Tourism and Travel Interpreters: Helping Businesses Connect With International Guests

Tourism and Travel Interpreters: Helping Businesses Connect With International Guests

Travel and Tourism Interpreters: Travelers Spending in the U.S. (2017)Increasing overseas tourism to the United States highlights the importance of language services for travel and tourism businesses to better communicate with visitors. Tourism and travel interpreters provide international travelers with a greater sense of understanding in tourist destinations, in tour companies to serve as a guide, etc. Professional tourism and travel interpreters can have a major impact on the guest experience, and it is important for establishments catering to tourists to provide excellent language services because it can have a huge impact!  

Because of the impact tourism has on the economy, tourism and travel interpreters make a valuable contribution to the industry. In 2017, traveler spending in the U.S. generated $2.4 trillion in economic output and supported 15.6 million American jobs across all U.S. industries.

Below are some of the major roles tourism and travel interpreters play, and the impact of tourism in the U.S. 

Hospitality and Travel:

Interpreters help international guests feel welcome in the environment and provide familiarity and understanding. Having an interpreter, whether in-person, over-the-phone, or via video remote, will demonstrate hospitality and foster trust – which can increase overall satisfaction, increase the length of stay, and recommendations. To put this into perspective for hotels and lodging establishments, 22% ($242 billion) of traveler spending in 2019 was spent on lodging (hotels, motels, B&B, vacation homes and campgrounds).

Tourism and Interpreter Services:

Top 5 leisure travel activities for overseas visitors:

  1. Shopping
  2. Sightseeing
  3. Fine dining
  4. National parks/monuments
  5. Amusement/theme parks

Interpreters in tourist destinations will be able to provide international travelers with education and a deeper understanding of the places they visit. Being familiar with the culture of travelers also offers a more personal connection to the places they visit. Guests will feel comfortable to spend more in terms of accommodation and entertainment to the extent that they feel valued and have an understanding of the culture. For example, if a non-English speaking guest wishes to dine at a hotel, but there is no interpreter or translated materials for them – they will be less inclined to dine at the hotel. While it may seem like a small detail, in 2017, travelers spent $257 billion on food services, which accounted for 25% of total travelers spending.


Business and the Travel Industry (2017)

Business Travel - Tourism and Travel Interpreters

  • Direct spending on business travel by domestic and international travelers, including expenditures on meetings, events and incentive programs (ME&I), totaled $317.2 billion.


  • Travel for meetings, events and incentive programs accounted for $131.8 billion of all business travel spending.


  • U.S. residents logged 463.9 million person‑trips for business purposes in 2017, with 38% for meetings and events.

Source: U.S. Travel Association


Top 10 International Markets to the U.S (2016)

In 2016, there were an estimated 75.9 million international arrivals in the U.S. (including 37.6 million from overseas markets).


Canada 19.3 million

Mexico 19.0 million

U.K. 4.6 million

Japan 3.6 million

China 3.0 million

Germany 2.0 million

South Korea 2.0 million

Brazil 1.7 million

France 1.6 million

Australia 1.3 million

Source: U.S. Travel Association


Tourism in the United States - tourism and travel interpretersTops Sources of Travel Spending (2017)

Food Services: $257.0

Lodging: $220.4

Public Transportation: $193.1

Auto Transportation: $152.6

Recreation/ Amusement: $106.6

Source: U.S. Travel Association




Asian Tourist in NYC - Tourism and travel interpretersTop 5 Most Visited U.S. Cities (2018)


  1. New York City
  2. Los Angeles
  3. Orlando
  4. Las Vegas
  5. Chicago



When international tourists or business travelers visit a foreign country, language support is key, and the ability to effectively communicate in their native language can be the difference between a booming business, and one that loses business. Partnering with a professional language services provider to empower your guests is vital for businesses in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry. Hotels, restaurants, travel agents, tour operators, and guides all need to communicate quickly and effectively in multiple languages.

Tourism and Travel: Helping Businesses Connect

How Telelanguage Can Help

Tourism and Travel Interpreters:

Telelanguage offers complete language services to fit the needs of our travel, hospitality and tourism clients, including On-Site (face-to-face) Interpretation, Telephonic Interpretation, and Video Remote Interpretation Services. Whether you need an in-person meeting, interpreters for your customer call center, or video conferencing, Telelanguage can support your language needs.

Translation Services:

  • Promotional Materials (Posters, Brochures, Catalogues, Press Releases, Restaurant Menus)
  • General Documents and Correspondence
  • Contracts
  • Press Releases
  • Flight Information
  • Reservation Confirmation Informational Pamphlets
  • Maps and Public Transportation Guides
  • Tourist Guides


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The Travel and Tourism industry must always provide customers with excellent customer service, and the highest level of quality. As a language service provider with over 26 years of experience in the Travel and Tourism field, Telelanguage brings the highest quality language services to your customers and consumers. Our network of over 5,000 professional interpreters are ready to communicate in 300+ language and are available when you need them – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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