Translation Trends for the Hotel Industry in Asia

By Angel Zimmerman Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Sajan | April 07, 2013

Those in the travel and hospitality industry have been keeping a close and discerning eye on the Asia-Pacific region, and for good reason. In many ways, hoteliers who hail from this part of the world are blazing new paths to world-class customer service and marketing prowess on a global scale. A major component of this is global mobile websites and localized mobile applications, and it's easy to see why.

Asia is perhaps the biggest and most impressive example of a region with a veritable legion of travelers who use mobile devices to research travel options, book rooms and communicate their travel preferences directly to hotels. In fact, Asia boasts the highest potential for mobile growth in the world, with China alone having an estimated 707 million mobile phone subscribers. Asia's mobile share of web traffic also grew more than 192 percent in the past two years (Pingdom research).

Users in countries like China, India and Japan are also hard to match as far as mobile app downloads. ABI Research predicts that application downloads in Asia will hit 2.4 billion by 2013, which represents roughly 20 percent of the world's total available market.

Much can be learned from how today's hotel managers in Asian countries are connecting with customers on a global scale. How are current travel trends in this region informing hoteliers' decisions about how to reach their target audiences? And what are the best practices around how to plan and produce mobile apps that are localized to specific countries-in the event that you choose to pursue something similar?

All hoteliers have a shared goal of finding new and more advanced ways to increase their visibility, nurture customer relationships and pave the way toward growing their worldwide base of guests. Increased language support and advanced mobile technology is becoming increasingly effective toward this purpose.

Taking the pulse of Asian travel habits

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Eco-Friendly Practices: Corporate Social Responsibility

The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.