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Hospitality & Tourism Glossaries

When working with sizable vendors and distributors, the hospitality and tourism sector can be challenging to navigate. Here is a brief glossary of some of the terms that are used more frequently.


Tanzania Association of Tour Operators - Tour Operators; These interests include coordinating public and private sector partnerships as well as lobbying and advocacy on behalf of and for its members. The TATO conducts and disseminates research on issues pertaining to tourism operations and the industry.


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Attendance Building

Promotional and marketing initiatives intended to boost attendance at gatherings, trade shows, meetings, and events.


A general term that encompasses everything that the travel industry's marketers use to describe goods that appeal to tourists, such as museums, historic sites, performing arts centers, preservation districts, theme parks, amusement parks, and national sites.


Vacation Home Rental Managers Association.

Bed Tax (Transient Occupancy Tax of TOT)

The cost of a hotel room includes any applicable local or state taxes.


Without a deposit, hotel rooms are held


For a specific customer, hotel rooms, airline tickets, or other travel services are reserved.


The phrase "completed sale" is used to describe a deal struck by a venue, convention center, hotel, or supplier (i.e., a convention, meeting, trade show, or group business booking).

Business Travel

Travel with leisure as a secondary motivation for business, government, or educational reasons.


a member of the travel industry who arranges group reservations with hotels or manages the creation of travel products.


Any mass transit operator is typically a reference to an airline.

Chambers of Commerce

A Chamber of Commerce will typically focus on promoting regional tourism.

Charter Group

When a pre-planned group travels together, typically on a specific itinerary, this is referred to as group travel.

C of C

Chamber of Commerce


For selling the product to the consumer, travel agencies and other distributors of travel-related goods are compensated with a portion of the total product cost. organizations for marketing tourism that is focused on attracting visitors to a city, county, or region and organizing conventions, meetings, and conferences.

Conventions and Trade Shows

the largest sector of the travel industry. Trade shows differ from conventions in that they have exhibit space where suppliers can display their products and make sales, while customers can gather information and make purchases.

Conversion Study

a study to examine the extent to which advertising respondents were in fact persuaded to travel as a result of the advertising and follow-up materials.

Co-op Advertising

Advertising is supported by two or more suppliers or locations.

Cooperative Marketing

marketing initiatives with two or more participating businesses, institutions, or groups. by giving the tourism office financial or in-kind support to increase the program's marketing impact.


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

trips planned for travel agents, tour guides, wholesalers, or other industry professionals with the goal of enlightening and acquainting them with tourist destinations. By visiting the locations to which they are sending tourists, the travel industry is better equipped to respond to client inquiries and market the destination. Also known as familiarization tours or fams.

Feeder Airport/City

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

FIT (Free Independent Travel)

Individual travel is where a tour operator has reserved blocks of rooms in advance for use by individual travelers at various locations. These people don't travel in groups; they do it alone, usually in a rental car or on 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 the 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 market inclusive tours and individual travel programs to the consumer through travel agents. Wholesalers do not sell directly to the public.

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