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A-Z of Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Let's be real. We've all been in that situation where you're baffled by a travel jargon that you can't quite recall! We don't blame you for being frustrated. Understanding (and memorising!) all of the lingo, vocabulary, and acronyms in the travel business can feel like learning an altogether new language at times. We're making things a little easier for you. We decided to share our experience and establish your very own Tour Operator Software glossary. Bookmark it for future reference, read over it to refresh your memory, or share it with your business friends and colleagues.


Adventure Tourism

The adventure tourism sector has grown in response to thrill seekers seeking an action-packed vacation. Adventure tourism is not for the faint of heart, with activities ranging from whitewater rafting to dog sledding to glacier exploring.


Business Development Manager (BDM)

As a tour operator, travel agency, or DMC, you will almost certainly be working with BDMs. Because these are the sales representatives for suppliers, a solid connection with the BDM is likely to benefit your business!

Blackout Dates

There are times when really fantastic deals or sales do not apply. This is typically due to holiday times or major events when providers expect greater demand throughout that time.


Cabaret Set-up

This arrangement is similar to the circular table layout, however there are no chairs on one side of each table. All of the tables will be arranged in this manner to point towards the focal point, much like a cabaret theatre. Half-rounds are another name for this type of table configuration.

Cabaret Table

It is similar to banquet seating but varies in one important way. Typically, cabaret seating consists of round tables with seats arranged two-thirds of the way around. This leaves an open end at each table, directing the focus of the audience to a focal point, such as a stage.

Campfire Session

Campfire events are meant to inspire storytelling over a 60-minute period in a casual setting. For 5 to 10 minutes, the facilitator introduces a topic, effectively presenting a tale and establishing the tone for the rest of the session.

Catering Sales Manager

A catering sales manager is in charge of directing and coordinating catering sales operations. The role entails initiating and developing excellent leads in order to increase catering revenue.


A commission is a fee paid by a hotel to third parties (travel agents, OTAs) for the sale of their hotel rooms.

Commissionable Rate Commitment

It is a contract in which a percentage of the lodging charge is handed to a sponsoring group or a third party, such as an intermediate planner.

Complimentary Ratio

The proportion of free rooms to the total number of rooms occupied. When negotiating room blocks, a common incentive is presented.

Confidential Tariff

Discounted prices solely quoted to wholesalers, tour operators, and travel agents (unavailable for public use).

Cross Season Pricing

Many tour operators' pricing fluctuate throughout the seasons. To accommodate seasonal fluctuations in business, tour operators may adjust their rates in either direction.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM software is now employed by practically every organisation, both inside and outside of the travel sector. A CRM, in its most basic form, allows you to maintain contact information for your clients and prospective customers. More advanced CRMs allow you to keep track of anything from client food sensitivities to pet names (and everything in between). Here's how you maximise the value of your CRM.

Cut-Off Date

The day during which all unoccupied guest rooms in a hotel block are made available to the public.


Destination Management Company (DMC)

DMCs are organisations that specialise in providing tours, logistics, and planning services for a certain location. They are known for their extensive local expertise. They are well-known for reselling their services to tour operators.

Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO)

Non-profit financed by occupancy taxes with the goal of promoting travel, tourism, and events in a host city.

Dwell Time

This one is exactly what it sounds like: how long someone 'dwells' or stays in a specific location. It is significant to the tourist business since it relates to the length of time a client spends at a certain activity or hotel - this is useful to know when planning and constructing personalised itineraries. Furthermore, dwell time refers to the length of time someone spends on a specific website. You may calculate the average stay time for each of your pages if you have a Google Analytics tracking code. A long stay indicates that you are surely doing things right.

Demand-Based Pricing

Pricing is not required to be constant; it might vary depending on the number of individuals interested in a service or product. This pricing model is widely utilised in the tourist sector and operates on the same principles as Cross-Seasonal Pricing described above. As a tour operator, this may have an impact on your own price or the costing of the suppliers you work with.



As more individuals and businesses become aware of the negative impact of travel, a niche industry for ecotourism is emerging. This sort of tourism is driven by both the visitor and the tourism industry and tries to minimise environmental consequences at every opportunity.


This is any type of business transaction made through the internet, often known as Electronic Commerce or EC. Your consumers, for example, may book and pay for their tour online using e-commerce platforms.


Estimated Time of Arrival.


Estimated Time of Departure.


Free Independent Travellers (FIT)

This is a touchy subject; our search yielded six somewhat different meanings! The basic meaning is the same whether the F stands for Free, Foreign, or Fully: People who prefer a tailor-made schedule (ranging from a basic outline to completely booked) and are not on a group trip are considered FITs.


Travellers may now browse around for the best deal and book their vacation from many vendors thanks to globalisation. More on the fragmentation of the travel sector may be found here.


Rather of researching everything there is to know around every place on the planet, travel agents frequently go on famils. This is a reconnaissance tour to provide insider information about the places to which their consumers would be sent. Famils are also frequently arranged and sponsored for by airlines or suppliers in order to encourage you to advertise their product or service.


Gross Rate

This is the total amount your consumers pay for your service, including the cost and your commission.

Global Distribution System (GDS): A computer software company that provides travel agencies with hardware for airplane, hotel, and car reservations.

Group Rate

Hotels will occasionally give a discount on hotel rooms if you book more than 5 rooms at once.



A rate that includes a bed, breakfast, and a choice of lunch or dinner

Heritage Sites

UNESCO World Heritage Sites are well-known tourist locations that have been designated by UNESCO as having cultural or natural importance.


Inbound Tour Operator

A tour operator situated in a certain target country who creates itineraries and organises travel arrangements or tours for visitors from other countries.

Incentive Travel

A prized or rewarded trip to stimulate the productivity of employees.


Joint Fare

When flying long distances, passengers frequently desire to rest in a transit nation. The second leg of their journey may be with a different airline, depending on their travel schedules and requirements. The Joint Charge is the total fare for both of these flights.



Confirmation of the KK Carrier. When buying airline tickets, this is an abbreviation.


Low Season Travel

Certain places, often known as off-peak travel, are less popular at certain periods of the year (think of a tropical island in the middle of the rainy season). Rates are frequently reduced at certain times - see cross season pricing.

Luxury Tour Operator

These tour companies frequently work with high-net-worth clients searching for a luxury vacation for themselves or their families. The sky's the limit for their trip plans, which might include private boats, helicopters, or exclusive VIP experiences.



When there is a stronger demand for a supplier's offering, they may raise their pricing. For example, during school vacations, when many families visit, the cost of flights and accommodations in a popular destination will rise.

Market Segment

Establishing a market segment is an excellent technique to ensure that your item is sold to and attracts the proper sort of people. This is especially crucial for specialty tour operators, such as those that concentrate in adventure tourism in Canada for those under the age of 30.


Industry acronym for Meetings, incentives, Conference, & Exhibitions.

Minimum Acceptable Rate (MAR): Lowest rate that a hotel will accept from a group, determined via displacement analysis.


Net Rate

The cost of the airfare, accommodations, and so on, less the agent's commission.


Term for reservations where the confirmed party does not show up without contacting the hotel to cancel or change.


Online Booking System

Customers may easily book (or reserve) an offering online and obtain confirmation without going via an agent.

Outbound Tour Operator

In contrast to an Inbound Tour Operator, an Outbound Tour Operator (OTO) often provides tours to a range of places, some or all of which are not in the tour operator's home country.



Pax is travel industry jargon for the number of passengers, for example, 2 pax. It also includes the number of visitors, diners, or participants.


Purchasing travel packages is a convenient and popular method to travel. These frequently include lodging, transportation, and some food. Tour operators that use Tourwriter may simply build these packages in advance and resell them.


Industry acronym for per person, per night.


Industry acronym for per room, per night.



Quickbooks is an accounting software that is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses manage their accounting and save time. Because Quickbooks is compatible with Tourwriter, you will have a more streamlined back-office software procedure.



A business that resells and advertises trips and activities in a certain geographic area.

Rack Rate

The original price of a hotel room before any discounts or promotional rates are applied.

Request for Proposals (RFP)

Document containing the services and requirements for an event that is sent to hotels to solicit a bid.

Run Of House (ROH)

ROH in hotel terms means a basic room type with no guaranteed specific amenities.


Sales Yield

It is the income or the profit that arises from sales.

Scout Lead

It is an essential research tool that helps scope out potential sales leads.

Second Tier City

A medium city is a more fitting term. Term for a popular event city but lacks the necessary infrastructure, such as convention space, to be deemed a first-tier city.

Shoulder Nights

These are those nights (or sales days) that generally have lower occupancy (or sales) than the peak (higher occupancy) nights.

Shoulder Season

It is the lower occupancy period preceding the peak season, although it is not the lowest occupancy of the year.

Site Inspection

A planner evaluates the hotel and/or event venue in person.


Special interest tourism (SIT) refers to types of tourism that focus on activities that attract a limited number of highly committed tourists, which may be. Only a few people engage in uncommon hobbies or pastimes.


Travel/Trade Association

Travel associations and communities exist to help individuals in the travel business who want to network, interact, and be supported by others. These associations can be specific or wide, and they frequently give excellent tools and assistance to help your business succeed! There are several options available, but don't worry, we've got the inside scoop on travel associations and luxury travel communities for you.

Target Market

Nobody, unfortunately, can please everyone. That is why, while advertising your tour operator firm, it is important to consider who your target market is - the demographic or sort of individuals you anticipate would be most interested in your service. To obtain more satisfaction from your marketing efforts, specialise your company providing to this target demographic.


Union Pay

This is primarily a Chinese payment method; however, Union Pay has become increasingly available and recognised abroad, allowing many Chinese visitors to utilise this payment method when travelling.



From manufacturing through consumption, Value Added Tax may be levied on goods or services whenever they are purchased or resold for a profit. VAT, sometimes known as goods and services tax, may be applicable.


Waitlist (WL)

Travellers looking to save money may want to purchase waitlisted tickets. This implies they are added to a waiting list and will be called if someone cancels or fails to show up.

The World Travel Market (WTM)

The World Travel Market is a premier travel industry event that brings together all aspects of tourism while also fostering business relationships and growth.



Xero, like Quickbooks, is an accounting software that many tour operators and travel agencies use to handle and track their financial data. Because Xero is compatible with Tourwriter, you will have a more smooth back-office software procedure.


Yield Management

Your offering's yield is the average revenue per unit of sale, such as revenue for one person's plane ticket. Yield management is recognising the periods when your item is in high demand and determining the types of people who would buy it. Then you may calculate and control your expected yield to maximise profit!

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