it comes to recreating your content for other markets.

The global tourism industry generates trillions of pounds worth of revenue every year. The UK had 37.5 million visitors from overseas in 2018 and that figure is expected to increase to 38.8 million in 2019. The top nationalities of those visiting the UK were French, American, German, Irish, Spanish, Dutch, Italian and Polish.

As each tourism board, airline, hotel and attraction wants to appeal to as many of these international visitors as possible. They also need to try to attract even more visitors, translation of all marketing collateral including websites, social media, brochures and leaflets should always be considered high priority.

In an age where there is so much information available on the internet and most bookings are made online, it’s important not only that your marketing team write compelling copy to bring in tourists, but also that your translators provide high quality translations that evoke the same emotions and relay the same message as the original. This will mean investing time and money to ensure the translations are carried out by professionals with significant experience, ensuring you achieve a significant ROI for this time and money.


Flexibility: translation vs. transcreation

There are different ways to get your message across in another language depending on your brand and what you’re trying to achieve with your copy. You need to get the persuasive message across using not only words but a style that is appealing to the target audience.



Tourism translation is the best solution for the majority of website and brochure copy aimed at informing visitors about your attraction, hotel, exhibition etc. Specialist tourism translators reflect the source text closely while adapting cultural terms, which may not be familiar in the target language.



Transcreation allows for a lot more flexibility and it’s a much more creative process.  Transcreators have more freedom to be creative and original and come up with something that’s suitable in the target culture that may be very different to the original copy.

For marketing slogans or phrases transcreators tend to provide 3 options with rationale as to why they chose each option. It is vital to ensure there are no marketing slogan translation fails!


How to ensure the translation/transcreation process is a smooth one


1) Determine exactly who your target audience is

This sounds simple and some companies choose random languages to see if they have an increase in visitors. However, to see better results, you should use analytics tools to carry out thorough research. Find out how many international visitors are coming to your region and base the languages you choose on that.


2) Prepare your content for adaptation into other languages

Look through your copy and determine whether there are any cultural nuances that just wouldn’t translate into your target language and also whether all the images are suitable. Images need to be culturally sensitive, bearing in mind dress or religion in different countries.

Here are 8 top tips for preparing your online content for translation. Also, your translation agency will be able to advise on which cultural elements need to be considered if you’re unsure.


3) Give your translator guidelines from the start

Decide how closely you want your translator to stick to the text. If your copy is more informative such as a museum or gardens guide then translation will be more suitable. If it’s catchy advertising copy then you’ll need transcreation.


4) Provide any glossaries or previous translations if you have them

This will really help to ensure specific terminology is translated in the way you require. It will also ensure that everything is consistent throughout your marketing collateral.


Andiamo! and tourism translation

Andiamo! specialises in tourism translation services and has done for over 30 years. We really understand how to get your message across to international visitors. We understand your target audience and always work with our tourism translators and transcreators on language, style and cultural references. Our tourism translation guide will give you an idea of the kinds of challenges presented in tourism translation and how our translators overcome those challenges.

Whether you require tourism translation or transcreation, give us a call on 08450 345677. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and guide you through the translation process.

More blog posts


Andiamo’s tourism translation guide


5 frequently asked questions about website translation

5 ways to make foreign language videos to appeal to an international audience


8 top tips for preparing online content for translation