Skift Take

Technology-first companies like Uber and Airbnb are leading the charge in being more inclusive to consumers by expanding their language offerings, but it appears the rest of the travel industry still has a way to go.

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As the travel industry gradually becomes more inclusive, companies like Smartling, a New York-based startup that helps companies manage the translation of their digital content, are helping travel providers take it to the next level.

During Skift Global Forum 2016, Smartling’s VP of Operations lauded Airbnb and Uber for leading the way of consumer inclusion with the range of languages the brands use on their platforms. The companies boast content in 27 and 46 languages, respectively, while the top hotel chains average a mere 14 languages. And with 75% of customers saying they’re more likely to purchase something in their native language, Cohn says across the industry money is being left on the table.

Most companies cite cost and time as hindrances for adding more languages to their digital mix, but Cohn insists that technology and data make it affordable and achievable.

Watch the complete presentation below.

At this year’s Skift Global Forum in New York City, travel leaders from around the world gathered for two days of inspiration, information, and conversation for panels such as this as well as solo TED-like talks on the future of travel.

Visit our Skift Global Forum site for more details about 2017 events, including our London event in April of 2017.

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Tags: airbnb, skift global forum, smartling, translation, uber

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