Language – Unique Selling Point or Barrier?

During the forthcoming South African Tourism Indaba hundreds of tourism related organisations and operators will be touting their tours, hospitality offerings and products – each pushing their unique selling points (USP’s) to the utmost and trying desperately to differentiate themselves. Yet, how many have considered the edge an awareness of the issue of language can have on the bottom line?

According to Dr Nico Nortjé, CEO of Language Inc., a South African language services company translating to 57 languages, understanding and acting on the cultural and linguistic diversity across the world is key for exceptional tourism marketing. Linguistic ability has indeed become a valuable asset in the tourism industry – both in terms of the content of marketing material and in the creation and upkeep of a relationship with the client. The ability of staff to communicate with customers in their own languages is very vital if the industry wants to flourish as customer satisfaction – and consequent positive word of mouth and return visits – very much depends on the interaction between customer and service provider. We all know how a simple ‘hello, how are you’ in your mother tongue can bring a smile to your face when in a foreign country. Read here