Online travel in many languages

USA Today reports on the multilingual boom in online travel as major airlines and hotels set out to expand their global shares of internet business. Smaller hotel chains like Apple Core seized upon this “best practice” earlier in the day, having identified foreign travellers as making up a sizeable chunk of NYC tourists who stayed at hotels and set up websites in several languages such as French, Hebrew, Italian and Spanish.

Is a foreign language site a must-have? A poorly designed website in any language will not help in increasing website transactions. Having foreign-language trained staff respond to customers in their language of choice would be a nice bonus. Taxes, cancellation procedures and travel requirements are best also spelled out in English. Some countries have multiple languages and dialects (India, for instance, has a national language, a state (local) language and several hundred dialects nationwide). When in doubt, stick with the international language!

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Vijay Dandapani

Co-founder and president of a New York based hotel company for 24 years. Grew the firm to five hotels in Manhattan and also developed a greenfield project at MacArthur airport, New York. Speaker at numerous prestigious forums including Economy Hotels World Asia, Lodging Conference, NYU, Columbia University Real Estate Roundtable, Baruch College's Zicklin School and ALIS. President and ceo of New York City Hotel Association since January 2017.