Travel sites now speaking tourists' languages - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Travel sites now speaking tourists' languages

Ina Hinkelmann Ina Hinkelmann
Mehrzad Ajood Mehrzad Ajood

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

WAIKIKI (KHNL) - With tourism numbers down considerably in Hawaii, some travel Web sites are coming up with new ideas to lure more visitors here.

The creators of one Web site are speaking to visitors in their language. The creators of To-Hawaii.com are from Bulgaria and Germany, so they know how frustrating it is to see Hawaii travel sites not in their languages. That's why they feel offering it in six different ones may help with tourism in the islands.

Ina Hinkelmann and Yunonna Richards started a travel Web site three years ago. But around a month ago, they decided to change it up.

"We received many inquiries from people from around the world, so we decided to have it translated into many of the world's languages, make it more available for a broader audience," Hinkelmann said.

Their Web site is now translated into Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, German, French and Bulgarian.

"We received an e-mail a short time ago from Bulgaria saying that you are only really the source right now for Hawaii and before we had the Bulgarian version up, we didn't know it would be so positive," she said.

Some visitors say the Web site made it easier for them to plan a trip to Hawaii.

"I think people feel more at home, it's in the middle of the ocean, so you want to feel secure, you want to feel like they speak your language, that's what's important," International visitor Mehrzad Ajood said. "If people can read about it in their own language, it's just more fun for them."

And helpful, but not only for visitors, for the people of Hawaii who so desperately rely on tourism to survive.

The creators say they'll include more languages soon, like Russian and Korean.

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