Think your online airline booking engine is ready to go Global? Well there are the obvious things that you will need to consider such as local language and local currencies. As many expanding internationally quickly learn however, there are a lot more things your business will need to address before your global expansion will be successful.
A centralized application managing Live connections with Supplier content along with flexible Business Rules to manage the product offered customers is key for any online travel business. But launching airline reservation software in global markets involves a lot more than an online booking engine with multi-currency and multi-language capabilities. As many businesses quickly learn, there is a difference between “globalizing” a product so that it is generic enough to work in several markets verses “localizing” a product. Just as the languages and currencies used in different countries may vary, so do many of the regulations regarding consumers and the disclosure of information during the selling process.
Many market requirements dictate a unique sales flow and some may need access to specific local content only available in that market. These variables require an airline booking engine with a layout that can be quickly customized to meet local requirements combined with easy access to critical local market content to complement “global” content providers.
While simply translating an application into a new language may be a quick way of entering a new market, there is some danger with his approach. Lost in Translation, your brand message may be unclear or miscommunicated. Many have learned that Languages often need to be customized or localized to account for regional dialects. The Portuguese spoken in Brazil is much different than in Portugal. The Spanish spoken in Latin America can be dramatically different than that in Spain. Remember when Chevrolet launched the Chevy Nova in Latin America, not realizing at first that the cars English name (No-Va) loosely translated to “No Go” in Spanish?! Even English sounds different when spoken by the British verses an American. Although as an American, I do have to admit the British always sound better!
Some travel businesses may even want to offer a discount to customers who book online and encourage bookings via this cost effective channel. Or perhaps a lower the price based on the time of day or the day of week a booking is made. The possibilities are endless and your ideas should not be limited by the constraints of your booking engine.
As today’s consumers have more and more options, targeted messages and custom offers have become a key marketing approach used by many successful travel companies. Access to airline reservation software that can quickly and easily target special offers by departure city or destination can be a critical tool needed to communicate where the best deals are or where a specific offer can be found.
Finding the right technology partner to help take your business global is important, finding a technology partner who understands the need to localize before you can globalize in even more important.