The move to multiple languages on the Web furthers one goal shared by every travel company: to boost Internet sales, which cost less to process than those handled by people. The companies also say that connecting with customers in their native language can generate greater loyalty and brand awareness.

"Many companies are moving in this direction as their businesses becomes more global," says Colin Kinsella of Avenue A Razorfish, a leading online marketing agency that recently translated Singapore Airlines' website into new languages.

The process of translating hundreds or thousands of Web pages into different languages isn't easy. Ritz-Carlton, for example, couldn't translate "It's my pleasure" into Japanese because of sexual innuendo in that language. As a result, the phrase is used only in English on all its foreign language sites, says Mary Senin, a Ritz-Carlton executive.

Get the full story at USA TODAY