Announcing the top 10 global tourism websites

While I’ve closely studied travel websites for many years (such as airlines, hotels, travel agencies) as part of The Web Globalization Report Card, I’ve not spent much time looking closely at destination websites, such as for cities, regions and countries.  That is, until earlier this year.
For this report we benchmarked 55 country, region, and city tourism websites across six continents. Of those websites, here are the top 10 overall: 
Germany emerged on top driven in large part by its support for a leading 24 languages as well as global consistency and local content.
 
The leading city website is Paris, with support for 11 languages, which may not sound like many languages, but is actually well above the average for city websites.
Which leads me to the key finding of this report: the growing language gap between travel and tourism websites, which I will write about in a later post.
Western Australia came out on top of the regional websites. Shown here, note the globe icon in the header used to highlight the global gateway — a very nice touch.
Tourism websites should lead the travel industry
Language is just one of the areas in which tourism websites need improvement. This report carefully documents the many different types of navigation strategies used by tourism websites and provides best practices that all sites should consider. It also takes a close look at localized content, social media, and support for mobile users (also a weak point).
It’s my hope that this report helps tourism organizations make a stronger case for globalization. After all, the travel and tourism industry is growing at a faster pace than the global economy and by 2017 is projected  by the World Travel and Tourism Council to account for 1 of 9 jobs on this planet. Tourism websites play a key role in attracting travelers and more than half of these travelers do not speak English.
To learn more about the report, click here.

Think Outside the Country

I’m pleased to announce the publication of my newest book: Think Outside the Country: A Guide to Going Global and Succeeding in the Translation Economy.

This book is the result of the past decade spent working with marketing and web teams around the world. I’ve long wanted to have something I could pass along that would demystify the process of product or website globalization and provide insights into languages, cultures and countries. Such as Brazil:

Too often people get overwhelmed by the complexity of it all, not to mention bewildering lingo and acronyms such as FIGS (French, Italian, German Spanish) and L10n (localization). What I always tell people is that you don’t have to speak a half-dozen languages to succeed in this field, but you do have to know what questions to ask. Hopefully this book will help.

The book is now available through Amazon or by request from any local bookstore. You can learn more here.

PS: If you’d like to order multiple copies for your teams, quantity discounts are available. Simply contact me using this form.

Think Outside the Country: Coming April 10th

 

I’m pleased to announce the new book Think Outside the Country: A Guide to Going Global and Succeeding in the Translation Economy, due out on April 10th.

Think Outside the Country is isn’t strictly about taking a website or mobile app global, though you’ll find plenty of real-world examples about how to do just that. Ultimately, this book is about taking yourself global. It’s about providing an understanding of the globalization process along with country and cultural insights so you know what questions to ask when you’re asked to, say, introduce a product into a new market or launch a global marketing campaign.

This book is intended for people who want to help their organizations expand into new markets as efficiently as possible without any embarrassing or costly mistakes. And this book is about showing respect for the people who live in these markets.

You won’t speak every language, understand every culture. And that’s okay. Nobody knows everything. But we can all know a little bit about a lot. More important, we can know what questions to ask. This book will help.

You can learn more here.

And it’s now available for preorder on Amazon.

PS: We will also offer quantity discounts if you’d like to order a batch for your teams.

 

A global look at Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report

Mary Meeker, a Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner, recently provided another healthy dose of data and trends, along with a number of predictions.

But the media largely overlooked the web and software globalization implications of many of these slides.

So allow me to chime in on the slides that jumped out at me.

Let’s begin with this slide:

Mary Meeker intl usage

So the “Made in USA” websites are leading the world in overall visitors. But what doesn’t get noted is that the top-7 websites average 91 languages.

That’s right, 91 languages —  an average skewed heavily by Wikipedia.

Here are my language counts:

Website Languages
Wikipedia 285
Google 145
Facebook 75
Microsoft 48
Yahoo! 47
Apple 32
Amazon 10

These “Made in the USA” websites have been “Localized for the world.” And that’s a major reason they’re so successful outside the USA.

Next slide:

Mary Meeker sharing global trend

Americans aren’t global leaders in “sharing” — though we’ve been unintentionally sharing quite a lot of our data with the NSA (a rant for a future day).

Now, I’m not sure  how different cultures define sharing, which has to be a major caveat to this slide.

Nevertheless, the fact that different cultures share different types and quantities of information is a major globalization challenge.

This isn’t just a Facebook or Google+ issue, it should factor into the degree to which you wish to integrate social networks into your website (as well as your expectations regarding engagement). Privacy concerns could very well be one of the most significant issues of the next decade and beyond.

Next slide:

China mobile trend

This slide is pretty easy to grasp. But a question that often comes up when looking at mobile trends around the world is “How many of X country’s mobile users are using smartphones?”

See below for the answer:

Mary Meeker global smartphone growth

I love this slide because it helps clarify exactly how many mobile users may actually be able to browser your mobile website (or download your mobile app).

China is a significant smartphone market while Russia is not (yet).

So when thinking global about your mobile strategy, you need to also think about smartphones vs. feature phones (those that offer poor or nonexistent web browsing).

So those were the slides that jumped out me. Let me know if something jumped out at you.