Car rental company Thrifty announced today that it has launched three language Web sites: French, Spanish, and German. This is the company’s first foray into Web globalization.
This is also another sign that the hospitality/travel industry is embracing Web globalization in a big way this year. Hotels have also been investing heavily in localizing their Web sites lately, such as Best Western.
As car rental companies go, Hertz is the leader in terms of Web globalization; it supports nine languages and scored well above average in our 2005 Web Globalization Report Card. But these are the early days of Web globalization yet and more players are likely to enter the field.
Thrifty’s globalization vendor was Translations.com. Thrifty is also using Translations.com’s workflow software GlobaLink.
Thrifty does business in 64 countries, so I imagine that more languages are inevitable. However, it is very important that these first three languages be a success for the company to invest in additional languages; after a brief tour of the sites, I have a number of recommendations to improve Thrifty’s likelihood of success. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about when you visit the site.
I will be analyzing the Thrifty Web site in our next issue of Global By Design.