Travelling from home: An overview of multilingual tourist online advertising
In today’s globalised world, tourism is one of the most dynamic industrial sectors, and tourist promotion has become one of the fastest-changing areas in marketing. New platforms like the Internet offer great benefits and pose great challenges for multinational tourist promotion. Appropriate, market-targeted translation is paramount to achieving successful results, especially in the case of countries where tourism is one of the major sources of income.
This paper analyses some of the main translation and reception factors involved in the internationalisation of tourist promotion campaigns, by focusing on multimedia examples – including websites and television advertising. Tourist promotion experts are not always fully aware of the importance of issues such as the way different markets use technology, how different cultures and language audiences face and deal with intersemiotic elements, the value that users assign to the various elements present in multimedia promotional tourist texts. Sometimes, localising such material may not be the best choice, and hiding or avoiding differences might lead to unsuccessful reception, a stereotyped projection or even a misleading image of the product or destination being promoted.
Among other things, I will present a semiotic and cultural analysis of some of the main interface, design, contents, marketing and technical aspects of selected tourist promotional websites from different countries and regions, and I will show how these elements have an influence on the potential loss or gain of the ‘national’ content of the text.
Finally, the paper also intends to raise awareness about, on the one hand, the importance of the translator’s role and agency in the conception, creation and development of online advertising campaigns and, on the other hand, the importance of empirical research and audience needs in multilingual multimedia advertising.
Adrián FUENTES LUQUEis a senior lecturer at the Universidad de Cádiz and the Universidad Pablo Olavide in Seville (Spain). He is also a professional translator, having served as a senior translator at the Australian Embassy in Spain. His research areas include audiovisual translation, translation of humour, and the translation of advertising and tourist texts. He is the editor of La traducción en el sector turístico (Atrio, 2005), the first monograph on translation in the tourist sector.