There are 4 key challenges in trading in multiple languages:
- Having a website that can be marketed in multiple languages
- Taking bookings in multiple languages
- Creating documentation for customers in their preferred language
- Running different tour guide languages on different days of the week
Should you have multiple websites (one website per language) - or a single website that can be "altered" by the end-user?
This is really a question about marketing. One consideration is whether it will be easier to search engine optimize (SEO) a single language website - because you could use country-specific hosting and domain names (which helps with SEO ranking).
If you are going to the multiple language single website route, are you going to default to a single language - and then ask your customers to choose their preferred language or are you going to put a "welcome" page as the first page they see letting the customers choose up front?
Operationally, are your customers taking the same trip - or will you run language specific trips?
This isn't an issue for airlines or hotel providers - however, if you are running a tour operator you may find that it is easier to have one group of German customers and another group of English speaking customers. They may enjoy their trips more if they are in groups of customers who all share the same language.
Product configuration patterns
The main product configuration pattern for a tour that you are marketing in multiple languages is as follows:
Tour A - Channel A (English descriptions) - Departure #1 (All languages) - Departure #2 (All languages) - Departure #3 (All languages) Tour A - Channel B (French descriptions) - Departure #1 (All languages) - Departure #2 (All languages) - Departure #3 (All languages)
With this approach, availability is shared (Departure #1 is the same in both channels).
Alternatively, if you are running separate tours (with different availability) per different language, set up as 1 tour and use the PRODUCT NOTE on tour departures to tell the customer which language the tour is running in.
Tour - Departure #1 English tour - Departure #2 French tour - Departure #3 Spanish tour
Tour guide language - if you are working with large online travel agents, we suggest you turn on TourCMS's tour guide language capability. Go to configuration & setup, tour general settings, and setup multiple languages for your tour guides. This will now be configurable within tour departures. This enables the larger online travel agents (who access TourCMS data via the API) to programatically work out which language tour guide is running on which days of the week.IF unset, we assume all languages are supported
Keep using the product note to indicate to customers the language of the tour guide even if you are using the tour guide language field
Audio tours - if you have audio tours available (but these do not impact availability) then set supported languages on key information - descriptions & images, at the tour setup level
Multiple marketing languages - setup each language as a TourCMS channel. Must be one of the TourCMS supported languages.