Viceroy Hotel Group is known for its unique lifestyle experiences that combine design and service in some of the world's most sought-after destinations. And as global travel becomes increasingly popular, so has the company’s ever-expanding list of destinations. It added Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi in 2009 and will continue its global expansion with Viceroy Princes' Islands Istanbul in 2018 and Viceroy at Ombria Resort in 2019.
As Viceroy continues to grow globally, it knows that its online experiences must appeal to a wide variety of people.
Viceroy currently has 13 properties and all are independently owned and operated. This means independent budgets, strategies and even cultures. Corporate marketing is a constant juggling act, especially with a lean marketing team.
With a large market opportunity in the UAE and a new luxury property in Abu Dhabi, Viceroy understood the value of serving online customers in Arabic. However, the company’s small marketing team—a marketing director, an e-commerce manager and two field marketing representatives—had many other responsibilities and lacked the resources to manage the complex project on its own.
“We’ve always had a need for translation, but we simply didn’t have the resources in the UAE to specialize in the local language,” said Thomas Wcislo, director of digital marketing at Viceroy Hotels. “Our website is constantly evolving, too. It would have been a very manual and costly investment to have an official translator on site. I preferred an automated solution.”
The team weighed their options thoroughly. Wcislo initially considered using Google Translate, a relatively inexpensive option, but said it wouldn’t produce the authentic results he was looking for.
“When I read something, I know if it's been translated by a machine or a human being,” said Wcislo. “Human translation is more authentic, and frankly, more impactful. Google Translate was an option, but it doesn’t account for the subtle nuances of language and culture. If we used this tool, we’d need a local person to ensure it was in the right tone and context; otherwise, we’d risk alienating our customers. Our resorts are 5-star properties, so we need to ensure that our customers have a great experience with our brand.”
Instead, Viceroy Hotel Group partnered with MotionPoint in January 2017 to translate the Yas Abu Dhabi hotel website into Arabic. Using a proxy-based approach, MotionPoint’s technology leveraged the existing code and content of Viceroy Hotel Group’s existing English website and CMS.
The translated website was up-and-running within 90 days. MotionPoint worked closely with Viceroy and its digital agencies throughout the process, delivering authentic translations, a seamless launch, and ongoing site operation with excellent uptime.
As Viceroy’s marketing team adds or updates content on its English website, MotionPoint’s technology automatically detects those changes, and immediately queues them for human translation. This translated content appears on Viceroy’s Arabic website within one business day.
MotionPoint also optimized Viceroy’s multilingual website with translated URLs, a global sitemap, and on-site search functionality that supports multiple languages. These resulted in improved organic traffic and a better user experience.
“MotionPoint is a complete solution,” Wcislo said. “I think many companies rely on quick fixes or band-aids. Google Translate is a good example of that. It's a cheap alternative, but it doesn’t add up in the long run. The damage to your brand can be costly.”
With MotionPoint, Viceroy Hotels now serves its customers in the UAE with a translated website that supports the company’s fast growth in this region.
“MotionPoint has been the right choice for our company,” Wcislo observed. “Their technology, combined with their high-quality translation, has been a worry-free solution for us. And since the rollout of the multilingual site, we’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from our global customers. We’re offering them a greatly enhanced online experience.”
Viceroy’s success with its translated website demonstrates how companies with lean marketing teams and limited resources can easily and affordably serve global customers online. With global travel on the rise, hospitality brands can find inspiration in Viceroy’s example by providing authentic, engaging user experiences for their international customers — in their preferred languages.