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InterContinental Hotels Group Named Best Global Web Site of 2010

 
March 16, 2010 - According to the 2010 Web Globalization Report Card, an annual ranking of 225 global web sites across 21 industry categories, the InterContinental Hotels Group offers the best overall global hotel web site.

According to report co-author John Yunker competition among the nine hotel properties reviewed was tight. "Even though InterContinental emerged on top, it did not lead by much. Accor, Radisson, and Starwood all finished within a few points of it."

The hotel industry as a whole performed below average in the report. Yunker cited poor overall language support and global consistency in site architecture. Hotel web sites supported an average of 10 languages, well below the overall average of 22 languages.

Scoring Methodology

The Report Card analyzed each Web site according to the following five criteria:

  • Global Reach (Languages): The web sites supports enough languages to reach a wide global audience.
  • Global Navigation: Web users can quickly and easily find their localized content, regardless of what language they speak.
  • Global Consistency: The web site leverages global templates to support global branding, operational efficiency, and usability.
  • Localization: The web site is truly relevant to the user's locale and culture. Products, promotions, and customer support information is all localized.
  • Community Localization: Content is sourced and/or translated locally via community and social networking platforms. 
Of the nine hotel/resort companies studied, the InterContinental Hotels Group emerged on top.

Even though InterContinental emerged on top, it did not lead by much. Accor, Radisson, and Starwood all finished within a few points of it.

The hotel industry as a whole is not one I would call a leader in web globalization. Not yet.

Nearly all of the companies could improve on global consistency as well as depth of localization. I also found it odd that a few of the most global hotel chains supported so few languages. Hotel web sites support an average of just 10 languages — less than half the average of all 225 web sites studied.

Best Western stood apart, however, with support for more than 20 languages.

We did notice a number of incremental improvements since the last Report Card. For instance, two of the hotel web sites have since added support for geolocation. And I’m optimistic that we’ll see language growth accelerate this year as hotels step up their efforts to attract tourists from around the world.

There is reason for optimism — the World Tourism Organization forecasts growth in 2010, with more than one billion international arrivals.

Here is the full list of hotel/resorts included in the 2010 Web Globalization Report Card:

• Accor Hotels
• Best Western
• Four Seasons
• Hilton
• Hyatt
• InterContinental Hotels
• Marriott
• Radisson
• Starwood Hotels

The Web Globalization Report Card is an annual benchmark of how effectively companies internationalize and localize their web sites and applications for the world. It is now in its sixth edition. Now in its sixth edition, the report is published by Byte Level Research a web globalization research and consulting firm.

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Contact: 

John Yunker
jyunker@bytelevel.com
www.bytelevel.com
 

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