How making language translation services more accessible could help level up Denver’s exciting growth and development plans
And bolster Mayor Michael Hancock’s ambitious five-year plan for transportation, housing, infrastructure, and tourism.
Denver, the Mile High City, is among the most livable and progressive cities in the United States. Colorado can boast of 300 days of sunshine, a thriving cultural scene, diverse neighborhoods, and a wealth of natural beauty just waiting to be discovered and experienced.
For visitors of all ages there’s the Red Rocks Amphitheater featuring some of the biggest concerts in the country, 84-acres of wild animal attractions at the Denver Zoo, or meet the ancestors with the Dinosaurs on the loose in the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. With so much happening daily in music, science, culture, sports, and the arts, there has never been a better time to open up Denver to the world.
However, while Denver has no shortage of big ambitions and big events planned to attract global visitors, does the city have the transport infrastructure and the accessibility to language services to offer a truly world-class experience?
Denver’s accessibility issues were highlighted in a recent report released by the League of American Bicyclists. Back in 2015, only 24 percent of Denver’s street bridges were safe for bikers and only 28 percent of the city’s street bridges met the city’s accessibility standards. According to the League, “Denver is not doing nearly enough to provide a safe, connected, comfortable and easy path for bicyclists.”
Tourism is one of the main drivers of the economy in Denver, a $10 billion a year industry, and domestic and international tourism is only set to grow as Colorado starts to view the pandemic in the past tense. Denver has several outstanding tourist areas such as Denver’s Riverfront, Denver Zoo, and the State Capital Building. More visitors to the city means more income for local businesses. There is a lot of money for visitors to spend on the local economy; staying in hotels, dining out, sightseeing, visiting attractions, and attending the many seasonal and sporting events.
In Denver’s bid to host the America’s Cup sailing regatta, the Denver City Council is taking a chance on big ideas and even bigger investment. Denver’s Economic Development District—which is responsible for the city’s transportation plans—is leading a $1.2 billion investment in public transportation, and a $5 billion plan to build a rail system to ferry spectators to events and venues throughout the city. The team has also proposed a $5 billion tourism campaign that envisions attracting 50 million visitors to the city per year, by 2040.
For these plans to yield long-term success and bring major benefits to the city, language services need to be more accessible to Denver’s residents, workers, and visitors.
Language service providers are those who translate, transcribe, and interpret for people in multilingual situations–and are essential to communicating with visitors from other countries and people who speak English as a second language in the USA.
When recently interviewed, Ofer Tirosh, CEO of leading translation services Tomedes observed, “Translation service providers can play a significant role in helping civic leaders and event organizers to provide language facilities for tourism.
“We recently provided translation for a company in Singapore. We provided language access for tourists in now-open tourist destinations in Asia-Pacific. We prepared for the onslaught of tourists in the business district, and we translated signages, critical information, and manuals for tourists used by government officials.
“In my opinion, more can be done in preparation for these nationwide and citywide events, in this case trying to advertise destinations around the world, from an end-to-end process. Municipalities and states should give more thought into how potential tourists can reach their destinations”
With the help of stakeholders, and the Regional Cities Initiative, the Denver Economic Development District is working to train over 1,000 language service providers, and it’s hoping that these national and international events will attract more of the private sector to boost and sustain the growing translation economy.
Even with all of the challenges of the pandemic in the last few years, Denver is proud to say that this coming New Year 2022 will be celebrated in big, bold, outward-looking style. It is safe to say the city is getting ready to invite the world to the party.