Arabic as a web language seems to be overlooked by many tourism organisations worldwide. In tourism, English, Spanish, French, German and other smaller languages that are mainly being spoken in individual countries within Europe are the most predominant languages used on destination websites. With the Chinese market growing rapidly, Chinese consumers with a good education and high spending patterns, are welcomed all around the world, making Chinese a very significant web language. Many consumers worldwide prefer to read and write in their mother tongue, the same is also applicable for travel search. Although Arabic is an important language and being spoken by millions of travellers worldwide, many tourism organisations do not provide an Arabic website yet. In July 2013, Marriott has now launched an Arabic website a Arabic.marriott.com (Hotelmarketing 2013).
It is very interesting to see a tourism organisation realising the opportunities from offering an Arabic website that contains real time content and booking facilities to Arab consumers worldwide. Information about Marriott’s worldwide properties and portfolio can be accessed online in Arabic. This enables consumers with Arabic as their mother tongue to book, plan and make changes to any reservations by using Marriott’s Arabic website. As Arabic speaking consumers worldwide contribute to a large proportion of the hotel chain’s annual revenue, it is only appropriate to acknowledge that and facilitate these consumers with an Arabic website.
TOURISM AND ARABIC WEBSITES
Tourism organisations are more and more leveraging the opportunities arising from digital marketing. Websites in a variety of languages and targeted content for different target and interest groups are essential in today’s growing competition and also with regards to growing consumer expectations. Content in the mother tongue is absolutely crucial for any organisation in tourism. Consumers might not be that proficient with foreign languages and content in their own language is very well received, as it can enable them to make purchasing decisions a lot quicker, due to increased transparency, as content is understood immediately. However, Arabic as a web language seems to be overlooked by many organisations worldwide. Without doubt, offering content in Arabic is not enough, the content not only needs to be translated but should also match and consider cultural differences. Arabic is a web language that should be considered for any organisation that is thinking about redoing their website or expanding to new markets or languages. Arabic travellers are big spenders and are increasingly looking for new and unique experiences they can share with their families. This means there are major opportunities for travel companies worldwide.
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