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Hospitality & Tourism Glossaries

The hospitality and tourism industry can be a complicated place to navigate, especially when dealing with large vendors and distributors. Here is a quick glossary of some of the more commonly used terms.


Tanzania Association of Tour Operators - Tour Operators; These interests include carrying out lobbying and advocacy for and on behalf of its members as well as coordinating public and private sector partnerships. TATO undertakes and publishes research on concerns within the tourism industry and operations.


Tanzania Tourist Board Tanzania Tourist Board is an official destination portal, with everything you need to know about our beautiful country in one easy location You will find links to specific locations, travel advice, and the historical and cultural background of our diverse country. Looking for the best dive sites on the Swahili Coast?

Attendance Building

Marketing and promotional programs designed to increase attendance at conventions, trade shows, meetings, and events.


General all-inclusive term travel industry marketers use to refer to products that have visitor appeal, like museums, historic sites, performing arts institutions, preservation districts, theme parks, entertainment, and national sites.


Association of Vacation Home Rental Managers.

Bed Tax (Transient Occupancy Tax of TOT)

City or county tax is added to the price of a hotel room.


Hotel rooms held without deposit


Hotel rooms, airline tickets, or other travel services are held for a specific client.


A term used to refer to a completed sale by a destination, convention center, facility, hotel, or supplier (i.e. convention, meeting, trade show, or group business booking).

Business Travel

Travel for commercial, governmental or educational purposes with leisure as a secondary motivation.


A member of the travel trade who reserves room blocks from accommodations or coordinates the development of a travel product.


Any provider of mass transportation, usually used in reference to an airline.

Chambers of Commerce

Typically, a Chamber of Commerce will specialize in local tourism promotion.

Charter Group

Group travel is when a previously organized group travels together, usually on a custom itinerary.

C of C

Chamber of Commerce


A percent of the total product cost is paid to travel agents and other travel product distributors for selling the product to the consumer. tourism marketing organizations specializing in developing conventions, meetings, conferences, and visitations to a city, county, or region.

Conventions and Trade Shows

The major segment of the travel industry business. Trade shows differ from conventions in that they have exhibit space that provides product exhibition and sales opportunities for suppliers, as well as information gathering and buying opportunities for customers.

Conversion Study

A research study to analyze whether advertising respondents actually were converted to travelers as a result of advertising and follow-up material.

Co-op Advertising

Advertising funded by two or more destinations and /or suppliers.

Cooperative Marketing

Marketing programs involving two or more participating companies, institutions, or organizations. tourism office by providing cash or in-kind contributions to expand the marketing impact of the tourism office’s program.


Each diner at a restaurant.


Car and Truck Rental and Leasing Association.


Convention and Visitors Bureau.


A hotel, resort, attraction, city, region, or state.

Destination Marketing

Marketing a city, state, country, area, or region to consumers and trade. tourism marketing organizations, such as convention and visitors bureaus or chambers of commerce.

Discounted Fare

Negotiated airfare for conventions, trade shows, meetings, and group and corporate travel.

Discover America

The theme used by the Travel Industry Association and its marketing partners is to market travel within the United States.

Fam Tours

Organized trips for travel agents, tour operators, tour wholesalers, or other members of the travel trade for the purpose of educating and familiarizing them with tourism destinations. By seeing the destinations where they are sending travelers, the travel trade is better prepared to answer customer questions and promote travel to the location. Also called fams or familiarization tours.

Feeder Airport/City

An outlying city that feeds travelers to hubs or gateway cities.

FIT (Free Independent Travel)

Individual travel in which a tour operator has previously arranged blocks of rooms at various destinations in advance for use by individual travelers. These travelers travel independently, not in a group, usually by rental car or public transportation.


The number of times an advertisement appears during a given campaign.


Servicing consumers and trade who request information as a result of advertising or promotional programs. Service often includes an 800 number, sales staff, and distribution of materials.

Gateway or Gateway City

A major airport, seaport, rail, or bus center through which tourists and travelers enter from outside the region.

GIT (Groups Independent Travel)

Group travel in which individuals purchase a group package in which they will travel with others along a pre-set itinerary.

Group Rate

Negotiated hotel rates for conventions, trade shows, meetings, tours, or incentive groups.

Head in Beds

Industry slang refers to the primary marketing objective of accommodations and most destinations – increasing the number of overnight stays.

Hospitality Industry

Another term for the travel industry.


An airport or city which serves as a central connecting point for aircraft, trains, or buses from outlying feeder airports or cities.

Hub and Spoke

Air carriers use selected cities as hubs or connected points for service on their systems to regional destinations.


A facility or landmark which is visually synonymous with a destination.

Incentive Travel

Travel is offered as a reward for top performance and the business that develops markets, and operates these programs.

Inclusive Tour

A tour program that includes a variety of features for a single rate (airfare, accommodations, sightseeing, performances, etc.)

International Marketing

Marketing a destination, product, or service to consumers and the trade outside the of the United States.

Leisure Travel

Travel for recreational, educational, sightseeing, relaxing, and other experiential purposes.

Market Share

The percentage of business within a market category.

Market Volume

The total number of travelers within a market category.

Mission (Sales)

A promotional and sales trip coordinated by a state travel office, conventional and visitors bureau, or key industry member to increase product awareness, and sales and to enhance the image. Target audiences may include tour operators, wholesales, incentive travel planners, travel agents, meeting planners, convention and trade show managers, and media. Missions often cover several international or domestic destinations and include private and public sector participants. Mission components can include receptions, entertainment representatives of the destination, presentations, and pre-scheduled sales and media calls.


Deluxe equipment is used by most tour operators in group tour programs. Amenities include reclining seats, bathrooms, air conditioning, good lighting, and refreshment availability.

Net Rate

The rate provided to wholesalers and tour operators can be marked up to sell to the customer.

No Show

A customer with a reservation at a restaurant, hotel, etc. who fails to show up and does not cancel.


National Tour Association, comprised of domestic tour operators.


A percentage indicating the number of bed nights sold (compared to the number available) in a hotel, resort, motel, or destination.


A fixed-price salable travel product that makes it easy for a traveler to buy and enjoy a destination or several destinations. Packages offer a mix of elements like transportation, accommodations, restaurants, entertainment, cultural activities, sightseeing, and car rental.

Peaks and Valleys

The high and low end of the travel season. Travel industry marketers plan programs to build consistent year-round businesses and event out the peaks and valleys.

Person Trip Visit

Every time a person travels more than 100 miles (round-trip) in a day or stays overnight away from their primary domicile, whether, for business or leisure purposes, they make one personal trip visit.

Pow Wow

The largest international travel marketplace held in the United States, sponsored by the Travel Industry Association of America.

Press/Publicity Release

A news article or feature story was written by the subject of the story for delivery and potential placement in the media.

Press Trips

Organized trips for travel writers and broadcasters for the purpose of tourism destinations. Often, journalists travel tourism of a DMO.


A hotel, motel, inn, lodge, or another accommodation facility.

Rack Rate

The rate accommodations quote to the public. Group rates, convention, trade show, meeting, and incentive travel rates are negotiated by the hotel and program organizers.


The percentage of people within a specific target audience reached by an advertising campaign.

Receptive Operator

Specialists in handling arrangements for incoming visitors at a destination including airport transfers, local sightseeing, restaurants, accommodations, etc. Receptive operators can be travel agents or tour operators.

Repeat Business

A business that continues to return, thereby generating increased profits.

Reservation Systems (Automation Vendors)

Computerized systems leased to travel agencies offering airline, hotel, car rental, and selected tour availability and bookings. Systems are affiliated with major carriers, including American (Sabre), United (Apollo), Eastern (System One), TWA (PARS), and Delta (DATAS II), and feature flight schedules of the sponsoring and other carriers, plus additional travel products.

Retail Agent

A travel agent.


Another term for travel agents who sell travel products directly to consumers.


Double: No guarantee of two beds; Double Double: Two double beds (or two queens or kings); Twin: Two twin beds (or two doubles or queens)

Room Blocks

Several rooms were held for a group.

Sales Mission

Where suppliers from one DMO travel together to another state or the country for the purpose of collectively promoting travel to their area. Sales missions may include educational seminars for travel agents and tour operators.

Sales Seminar

An educational session in which travel agents, tour operators, tour wholesales, or other members of the travel trade congregate to receive briefings about tourism destinations.


A marketing and sales promotional piece that depicts a destination, accommodation, or attraction on the cover and provides space for copy to be added at a later date. Usually, shells fit a number 10 envelope.

Site Inspection

An assessment tour of a destination or facility by a meeting planner, convention or trade show manager, site selection committee, tour operator, wholesaler, or incentive travel manager to see if it meets their needs and requirements prior to selecting a specific site for an event. After site selection, a site inspection may be utilized to make arrangements.

Spouse Program

Special activities are planned for those who accompany an attendee to a convention, trade show, or meeting. Note that programs today are not simply for women, but rather for men and women, spouses and friends. Programs must be creatively designed to interest intelligent and curious audiences.


Those businesses that provide industry products like accommodations, transportation, car rentals, restaurants, and attractions.

Target Audience/Market

A specific demographic, sociographic target at which marketing communications are directed.

Target Rating Points

TRPĂ•s are a statistical measurement that allows one to evaluate the relative impact of different advertising campaigns.


Rate of fare quoted and published by a travel industry supplier (i.e. hotels, tour operators, etc.) Usually, an annual tariff is produced in booklet form for use in sales calls at trade shows.


Travel Industry Association of America.


Transient Occupancy Tax.

Tour Operator

Develops, markets, and operates group travel programs that provide a complete travel experience for one price and include transportation (airline, rail, motorcoach, and/or ship), accommodations, sightseeing, selected meals, and an escort. Tour operators market directly to the consumer, through travel agents and are beginning to be listed on computerized reservation systems.

Tour Wholesaler

An individual or company that sells tour packages and tour products to travel agents. Tour wholesalers usually receive a 20% discount from accommodations, transportation companies, and attractions and pass on a 10 to 15% discount to the retail agent. Tourism

Tourist /Visitor /Traveler

Any person who travels either for leisure or business purposes more than 100 miles round-trip in a day or who stays overnight away from his/her primary domicile.

Transient Occupancy Tax

TOT or bed tax is a locally set tax on the cost of commercial accommodations and campgrounds.


Leisure and other travel including travel for business, medical care, education, etc. tourism.

Travel Agent

An individual who arranges travel for individuals or groups. Travel agents may be generalists or specialists (cruises, adventure travel, conventions, and meetings.) The agents receive a 10 to 15% commission from accommodations, transportation companies, and attractions for coordinating the booking of travel. They typically coordinate travel for their customers at the same or lower cost than if the customer booked the travel on his/her own.

Travel Product

Refers to any product or service that is bought by or sold to consumers of trade including accommodations, attractions, events, restaurants, transportation, etc.

Travel Seasons

Travel industry business cycles include Peak: Primary travel season Off Peak: Period when business is slowest Shoulder: Period between peak and off-peak periods when business is stronger but has room for growth.

Travel Trade

The collective term for tour operators, wholesalers, and travel agents.


Definitions vary, but in general, a traveler is someone who leaves their own economic trade area, (usually going a distance of a minimum of fifty to one hundred miles) and stays overnight.

Visitors Center

Travel information center located at a destination to make it easier for visitors to plan their stay; often operated by a convention and visitors bureau, or chamber of tourism promotion organization.


Forms or coupons are provided to a traveler who purchases a tour that indicates that certain tour components have been prepaid. Vouchers are then exchanged for tour components like accommodations, meals, sightseeing, theater tickets, etc. during the actual trip.


Develop and markets inclusive tours and individual travel programs to the consumer through travel agents. Wholesalers do not sell directly to the public.

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