The UK’s top tourist market in 2017 was France, closely followed by the US and Germany. However, American tourists are the ones bringing in the big bucks and made up 15% of tourist spend in 2017 at around £3.643m. This is a figure that’s expected to rise since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding showcased the fairytale glamour of Windsor Castle to an international audience.
While final numbers for 2018 have yet to be totalled, according to VisitBritain, the UK was set to expect a 4% increase in overseas tourists, with an estimated total spend of £26.9 billion, up by 7% on 2017. Though the royal wedding may have given our numbers a boost, more can and must be done to promote tourism throughout the UK.
Most Visited Attractions in 2017:
- British Museum 5.9m
- Tate Modern 5.6m
- National Gallery 5.2m
- Brighton Pier 4.6m
- NHM (South Kensington) 4.4m
- V&A South Kensington 3.7m
- Science Museum 3.2m
- Somerset House 3.2
- Tower of London 2.8
- Royal Museums Greenwich 2.6
Historic properties, museums, art galleries, parks and gardens prove to be among the most popular tourist hotspots, particularly in London. The English capital unsurprisingly happens to be the most popular UK tourist destination, followed by Edinburgh.
Tourists around the globe come to the UK to experience heritage, history and visit world-renowned cultural institutions. A competitive global industry – tourism contributes billions to the UK economy each year and creates millions of jobs nationwide. With all these benefits, why aren’t more attractions localising their websites and promotional materials?
The SEO benefits of localisation in such a critical industry cannot be understated. When holidaymakers plan their itineraries, they may struggle to navigate websites that have not been localised into their native language. This is especially concerning considering reports in December 2017 that revealed only 25.4% of internet users are native English speakers, with 2.7 billion coming from non-English speaking countries. Whilst it’s commonly known that Mandarin and Spanish are the most widely spoken languages globally, it is good practice to conduct statistical and market research to determine which languages would be the most relevant to localise your website into, to begin with.
Localising your website also increases your chances of ranking well in foreign language SERPs. Your ranking can also be positively affected by the actual content you put out, so the more informative the better. The key to successful localisation is respecting the nuances of your target language – cultural sensitivities mean that a slogan in one language may not work or read well in another.
With localisation also comes increased confidence and trust from your target clientele, both domestically and in your overseas target market. It is also important when localising your website to do so for both mobile and desktop. In fact, according to Sojern Global Travel Insights, travel searches conducted on mobile devices totalled to 47% in Europe, 40% in Asia, 38% in the Middle East and Africa, and 34% in Latin America. The popularity of mobile as a tool must not be underestimated, especially when it comes to providing the best user experience to possible clients.
In a global society, striking a good first impression with overseas visitors is vital. In order to reap the benefits of tourism and boost local business nationwide, attractions must focus on creating localised, user-friendly websites. To find out more about how Locaria’s website localisation and international SEO services can help your business, request a quote or explore our website today.