Website translation or localization simply means language translation or the strategic way of modifying existing website to a more culturally suitable, usable and accessible to a targeted internet users. Language plays a vital role in our everyday activities and is a means of communication by encoding and decoding information. Language serves as a channel for the expression of thoughts or information from one person or medium to another, even though English is one of the international official languages it does not justify the effective profit making in tourism business. Not every tourist or traveller that visit the internet in this global world can read or write in English language, some internet users rather prefer speaking or reading in their languages which indulge them in accessing the internet with their native languages, this act as a barrier to Nigeria tourism industry and proves the necessity of a website translation. This will help in easy accessibility and culturally suitable to world-wide customers thereby expanding the tourism market
7 Objectives of the proposed study (including provisional title): c
This proposed study aims to measure the performance of Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) tourism website (www.tourism.gov.ng ) an organisation in a developing Country (Nigeria) with the incorporation of new information technology (I T) known as ''website translation or localization'' which is being used in developed countries tourism website such as united kingdom (www.visitbritain.co.uk).In addition this research does not aim in designing a website but the main objectives are to;
- identify, analyze and evaluate the necessary software needed to facilitate this interactive tourism website
- identify any problems in using the existing website and to measure the impact or effect of this technology if implemented in Nigeria online tourism.
Provisional title of this study
Localization of developing country tourism website using Nigeria a case study
8. The Context(s):d
The development of the Internet has already facilitated journey agencies to chase an effective Information Technology (IT) design strategy in order to gain and maintain a comparable benefit inside both international and household markets. Worldwide web is a way of accessing information over the internet and since the introduction has help organizations to instantly reach and interact with consumers worldwide. Nowadays with the integration of the website through website localization or simply customization companies of all sizes better interact with customers than former. Various research studies shows that customers prefer to shop and interact in websites that are specially designed for them in their local language (Singh, Furrer and Massimilaino 2004).Moreso a research study carried out by Nitish .S and Arun.P on consumers and websites from different five countries including Italy, India, Spain, Netherland and Switzerland to evaluate the attitude of consumers on the website reflecting their culture, language, information, symbols and images. The outcome of their research shows the evident and importance of website customization in attracting more customers (Nitish.S and Arun.P 2005).
The benefits of IT in tourism have been explored by several researchers such as Buhalis and O'Connor (2005), who indicate that 'e-tourism' has already proved as a competitive advantage for companies by revolutionising business processes, integrating various elements of the tourism value chain, developing strategic relationships with stakeholders, enhancing profitability and in becoming increasingly consumer focussed. Even in lesser developed countries such as Nigeria, the Internet is becoming increasingly affordable and is providing good web presence, thus, making it more feasible to improve the management of tourism using IT (Usoro, 2007). Tourism and hospitality are the fastest growing part of international economy. According to Keynote (2009), the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) indicated that the travel and tourism market employed more than 225 million people around the world in 2008 and it produced 9.6% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and that the last decade has seen a rapid rise in the size and value of the market. While international tourist arrivals in both Europe and Asia fell by 3% in the second half of 2008 compared with the corresponding period in 2007, arrivals in the Americas, Africa and the Middle East increased by 1%, 4% and 5%, respectively, in the second middle of the year. As new section would indicate, most research that combine IT with tourism have been done in Western capitalist countries such as USA and UK. The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation has been very active in promoting tourism especially in Cross River State (Usoro, 2007), which is becoming an emerging international tourist destination. Studying the enhancement of IT with the incorporation of website translation systems in the overall tourism scenario in Nigeria will provide academic insights into the development of such systems in emerging economies, thus adding to the current global knowledge base.
Few Successful companies and developed countries that have incorporated translation or localization are Durex (www.durex.com) and U.S.A (www.unitedstatestouristattractions.com) .Integration of IT in Nigeria tourism and hospitality service, aim to be designed in such a way that, it will create an awareness required to motivate travellers. Journey arrangement like travel ticketing and booking of reservations by tourist which is already been facilitated using internet but more can still be done such as close interaction between the customers and the NTDC.
Previously registering a vacation through journey agencies used to be a tedious process. Enquiries about journey destinations were all finished through phone, and sought through paper files. This method was exceedingly mistake prone because if the documents were not aligned, it would be very tough to get the correct data from them. The entire process was very tedious and the customers had to plan and integrate various elements of their holiday (such as travel, hotels, etc) themselves which caused a lot of inefficiency and increased the general cost of holiday. Today with the incorporation of website translation or localization, the Internet has enabled different organisations to showcase products directly to consumers and also connect with emerging intermediaries (such as Lastminute.com, Expedia, eBookers and Hotels.com). Many companies are expanding their value chain and promoting their products through a combination of systems and partners (Buhalis &Licata 2002; O'Connor 2003).
Buhalis and O'Connor describe how IT have integrated various elements in the tourism industry from a different strategic perspective. The tourism and hospitality market has distinct classification of subsystem in a state, homeland or community (Iyang,B.J &Enough 2009).Three distinct of subsystem recognizable in tourism market are; tourism retailing, place travel to and transport (Holden 2008).Incorporated in this subsystem are enterprises evolved mainly to cater for tourist. To the consumer, IT have provided user friendly interfaces, greater choice and greater flexibility in planning and budgeting. From a management perspective, the integration of IT with website translation has provided accurate market research, better understanding of consumer needs, reduced price offerings and lower costs, reduced bureaucracy and paper-work, new value-added services and internationalization of products by overcoming barriers of language and culture. Yield/Revenue management systems have helped in accurately estimating demand, eventually helping in various revenue optimization methods. Distribution costs are declining because many consumers can be served online in less time. Procurement from suppliers can be systematized using common platforms of technology. Virtual organizations and informational networks can link together various stakeholders to bring together the core competence of each. Even though researchers such as Buhalis have contributed a lot on e-Tourism theory, they have focussed more in developed countries. There is some research on e-Tourism in lesser developed countries such as Greece (Buhalis & Deimezi, 2003) and China (Buhalis & Song, 2003), however 'country-specific' factors particular to Nigeria have indicated barriers in the deployment of IT, such as higher costs of IT introduction due to large spread of public establishment, paper documents needed for approval processing, security concerns, confidentiality of data and information, and inadequate research on website localization. In summary, while most researchers have looked at IT in tourism from a general management perspective, a particularly quantitative analysis of website translation capability is still lacking, hence there is a need to measure the capability of Nigerian IT resources. The research presents an in-depth consideration on interpreting how IT conceives 'worth' through its influence on performance related estimates.
- Buhalis,D & Deimezi R (2004).'eTourism developments in Greece; Information Communication Technologies adoption for the strategic management of the Greek tourism industry', International Journal Of Tourism and Hospitality Research, vol.5 (2), pp103-130.
- Buhalis, D.& Song H,(2003)'The adoption of ICTs & internet in China and impact to tourism industry Structure', International journal of Information Management, vol 23(6), pp.451-467
- Holden, A.(2008) Environment and Tourism (2nd ed).London;Routledge
- Inyang, B.J & Enuoh, R.O(2009).Entrepreneurial competencies; The missing links to successful entrepreneurship in Nigeria International Business Research (2)2
- Joann T.H (2002); Content management for dynamic web delivery; John Wiley and sons
- Keynote (2009).Travel & Tourism Market 2009', Market Review, Travel and Tourism, September 2009
- Nitish.S and Arun.P (2005).The culturally customized website (2nd ed);customizing websites for global market place. pp
- Oyakhilome, F. O. (2006).Jumpstarting hospitality industry and tourism development. A paper delivered by Ag. Director General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) at the Intra African Trade/Tourism Workshop at NEPAD Business Group Nigeria, International Forum, Abuja, 28-29 January.
- Usoro, A (2007).'ICT (information and communications technologies)and tourism ;an initial exploratory Study of developing economies as suppliers of hospitality and destination', In proceedings of the 6th Annual ISO n Eworld Conference, April 11-13, 2007,Las Vegas
9. Research design (including methods) or critical approach: e
This research will be approached by carrying out a Primary and secondary data collection which will be undertaken, based on the need.
The first objectives intend to be achieved by using secondary research will help with the literature review of journals, websites, books and newspapers to identify, analyze and evaluate the latest software needed to facilitate this technology in the NTDC website. From research it was discovered as website content management system (WCMS),a web application implemented for managing, converting, creating and publishing Hyper Text Mark-up Language (HTML) and Extensible Mark-up Language (XML) content for website.WCMS helps an organisation in automating web content creation, control, editing and maintenance functions. Furthermore, any studies or reports on IT in developed countries tourism websites are of great interest beyond those mentioned in the context above. That would give a good starting ground and valuable advice for an update directions in this study. The total data gathered from what was learned will be interpreted, coded or summarized to reach a conclusion.
The second objectives of this research aim to be achieved by using the primary data collection which will be done by disseminating questionnaires to have a good understanding or opinion of the foreign customers (that is customers that speak in other languages other than English) decisions on the impact or effect of website localization on Nigeria tourism website. What are the key factors influencing tourists' choices of destinations and services worldwide? A special focus will be on those ordering their travels over the World Wide Web. There will be a need to define the current standing of Nigeria's online information for prospective travellers, which is, it can only deliver information to world-wide customers through English language.A survey of the availability and quality information from Nigeria on major web sources can be compared to information from U.K tourism website. It can be done from this viewpoint that is to know how would the introduction of English translation to different set of languages such as Deutschland, France, Italia, Nederland etc influence tourism business in NTDC website. This will be compared to how First World country such as U.K use IT to attract visitors online. A number of users on tourism websites will be asked what caused them to make their decision on what package they purchase? An attempt to identify what are the problems in using the existing website that could have made more of them to choose other first world countries tourism website will be done. One must be careful to try to include a broad range of demographical groups. If possible, providers of web information like intermediaries will be asked if they have done any similar studies earlier. The results of this study can be compared to theirs if this is available.
Analysis of data
The idea is to analyze the results on user perception of tourism in Nigeria with what NDTC feel about their current online presence. This can be done in several ways.
Quantitative analysis using statistics aim to be conducted. The questionnaire will be coded with a number of questions where users are asked to rate web information from Nigeria compared to U.K tourism website on a suitable scale. That will give an idea of the quality of what is being presented to world-wide tourists as of now. Some open ended questions to know the impact or effect of website localization on NTDC website can give tourist comments adding further insight. The numerical data collected can be coded and analysed using standard statistical packages (such as SPSS) to examine any cross-tabulation, or associations, or grouping that emerges between the dependent and independent variables (e.g. through factor analysis that will be presented in the questionnaire). SPSS can also be used to get descriptive statistics and and from the analysis conclusion can be formed.
Qualitative study will use the responses from tourists together with information from intermediaries and managers to incorporate this measures for attracting more tourists. Further, an analysis will be done of what general conclusions for Third World countries can be drawn from Nigeria's situation.
10. Ethical issues: f
Ethics plays a major role in this research especially in carrying out primary data collection. In this case one major ethical issue that may emerge is that of 'confidentiality'. Reluctances may arise because the respondent is giving out some important information in answering a questionnaire and this shall be dealt with by proper email consultation and sending out letter of consent before questionnaires are being distributed
11. Special resources required: g
Numerous periodical items and publications will be utilised for making this study as authentic as Possible .Furthermore some number of facts will be needed from past literature, books, individuals and Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) on specific usage of data and its future Proposition of usage. Time is another resources that is needed for carrying out this study which encompasses prime study and lesser research.
12. Timetable of main stages of the study: h
The study spans over 24 weeks starting mid January 2010 to June 2010. The following Gantt chart describes the proposed schedule for the project.