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Unlocking success with Spanish-speaking audiences: the role of tech and localization

Enrique Espinel
Enrique Espinel, Chief Operating Office of Spanish language tours & activites platform Civitatis.

Spanish-speaking audiences represent a valuable market segment and this observation has been at the core of the success of Civitatis. Embracing the right technological tools and distribution channels is instrumental in capitalising on this opportunity and realising profitable outcomes.

In conversation with Enrique Espinel, Chief Operating Office of Spanish language tours & activites platform Civitatis, he stresses the pivotal role of technology and localization in engaging Spanish-speaking audiences. “Unlocking success with Spanish-speaking audiences is about more than language; it’s about leveraging technology and localization to truly connect,” notes Espinel.

Spanish ranks among the world’s most prevalent first languages, following Chinese. Yet, within the online travel sphere, the Spanish-speaking demographic may seem underserved or overlooked. “Despite this perception, Spain stands as a top 20 global economy with a population of 45 million, while Latin America and the Caribbean boast a combined 400 million Spanish speakers, many of whom belong to a flourishing middle class.

Merely producing Spanish-language materials and hiring Spanish-speaking staff for customer service falls short of effectively engaging this diverse audience. Successful outreach to Spanish speakers requires a comprehensive approach that transcends language barriers.

Cultural nuances also play a significant role in consumer preferences. For instance, meal times and holiday peak periods vary across Spanish-speaking regions, necessitating tailored marketing strategies.

“However, the most impactful elements for attracting Spanish-speaking consumers to tourism products are strategic partnerships, advanced technology, and effective sales and marketing distribution channels,” Espinel points out, referencing that Civitatis sold around 10 million reservations for tours & activities during 2023, the vast majority of which were for Spanish language travellers. These factors are often overlooked but are paramount for success.

Consider search engine optimisation (SEO) as an illustrative example. Targeting Google.com or Google.co.uk alone won’t suffice. Spanish speakers predominantly use their respective country-specific domains, yielding distinct search results. Similar challenges arise on social media platforms, emphasising the importance of adapting content and tone to diverse markets.

In Latin America, a significant portion of travel purchases still occur offline, particularly through retail travel agents. To tap into this market, establishing partnerships with local players possessing established sales networks is essential.

Moreover, navigating payment preferences and methods presents its own set of challenges, including a preference for cash and currency controls in certain regions. Adapting to consumer expectations, such as by offering installment payments, requires both cultural sensitivity and technological solutions.

Understanding regional app preferences is also crucial. While familiar apps may dominate, platforms like Rappi and Cabify wield significant influence in both Spain and Latin America.

“Despite these complexities, targeting Spanish-speaking audiences in Latin America or the US promises substantial rewards,” Civitatis’ Espinel concludes. “Long-haul travellers from these regions tend to book in advance, stay longer, and exhibit higher retention rates, translating into lucrative opportunities for businesses.”

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website | + Posts

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.

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