Travel firms urged to look overseas for better marketing opportunities

Travel companies could take advantage of more favourable online marketing rates and less competition by looking overseas.

Search specialist Greig Holbrook told the TTI Spring Conference that French and German consumers spend more on online travel but pay-per-click rates are lower and the online sector is less crowded. 

Holbrook, director of Oban Multilingual, which specialises in multi-lingual search engine optimisation, said online marketing overseas enabled companies to spread their risk especially in tough economic times.

He warned companies not to expect to be picked up by search engines by translating everything from English because different countries have their own idiosyncracies.

“It’s about their behaviour in their own country and companies need to start thinking beyond Google and the way people are searching abroad.”

The language of people online is also crucial with only 20% speaking English. The French and Italians in English, French and a combination of both so the majority of Italians looking for a low cost flight search on ‘voli low cost’.

Holbrook added that social media was also being adopted in different ways in each country with blogs rewarded over websites for search in many parts of Asia while in Germany social media has not really caught on.

He also revealed figures on internet penetration showing Russia at 20% of the population with growth rates of 850% between 2001 and 2009. China, meanwhile, has an internet penetration of 15.4% but more people online than the US.

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