Glossary of Travel & Tour Operations Industry Terms

Calling all fellow wanderers! Whether you’re new to globetrotting or just decoding travel jargon, we’ve got you covered. Dive into our ultimate glossary of travel terms. Packed with wisdom from our decades in the industry and a dash of inspiration.

So, keep reading and feel free to share your own travel lingo insights in the comments section. Happy travels!

AAB – Agent Assisted Booking. Primarily Offline booking, but can refer to offline or online booking performed through an agency

Accessible Tourism/Traveltravel that ensures that there is high availability in destinations, accommodations, attractions, products, and services to all people

Accommodation – A hotel, Airbnb, hostel, or any other establishment that rents out rooms

Actual Time of Arrivalthe actual time of arrival. As opposed to the ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival)

Add-onan option, usually at extra cost, added to travel arrangements

Airporta complex of runways and buildings for the take-off, landing, and maintenance of civil aircraft, with facilities for passengers

A la cartereferring to meals, an indication that each dish is priced separately; also that a choice of meals may be available, such as on a tour

A la carte baralso known as a “Cash Bar,” a bar located within one’s hotel room that is pre-stocked with an assortment of snacks and beverages

All-Inclusive – a vacation that includes all the essentials (usually accommodation, food, and drinks)

Attractiona man-made or natural facility, location or activity that offers an item or items of specific interest

Availability Datesavailable for booking a tourism product

Average rate per room occupieda very useful statistic that is calculated by dividing total sales of rooms during a set period by the total number of rooms occupied during that period

Backpacker – a traveler or hiker who carries their belongings in a backpack

BAR – best available rate; the lowest unrestricted rate for a hotel room available to guests on a given day

B&B bed and breakfast; a small hotel that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast

Bespoke tour – a tour that is customized, personalized and tailor-made for the traveler

Blackout datesa day that you are not operating your tours

Booking – is a confirmation that the request has been received by the travel service provider, holding the seat on the plane or a room at a hotel

Booking Numberused to refer to a completed sale by a destination, convention centre, facility, hotel or supplier

BV – beach view room

Carriersrecognised transport operators, for example, bus, ship or air

Charter Groupgroup travel, in which a previously organised group travels together usually on a customised itinerary

Check-in-timethe time required to check if for a flight, or also the earliest time a guest can check into their accommodation (room)

Check-out-timealso known as departure time. The latest time by which a guest must vacate their accommodation (room)

City Guide – a tour operator that only serves in urban areas

Complimentary room – a guest space that is offered without cost. The tour guide or driver normally stays in the complimentary accommodations with the group

Connecting Flight – a journey from Point A to Point B that requires a change of planes en route and connecting time between flights is less than 24 hours

Continental Breakfast – usually consists of bread, rolls, butter, jam and tea or coffee

Custom or Customized Tour – usually also a private tour. Custom refers to the operator crafting an experience customized to the specific demands of a client. A tour operator might be engaged by a client to design a unique experience, for one person or a large group

CV – city view

Day rate – a discounted cost, given for daytime use of a guest room, not for overnight occupancy

Day visitors – travelers who come and depart on the same day, regardless of their reason for traveling

Depositmoney paid to secure a reservation

Destinationa hotel, resort, attraction, city, region or state

Direct bookingsreservations made directly with the tourism operator

Direct Flighta flight from Point A to Point B that does not require a change of planes

DMC – or Destination Management Company, is a professional entity that specializes in providing comprehensive travel services and logistical support to individuals, groups, or businesses planning events, meetings, or trips in a specific destination. DMCs have extensive knowledge of their designated region and offer services such as accommodation arrangements, transportation, event planning, tours, and activities. They play a crucial role in ensuring that travelers or event organizers have a seamless and enjoyable experience in their chosen destination by handling all the logistical details.

Documentationall the tickets and vouchers that are sent to agents

Domestic Travel – travel wholly within any one country

Double Room Rate – the price per room shared by two persons

Downgrade – to switch to less luxurious accommodations or a lower tier of service

Driver-Guide – professional en­gaged to drive a vehicle and to point out places of interest

ETAestimated time of arrival

ETDestimated time of departure

E-Ticket – regarding transportation, especially on airlines, an electronic ticket, or e-ticket, is the digital version of a paper ticket, issued via email

Excursiona short journey or trip, especially one taken as a leisure activity

Experience – in tour operations, experience refers to a tour, activity or excursion

Extended staya hotel stay of seven or more nights

FAM tour – an abbreviation for familiarization tour, which is frequently a free or heavily discounted travel program for travel agencies, tour operators, travel writers, or other interested parties to familiarize them with a particular location or attraction and assist boost sales

FIT – Free Independent Travel; these travelers travel independently, not in a group, usually by rental car or public transportation

FOPForm of Payment

Full board meals – refer to a meal plan typically offered by hotels, resorts, and cruise ships, where all three daily meals—breakfast, lunch, and dinner—are included in the accommodation package. This means that guests can enjoy a complete dining experience without having to worry about additional meal expenses during their stay.

Full house – a hotel that is at 100% occupancy

GIT – Groups Independent Travel; individuals purchase a group package in which they will travel with others along a pre-set itinerary

Globetrotter –  a term used to describe someone who has a penchant for traveling extensively and frequently. These individuals possess a passion for exploring different corners of the world, immersing themselves in diverse cultures, and embarking on journeys to various destinations, making them true adventurers of the globe. They thrive on the thrill of discovery and the experiences that come with traversing the world’s landscapes and cultures.

Group Toura prepaid tour usually with a set itinerary and number of travelers

Guest account – an itemized list of a visitor’s fees and credits

GV – garden view room

Heritage Centera building where tourists and other visitors get information about a place and its people

High seasonthe time of year when tourist activity and rates charged are generally at their highest

Holiday Resorta place where a lot of people go on holiday and usually to the hotels, bars, restaurants

Hostel – a budget accommodation offering shared dorms and private rooms. Very popular amongst budget travelers, backpackers and young travelers

Itinerary – sometimes shortened to “Iti,” is a comprehensive document that outlines a traveler’s entire journey, including details found on their tickets. Additionally, it may encompass information about accommodations and any pre-arranged activities or plans for the trip.

Inbound tour – a group of tourists whose trip’s beginning was in another city or country

Incidentals or Incidental Expenses – additional costs that tour participants must cover separately from the tour fee. These are unforeseen expenses that are not part of the initial package and aren’t directly related to the primary services included in the tour. Examples include unplanned meals, souvenir purchases, gratuities for hotel staff, and expenses like newspapers or other incidentals that may arise during your journey

Intermodal tour – a tour employing a variety of modes of transportation, including trains, motorcoaches, cruise ships, and airplanes, to put up a well-rounded and effective trip package

ITO – Inbound Tour Operator; specialises in offering tours to international visitors to a location, either directly or through existing agreements with local vendors

Joiner Tour / Join-in Tour – in join-in tours, you are grouped together with other travelers who have also signed up for the same tour. You will be guided with a professional tour guide, and follow an itinerary that has already been planned for you

Leisure traveltravel for recreational, sightseeing, relaxation and other purposes. Leisure is the primary motivation

Local Guide – a professional en­gaged to point out places of interest and conduct tours of specific locations and attrac­tions

Low seasonthe time of year when tourist activity and rates are at their lowest

Luggagesuitcases or other bags in which to pack personal belongings for traveling

LV – land view

Land arrangements – all the details of a land portion of a trip (hotel, car, tours, sightseeing, etc.)

MICE – meetings, incentives, and events

MOP – an abbreviation for “Mode of Payment,” refers to the specific method or way in which a customer or client intends to pay for goods or services. It encompasses various options such as cash, credit card, check, online transfers, or other means by which financial transactions are conducted to settle a payment.

Multi-Day Tour – any type of experience that lasts for more than one day. Often includes hotels, meals, short activities, and a form of transportation

MV – mountain view room

Nature cruise – a trip that takes people out on boats to see natural wonders, including waterfalls, lakes, sunsets, rivers, and jungle regions

Net rate – represents the reduced or discounted rate that travel agencies or tour operators negotiate with hotels, airlines, or other service providers. This rate typically excludes any additional commissions, fees, or markups, and it serves as the base price upon which these agencies calculate their own pricing to customers. Essentially, it’s the cost price for travel services before any additional charges are applied.

Non-refundable – a ticket in which no money will be returned if the customer no longer intends to use the ticket

Non-Stop Flight – a flight from Point A to Point B without ANY stops whatsoever

Non-transferable – a term used to indicate that a particular item, such as a ticket, pass, or reservation, cannot be reassigned or given to another person. It means that the item is solely intended for the original purchaser or holder and cannot be used by anyone else. This restriction is often applied to maintain control, security, or adherence to specific terms and conditions associated with the item or service.

No show – a visitor or client with scheduled reservations who doesn’t show up but doesn’t cancel

OBT – Online Booking Tool; an online booking tool is an internet-based system that allows you to book flights, rail, hotels and more

Off-peak – a less expensive time to travel as a result of lower consumer volume during these periods

Online booking system – a reservation system that enables customers to make direct online bookings with your business

OTAOnline Travel Agent or Online Travel Agency e.g. TripAdvisor, Viator, Klook,, Traveloka and many more

Outbound operator – a business/company that transports groups from one city or country to another

Outbound tour – any group excursion that departs from a specific city or state; opposite of an inbound tour

OC – ocean view

Package Tour – a kind of experience (usually multi-day) in which several different components are bundled together: it may or may not include airfare, hotels, guided experiences & meals

Passenger manifest – a comprehensive list or document that contains the names, details, and other relevant information of all passengers on a particular mode of transportation, such as an airline flight, ferry, boat, or land transfer. It serves as an essential record for the transportation provider, helping them manage and track passenger information, ensure safety, and comply with regulations. The manifest may include details like passenger names, seat or cabin assignments, departure and arrival times, and in some cases, additional information such as passport numbers for international travel. This document is vital for operational and safety purposes, as well as for documentation and compliance with relevant authorities.

PAX – “PAX” is the official abbreviation for passengers and is frequently used interchangeably with “persons.” For instance, when you encounter a rate such as Php 1,000 per person, it can also be expressed as Php 1,000 per PAX, signifying the cost per individual.

PNR – which stands for “Passenger Name Record,” is essentially a travel industry term synonymous with reservation. It’s a unique alphanumeric code or reference number assigned to each traveler’s booking. This code serves as a digital fingerprint of the reservation, containing vital information like passenger names, flight details, seat assignments, and itinerary specifics. Travelers and travel providers use PNRs to access and manage reservation details, making it a crucial element in the travel booking process.

PPDO – per person, double occupancy

Private Tour – in a private tour, you and your traveling party have exclusive access to a tour guide. You may follow the itinerary that has already been planned for you, or, depending on what is offered, have the flexibility to request for customization to your itinerary

P/Nper night in booking accommodation

Public Tour – a tour that’s open to the general public to sign up. The tour therefore consists of a variety of people who don’t already know each other. A public tour is usually offered at a set time and day

PV – pool view

Queue a list of reservations that require special attention by a travel consultant, typically organized by priority or category, such as pending bookings, waitlisted reservations, ticketing deadlines, or canceled trips

Quote – which is a shortened version of “quotation,” represents the estimated cost that a company provides to a potential customer. This allows the customer to prepare for and plan the expenses associated with the desired services they intend to use during their trip.

Real-time booking – a convenient feature that allows travelers to make instant travel arrangements. With this option, travelers can secure flights, accommodations, tours, and various travel services immediately, often through online platforms or booking systems. It enables travelers to check availability, compare options, and confirm their plans in real-time, making it a valuable tool for those who prefer spontaneity or need to make last-minute arrangements for their journeys. This technology-driven approach has greatly simplified the travel booking process, offering flexibility and convenience to travelers worldwide.

Red-eye flight – a late-night or overnight light that arrives at its destination in the early morning. It gets its name from the fact that passengers often have red eyes from lack of sleep during the flight

Reservationthe advance booking of a travel product

Res – short for reservation

ResTech – short for Reservation Tech or Reservation Technology. It is often interchangeable with the term “online booking software” reservation technology ” and consists of tools and software that improve your customers’ online experience when interacting with your website, and enhances their ability to book tours and excursions with you.

ROHRun of House refers to a hotel room that is assigned at the discretion of the hotel shortly before arrival. This means that the guest does not choose the room type or location in the hotel

RT / Round trip – “RT,” short for round trip, signifies a journey to a destination and back, typically following the same route. This term can apply to various modes of travel, including round trip flights and round trip transfers, indicating a complete excursion with a return to the starting point.

RTO – Receptive Tour Operators; provide tourism products to tour operators in other markets (as a business-to-business relationship)

Seasonal traveltravel industry business cycles, such as high or peak, low or off peak, and shoulder season

SIC / Seat-in-Coach – similar to Join-in Tour, in Seat-in-Coach Tour, you are grouped together with other travelers, follow an itinerary and guided with a professional tour guide. You will be travelling on a van/coach

Service Charges and Taxesare a fixed per­centage automatically added to room and meal charges. Taxes are set by the city, state or federal government

Showplacean impressive place that tourists often visits

Sightseeing Tour – short excursions of usually a few hours that focus on sightseeing and/or attraction visits

Single Room – a room with one bed for one person

Single Supplement – an additional charge added to a solo traveler, when prices were originally quoted for dual occupancy

Souvenir – an item that a traveler buys to remember their trip

Split Itinerary – an itinerary in which part of the group does one thing while the other part does something else

Split Ticket – issuing multiple tickets for one round-trip journey. This is done to reduce the total cost of the entire reservation

SSV – sea side view hotel room

Stopover – a planned interruption or layover in a traveler’s journey to a final destination. During a stopover, the traveler stays in a specific location for a duration longer than a typical connection or transit period, often for more than 24 hours. Stopovers are intentionally built into the travel itinerary, allowing passengers to explore and experience an additional destination before continuing their journey to the final endpoint. It’s an opportunity for travelers to visit and discover new places along the way, turning a mere travel connection into a mini-vacation. Airlines and travel agencies sometimes promote stopover programs to encourage tourists to explore the layover destination.

SV – sea view hotel room

T&E – Travel and Entertainment expenses

Tour – a prearranged, prepaid journey to one or more destinations that generally returns to the point of origin, is usually arranged with an itinerary of leisure activities, and includes at least two travel elements

Tour Company – a tour company or tour operator typically combines tour and travel components to create a packaged vacation. They advertise and produce brochures to promote their products, vacation and itineraries

Tour departure – the date of the start by any individual or group of a tour program or, by extension, the entire operation of that single tour

Tourista tourist is someone who leaves their own economic trade area and stays overnight (usually traveling a minimum of 50 to 100 kilometers)

Tour Operator –  refers to a person or a company specializing in organizing and leading tours for visitors. These operators often provide valuable insights into local attractions and address any questions or curiosities that guests may have about the area’s notable landmarks and points of interest.

Tour Vouchers – are coupons provided by tour operators to be redeemed for tour components

Tour Wholesaler – tour wholesalers never make sales to customers directly. Instead, they serve as a conduit between independent tour operators and retailers, offering travel, lodging, and tour options

Transfers – this refers to transportation arrangements that are pre-arranged, usually from your place of accommodation to the location of your activity. It can be private (i.e. only serving you and your traveling party) or shared with others

Traveler – one who travels

Travel Advisor / Consultant – a travel professional who provides expert advice and guidance on travel arrangements for businesses and their employees

Travel Agency – usually used in the travel industry to refer to an ARC-appointed storefront retailer

Travel Agentan individual who arranges travel for individuals or groups

Travel Arranger / Booker – someone who is responsible for booking business travel on behalf of employees within a company. This can include booking flights, hotels, rental cars, and other travel arrangements, as well as managing itineraries and travel expenses

Travel Insurance – purchased from a private company or the tour operator, this provides coverage for emergencies abroad such as illness, baggage loss, accidental death/dismem­berment. This policy often includes trip cancellation insurance

Travel Manager / Program Manager – a person that’s responsible for managing a company’s travel program, including policies, procedures, and relationships with travel suppliers

Trip Cancellation Insurance – purchased separately from ei­ther the tour operator or your travel agent, this provides a re­fund if you have to cancel your trip after completing payment. Refunds often vary according to the time frame in which you cancel

Triple Room – a room for three persons, usually consisting of twin beds (or double bed) plus a roll-away cot

TTLTicketing Time Limit is the time limit airlines stipulate for a ticket to be purchased and issued to avoid cancellation or expiry of the airfare

TTVTotal Transaction Value. This term is used to describe the total value of all travel-related transactions, such as airline tickets, hotel bookings, and car rentals that are processed by a travel management company (TMC)

Twin Room – a room with two beds for two people

Upgrade – to switch to a better room or level of service


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Anne Clarise, a proud Cebuana currently residing in Talisay, Cebu, brings a diverse set of passions and experiences to her writing endeavors. Hailing from the enchanting town of Argao, Cebu, Anne's literary journey is deeply influenced by her roots and the cultural tapestry of her homeland.

Anne's hobbies, which include dancing, cooking, and watching movies, reflect her multifaceted personality. She is an avid explorer with an insatiable curiosity for the world. Her travels not only satiate her wanderlust but also provide her with a wealth of diverse experiences that find their way into her writing.

As an aspiring author, Anne embodies the spirit of lifelong learning and creative exploration. Her dedication to her craft and her eagerness to absorb the world around her are the driving forces behind her literary pursuits, promising a future filled with captivating tales and insightful narratives.

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