The hotel business is very competitive nowadays and top hotel owners know very well how important it is to offer services and important information in various languages that provide added value for international guests. But there are certain kinds of information most hotels simply overlook when it comes to translating them, thus leaving foreign customers hungry for more. So which are these forgotten translations that can make a hotel stand out from the rest if offered to their foreign guests?
#1: Weather forecasts
Weather forecasts are nowadays presented daily to customers in the form of online posts or a written notice that hangs above the hotel’s reception desk. They may be a tiny thing compared to all other services and information usually provided by hotels, but they are usually really appreciated by guests. Too bad that a lot of foreign guests cannot take advantage of them, since they are often displayed only in the hotel’s native language…
You may think that most people have smartphones and can check this themselves in their preferred language, so no real need for this, right? Yes, but roaming charges can prove expensive for some.
#2: Check-in forms
Check-in forms are the first direct contact among guests and hotels, so it is crucial that they are easy to fill out. A customer’s first impression is, after all, very difficult to change.
If you have ever visited a hotel that offers check-in forms only in their native language (or in several languages, none of which you are fully fluent in), you know what a time-consuming and strenuous activity this can be. Guests who have only arrived at the hotel after many hours of travel certainly don’t wish to spend any unnecessary time dealing with bureaucratic necessities. They want to start their holiday (or prepare for any business that might be waiting for them) as soon as possible, and check-in forms translated to various languages certainly enable just that.
‘What languages?’, I hear you ask. Well, this certainly depends on where (most of) your guests come from. Market research and previous data can certainly help. And since these forms are not likely to change very often, all it takes is a one-time investment. But the potential ROI is certainly worth it.
#3: Tourist guides
Almost every decent hotel in the world nowadays offers (free) tourist guides that contain maps, tourist attractions and valuable information regarding the surrounding area. But guests requiring those are mostly tourists who come from abroad, and there is a reasonable chance they might not be able to use most of these guides due to their inability to understand the language properly.
This, of course, goes beyond language. Localisation will go a long way. Well-targeted brochures will definitely help you stand out.
#4: Safety guides
The term safety guides can apply to various forms of instructions that protect guests: evacuation plans, fire safety tips, instructions for using various devices and valuable information on whom to contact in case of injury or illness.
It is actually quite strange how laws and regulations determine all the safety documents and guides that are mandatory for hotels to have, but they usually don’t even consider the possibility of foreign guests not being able to understand them. The potential negative consequences are easy to imagine – consequences for both guests and hotels.
Luckily, there are more and more hotels that really cherish their visitors from abroad and are willing to go the extra mile to provide a really comfortable stay for them.
#5: Room service menus
Many hotel restaurants offer their menus in various languages, since they are well-aware of the importance of making foreign guests feel just like home. But what they often forget to translate is the room service menus that wait for guests in their rooms.
By doing that they may be missing a great opportunity to increase their revenue by letting all foreign guests take advantage of their room service. Room service is very convenient, demands very little effort for hotel guests and saves them precious time – why wouldn’t they want to use it? In case of foreign visitors, the answer if often simple: because they cannot understand it.
#6: Environmental claims
Care for the environment is an important part of hotel business nowadays – changing sheets every few days and towels at guests’ request rather than on a daily basis has become common. The most common way of saving the environment can be found in hotel rooms’ bathrooms:
“A towel on the rack means ‘I will use it again’.”
“A towel on the floor means ‘Please replace’.”
Sounds appealing, right? Many guests decide to abide by such a claim – either because of their genuine care for the environment or simply because they really don’t need to have fresh towels every single day.
But many foreign guests simply cannot abide by it, because they don’t understand it. And that is a big missed opportunity for hotels, especially considering the fact that this environmental claim also helps hotels decrease their costs and workload doing laundry.
Photo source: Pixabay.