Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Flybe puts more summer 2017 routes on sale

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 11:00

Flybe has ...

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Super Hostel’

YHA submits plans for London’s first ‘Su…

Tuesday, 25 October 2016 08:00

A planning application has been submitted by YHA (England and Wales) to open its first Super Hostel in London.

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade plans at Bristol Airport

£2.3million immigration hall upgrade pla…

Monday, 24 October 2016 14:00

Following a major overhaul of the security search area for departing passengers, Bristol Airport has unveiled plans to address congestion in arrivals.

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen Z with new Geckos age-range

Intrepid targets socially conscious Gen …

Monday, 24 October 2016 11:00

30 year olds will be ‘too old’ for Geckos Adventures next year, as the Intrepid Group has announced that it will cut the age range to meet a growing demand...

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits manage to wangle an upgrade

New survey reveals just one in 12 Brits …

Monday, 24 October 2016 08:40

New research from has revealed that only 8% of British travellers have actually managed to secure a free upgrade for their holiday, with flight upgrades and hotel room upgrades...

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo expe…

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You has announced its largest investment to support the travel trade with the launch of 200 joint marketing events to promote solo travel.

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Boarding a long-haul flight; what a chaotic and stressful experience it is each time. Yet, despite often being a nationally and linguistically diverse group, every passenger feels confident and secure in the hands of the airline.

This is because passengers are well informed with emergency demonstrations and literature provided in different languages, and with clear imagery.

Although hotel risks are different to those in the air, the cultural challenges they face are similar. And at the moment, hotel groups have a lot to learn from the aviation industry in what is becoming an epic tug-of-war between culture and brand image.

Like an airline, it isn’t uncommon for a single hotel brand to span several continents and hundreds of countries, meaning accurate staff-to-guest communication has never been more important. Africa, for example, is a continent with a growing hospitality presence - Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood are all developing there – and this year will see 136,000 new hospitality jobs created in the region.

This expansion can lead to issues. At some point most regular travellers have encountered a sign in a foreign country where the translation fails to convey the intended message.

These real life translations taken from hotels around the world prove just how wide of the mark some messaging can be. Some are funny; “the flattening of underwear with pleasure is the job of the chambermaid”, some are rude; “you are invited to take advantage of the chambermaid”, and some are just gobbledygook; “[guests should] not to perambulate the corridors in the hours of repose in the boots of ascension”.

More often than not, such occurrences are harmlessly amusing. Yet, for international hotel brands, these gaffes could have serious consequences. Poor translations and misunderstanding of cultural differences can lead to guests drinking unsafe water or ignoring “no entry” signs and finding themselves in a restricted part of the hotel, putting them in danger – this is bad for the hotel’s image and a risk to guest wellbeing.

Language is an important part of culture and it’s vital that hotel staff have the correct training to ensure both written and verbal translations are accurate, especially at sites where many nationalities are expected to visit. But culture runs far deeper than language. Staff must also be trained to deal with local and global differences in elements such as etiquette and religious practises. Of course, training staff to be confident with every cultural variation is impossible, especially to such a level that enables them to work with authority and confidence. But like airlines, hotels must be able to convey basic universal safety information with clarity.

However, while understanding cultural differences is vital to a hotel’s success in a new region, it must also be able to infuse brand values to provide guests with a consistent experience across a global network – and this is a fine balance.

The best brands are not only memorable in messaging, name and aesthetics, they are also consistent and dependable; customers know what to expect from their product and/or service and most importantly, trust it.  Branding as a whole is a simple concept but on a granular level it can become incredibly complex, covering everything from colour schemes and logos, to marketing and price. In the hotel industry maintaining a consistent image across properties is vital to ensure that customers grow to trust the brand and will hopefully continue to visit other properties around the world.

And a hotel chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

If a guest has a bad experience at one property, it will influence their opinion of the entire brand, potentially meaning a lost customer for life. If this is a serial traveller, businessperson or event planner this could have serious implications on business and even if not, we all know the old clichéd marketing adage that customers are twice as likely to tell a friend about a bad experience than a good one.

Therefore, hotel managers must audit their health and safety standards in a way that ensures guest wellbeing and balances this with brand identity. Auditing must be carried out objectively to set measurables. Internal auditing is likely to be biased towards the brand and those who are responsible will more than likely be inconsistent in their appraisals, and will probably lack experience in auditing a multi-national brand across countries with cultural variances.

It is vital that all issues raised through auditing are addressed and hotels have to invest in understanding customers on a cultural and personal level. After all, guests want to feel like they are guests. This must be done right; how would you feel if you were waiting for take-off on an airplane and the safety manual was littered with mistakes?

A mistranslation doesn’t instil confidence, and confidence is vital to helping guests to trust in a brand, and ultimately be able to relax.

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