Sites for brands in the Digital IQ Index: Prestige Hotels are available in more than ten languages, but English, Chinese, German, Spanish, French and Japanese dominate. Compared to last year, the number of sites available in Arabic, Russian, and Korean increased the most. Twenty-one percent of Index sites are available in Arabic vs. 9% in last year’s Index.
The change in language availability reflects travel trends. Tourism in Russia and Brazil has grown by the double digits, and online travel booking in those countries is expected to reach 34% and 17% of global online booking this year, respectively. Thirty-eight percent of brands are maintaining Russian language sites vs. 14% last year, and 39% of brands offer Portuguese language sites vs. 29% last year.
However, other localization features such as currency conversion could use improvement. Property rates are often listed in the local currency instead of the currency of the user’s country. And while 80% of brands offer currency conversion, detecting the user’s location and automatically showing converted rates could be an added convenience. Currently, just 20% of brands default to the Euro for French users and 17% convert to pounds for U.K.-based users.