Receptive Tour Operators are defined as United States-based companies which specialize in creating, marketing, and selling United States travel products to International Inbound travelers. Receptive Tour Operators have unique knowledge of the countries they serve and of the destinations they sell. A Tour Operator shall be considered a Receptive when the majority of its revenue is derived from Inbound International travelers to the United States.
Glossary of Terms




Accommodations: See lodging.


Ad hoc group: See preformed group.


Add-ons: see optionals.


Adjoining rooms: Two rooms located next to each other, usually with no door connecting them.


Adventure tour: A tour designed around an adventurous activity such as rafting, hiking, or mountain climbing.


Affinity group: A group of people that share a common hobby, interest, or activity, or that are united through regular participation in shared outings. Also see preformed group.


After-departure charge: Charges that do not appear on the guest’s bill at check out such as telephone or dining charges.


Agent: One who has the power to act at the representative of another. Most frequently in travel, a specific kind of agent such as a travel agent.


AIO variables: Activities, interests, and opinions-used to measure and categorize customer lifestyles.


Air sea: A cruise or travel package in which one or more transportation elements are provided by air and one or more by sea. The package is usually combined with local lodging.


Airline fare: Price charged for an airline ticket. Several types of fares exist and can change with market conditions.


Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC): An organization that provides a method of approving authorized agency locations for the sale of transportation and cost-effective procedures for processing records and funds of such sales to carrier customers.


All-inclusive package: A tour package in which most travel elements are purchased for set price. Also called an all-expense package.


Alumni tour: A tour created for customers who have previously traveled with a tour operator. Also called a reunion tour.


Amenity package: A cluster of special features, such as complimentary shore excursions, bar or boutique credit, or wine at dinner offered to clients on a given tour or cruise, usually as a bonus or extra feature. Usually used to induce clients to book through a particular travel agency or organization.


Attractions: An item or specific interest to travelers, such as natural wonders, manmade facilities and structures, entertainment, and activities.


Average room rate: The total guest room revenue for a given period divided by the number of rooms occupied for the same period.

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Back to back: A term used to describe tours operating on a consistent, continuing basis. For instance, a motorcoach arriving in a city from a cross-country tour may conclude the first tour upon arrival, then transport a second group back along the same route to the origination city of the first tour.


Baggage handler: See porter.


Baggage master: The person who controls baggage handling on a ship.


Bed and breakfast (B&B): Overnight accommodations usually in a private home or boarding house, often with a full American-style or Continental breakfast included in one rate.


Bell captain: The person in charge of luggage at a hotel.


Block: A number of rooms, seats, or space reserved in advance, usually by wholesalers, tour operators, or receptive operators who intend to sell them as components of tour packages.


Boarding pass: The document that allows a traveler to pass through the gate area and onto a plane or ship.


Booking form: A document which purchasers of tours must complete to give the operator full particulars about who is buying the tour. It states exactly what is being purchased (including options) and must be signed as acknowledgment that the liability clause has been read and understood.


Breakage: Expenses budgeted for a tour but not used or expended, thus resulting in additional profit to the tour operator. Examples include meals budgeted but not consumed, currency fluctuations in favor of the tour operator, or the tour selling to much larger numbers of passengers than expected.


Break-even point (BEP): The point at which revenues and expenses are the same. For example, the BEP is the number of products (or seats, cabins, tickets, etc.) that must be sold for a company to break even. The BEP is calculated as fixed costs divided by the selling price less variable costs. See reasonable number.


Break-even pricing: Pricing a product based on a forecast of the break-even point and the cost of achieving the break-even point.


Budgeted balance sheet: A budget that measures total assets and liabilities.


Budgeted income statement: A budget that tracks revenues and expenses. Also called the profit and loss statement.

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Cabin: A sleeping room on a ship.


Carrier: A company that provides transportation services, such as motorcoach companies, airlines, cruise lines, and rental car agencies.


Cash flow: Monies available to meet a company’s daily operating expenses, as opposed to equity, accounts receivable, or other credits not immediately accessible.



Cash budget: A budget that monitors cash flow and funds available to meet current expenses.


Casual research: A form of marketing research that is used to test cause-and-effect relationships between a marketing program and customers.


Certified Tour Professional (CTP): A designation conferred upon tour professionals who have completed a prescribed course of academic study, professional service, tour employment, and evaluation requirements. The CTP program is administered by the National Tour Association ( Lexington, KY) and is open to individuals employed in any segment of the tourism industry.


Certified Travel Counselor (CTC): A designation attesting to professional competence as a travel agent. It is conferred upon travel professionals with five or more years of industry experience who compete a two-year graduate-level travel management program administered by the Institute of Certified Travel Agents ( Wellesley, MA).


Certified Travel Industry Specialist (CTIS): A designation conferred upon American Bus Association member company employees who successfully complete five correspondence courses (three) required and two electives and written evaluation of eight marketplace seminars.


Chain-ratio method: A method for forecasting market demand by multiplying a base market figure by a series of consumption constraints.


Chamber of commerce: A DMO that operates at the local level and is comprised of businesses that are not necessarily associated with the tourism industry.


Charter: To hire the exclusive use of any aircraft, motorcoach, or other vehicle.


Charter service: The transportation of preformed groups (organized by someone other than the carrier), which have the exclusive use of the vehicle.


Circle itinerary: A travel routing design that overnights in different locations and returns to the point of departure without retracing the travel route.


City guide: A tour guide who points out and comments on the highlights of a city, usually from a motorcoach or van.


City tour: A sightseeing trip through a city, usually lasting a half day or a full day, during which a guide points out the city’s highlights.


Client list: A printout of the names of all tour participants.


Client mix: Objectives set by companies to achieve percentages of customers from different market segments.


Closed-end question: A question for which the answers are provided for the respondent, who chooses only from those answers.


Closeout: Finalization of a tour, cruise, or similar group travel project after which time no further clients are accepted. Any unsold air or hotel space is released, and final lists and payments are sent to all suppliers.


Commission: A percentage of a travel product’s price that is returned to the distributor when the product is sold.


Commissionable tour: A tour available through retail and wholesale travel agencies which provides for a payment of an agreed-upon sales commission to the retailer or wholesale seller.


Common carrier: Any person or organization that offers transportation for a fee.


Comp policy: Arrangements for free tickets, rooms, meals, etc.


Complimentaries (comps): Items provided free of charge, such as rooms, meals, tickets, airfare, gifts, souvenirs, etc.


Computerized reservation system (CRS): An automated system used by travel agents that contains pricing, availability and product descriptions for hotels, car rentals, cruises, and air transportation.


Conditions: The section or clause of a transportation or tour contract that specifies what is not offered and that may spell out the circumstances under which the contract may be invalidated (in whole or in part).


Configuration: The interior arrangement of a vehicle, particularly an airplane. The same airplane, for example, may be configured for 190 coach-class passengers, or it may hold 12 first-class passengers and 170 coach passengers, or any other combination within its capacity.


Confirmed reservation: An oral or written statement by a supplier that he has received and will honor a reservation. Oral confirmation have virtually no legal weight. Even written or faxed confirmations have specified or implied limitations. For example, a hotel is usually not obliged to honor a reservation if a guest arrives after 6 p.m., unless late arrival has been guaranteed.


Connecting flight: A flight that requires a passenger to change planes as part of the itinerary.


Connecting room: Two rooms that are connected to each other by a door.


Consolidator: A person or company that forms groups to travel on air charters at group rates on scheduled flights to increase sales, earn override commissions, or reduce the possibility of tour cancellations.


Consolidation: Cancellation by a charter tour operator of one more flights associated with a specific charter departure or departure period, with the transfer of passengers to another charter flight or flights to depart on or near the same day. Also, selling the same tour with identical departure dates through a number of wholesalers, cooperatives, or other outlets in order to increase sales and reduce the possibility of tour cancellations.


Consortium: A collection of organizations made up of independently owned and managed agencies who band together to increase their buying power.


Consumer protection plan: A plan offered by a company and/or association that protects the customer’s deposits and payments from loss in the event of company bankruptcy.


Consumer: The actual user of a product or service. See also customer.


Consumption constraints: Issues that limit the number of people in a market who will purchase a product.


Continental breakfast: At a minimum, a beverage (coffee, tea, or milk) and rolls and toast, with fruit juice sometimes included.


Contract: A legally enforcable agreement between two or more parties.


Convenience sample: A collection of research subjects who are the easiest for the researcher to select.


Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB): A nonprofit DMO that operates at the county and city level. A CVB typically encourages groups to hold meetings, conventions, and trade shows in its city.


Cooperative (co-op) advertising: An agreement between two parties to share the cost of placing an advertisement.


Co-op tour: Selling a tour through a number of wholesalers, cooperatives, or other outlets in order to increase sales and reduce the possibility of tour cancellations.


Costing: The process of itemizing and calculating all the costs the tour operator will pay on a given tour.


Cost-plus pricing: See markup pricing.


Coupon: See voucher.


Custom tour: A travel package created specifically for a preformed group or niche market.


Customer: The buyer of a product or service. See consumer.


Customs: The common term for U.S. Customs Service, the federal agency charged with collecting duty on specified items imported into the country. The agency also restricts the entry of forbidden items.

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Database: A computerized, organized collection of individual customer information.


Day rate: Also called a day room. A reduced rate granted for the use of a guest room during the daytime, not overnight occupancy. Usually provided on a tour when a very late-night departure is scheduled.


Day tour: An escorted or unescorted tour that lasts less than 24 hours and usually departs and returns on the same day. See sightseeing tour.


Deadheading: Making a trip or a segment of a trip without passengers, such as driving an empty motorcoach somewhere.


Demand generators: Strategies and programs developed by DMOs and suppliers to generate destination demand. Examples include festivals, events, cultural tours, and consumer promotion.


Demands: A consumer’s wants backed by the ability to purchase.


Demographics: Population measures, such as age, gender, income, education, race/ethnicity, religion, marital status, household size, and occupation.


Departure point: The location or destination from which a tour officially begins.


Departure tax: Fee collected from a traveler by the host country at the time of departure.


Deposit : An advance payment required to obtain and confirm space.


Deposit policy: A specified amount or a percentage of the total bill due on a specified date prior to arrival.


Descriptive research: a form of marketing research that is used to provide detailed answers about customer markets.


Destination: The geographic place to which a traveler is going.


Destination alliance: A DMO that operates as a for-profit association of select suppliers who form a paid-membership network to promote their services to travelers.


Destination management company (DMC): A for-profit company that operates similar to a CVB by providing planning and execution services for the convention and meeting market.


Destination marketing organization (DMO): An organization that promotes a location (city, region, state province, country) as a travel destination.


Direct flight: A flight that stops one or more times on the way to a destination, but does not require travelers to change planes.


Direct marketing: Sales and marketing communication that feature direct interaction between a company and its customers without any distribution intermediaries.


Double double: A room with two double beds.


Double-occupancy rate: The price per person for a room to be shared with another person; the rate most frequently quoted in tour brochures.


Double-room rate: The full price of a room for two people (twice the double-occupancy rate.)


Docent: A tour guide who works free of charge at a museum.


Downgrade: To move to a lesser level of accommodations or a lower class of service.


Driver-guide: A tour guide who does double duty by driving a vehicle while narrating.


Duty-free imports: Item amounts and categories specified by a government that are fee of tax or duty charges when brought into the country.

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Economic impact study: Research into the dollars generated by an industry and how these dollars impact the economy through direct spending and the indirect impact of additional job creation and the generation of income and tax revenue.


Ecotour: A tour designed to focus on preserving the environment, or to environmentally sensitive areas.


Educational tour: A tour designed around an educational activity, such as studying art.


Environmental scanning: The process of monitoring important forces in the business environment for trends and changes that may impact a company.


Errors and Omissions Insurance: Insurance coverage equivalent to malpractice insurance, protecting an agent’s or operator’s staff if an act of negligence, an error, or an omission occurs that causes a client great hardship or expense.


Escort: See tour director.


Escorted group tour: A group tour that features a tour director who travels with the group throughout the trip to provide sightseeing commentary and coordinate all group movement and activities.


Escrow accounts: Funds placed in the custody of licensed financial institutions for safekeeping. Many contracts in travel require that agents and tour operators maintain customers’ deposits and prepayments in escrow accounts.


Exchange order: See voucher.


Exploratory research: A form of marketing research that’s used to obtain preliminary information and clues. It is most often used when the marketing problem is ambiguous.


Extension: A fully arranged sub-tour offered optionally at extra cost to buyers of a tour or cruise. Extensions may occur before, during, or after the basic travel program.

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FAM (familiarization) tour: A free or reduced-rate trip offered to travel professionals to acquaint them with what a destination, attraction, or supplier has to offer.


Fixed costs: Costs that don’t change with sales or production levels.


Fly/drive tour: An F.I.T. package that always includes air travel and a rental car and sometimes other travel components.


Folio: An itemized record of a guest’s charges and credits which is maintained in the front office until departure. Also referred to as a guest bill or guest statement.


Frequent Independent travel (F.I.T.): A custom-designed, prepaid travel package with many individualized arrangements. F.I.T. are unescorted and usually have no formal itinerary.


Full house: A hotel with all guest rooms occupied.


Function room: A special room that is used primarily for private parties, banquets, and meetings. Also called banquet rooms.

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Gateway: City, airport, or area from which a flight or tour departs.


Gateway city: City with an international airport.


Ground operator: See receptive operator.


Group leader: An individual who has been given the responsibility of coordinating tour and travel arrangements for a group. The group leader may act as a liaison to a tour operator or may develop a tour independently (and sometimes serve as the tour director).


Group rate: A special discounted rate charged by suppliers to groups. Also called tour rate.


Group tour: A travel package for an assembly of travelers that has a common itinerary, travel date, and transportation. Group tours are usually prearranged, prepaid, and include transportation, lodging, dining, and attraction admissions. See also escorted group tour.


Guaranteed tour: A tour guaranteed to operate unless canceled before an established cutoff date (usually 60 days prior to departure).


Guest account: See folio.


Guide or guide service: A person or company qualified to conduct tours of specific localities or attractions.


Guided tour: A local sightseeing trip conducted by a guide.

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Head tax: Fee charged for arriving and departing passengers in some foreign countries.


High season: See peak season.


Hosted group tour: A group tour that features a representative (the host) of the tour operator, destination, or other tour provider, who interacts with the group only for a few hours a day to provide information and arrange for transportation. The host usually does not accompany the group as it travels.


House: A synonym used for hotel.


Hub-and-spoke itinerary: A travel routing design that uses a central destination as the departure and return point for day trips to outlying destinations and attractions.


Inbound operator: A receptive operator that usually serves groups arriving from another country.

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Inbound tour: A tour for groups of travelers whose trip originates in another location, usually another country.


Incentive or incentive commission: See override.


Incentive tour: A trip offered as a prize, particularly to stimulate the productivity of employees or sales agents.


Incidentals: Charges incurred by the participants of a tour, but which are not included in the tour price.


Inclusive tour: See all-inclusive package.


Independent tour: A travel package in which a tour operator is involved only with the planning, marketing, and selling of the package, but is not involved with the passengers while the tour is in progress. See also frequent independent travel (F.I.T.).


Intermodual tour: A tour that uses several forms of transportation, such as a plane, motorcoach, cruise ship, and train.


Involvement device: An element of direct mail that gets the reader involved in the process of evaluating and/or responding to the solicitation.


Intinerary: A list of a tour’s schedule and major travel elements.

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Judgment sample: A sample based on the researcher's choice of subjects for a study.

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Land operator: See receptive operator.


Leg: Portion of a journey between two scheduled stops.


Letter of agreement: A letter from the buyer to the supplier accepting the terms of the proposal. This may also be the supplier’s first proposal that has been initialed by the buyer.


List broker: A seller of mail lists for direct marketing.


Load factor: The number of passengers traveling on a vehicle, vessel, or aircraft compared to the number of available seats or cabins.


Locater map: A map of an area or a city, showing locations of attractions and hotels.


Lodging: Any establishment that provides shelter and overnight accommodations to travelers.


Logistics: Management of the details of an operation.


Low season: See off peak.

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Macroenvironment: The broad forces in society and the business world that impact most companies.


Management company: A firm that owns several lodging properties.


Manifest: Final official listing of all passengers and/or cargo aboard a transportation vehicle or vessel.


Market demand: The amount of a specific product or service that may be purchased during a certain period of time in a particular geographic area.


Market forecast: The realistic demand within a given time period for the products produced by all companies within a ceratin industry or product category.


Market segmentation : The process of dividing a broad market into smaller, specific markets based on customer characteristics, buying power, and other variables.


Market share: The measure of company sales versus total sales for a specific product catergory or industry.


Market: All existing and potential customers for a product or service.


Marketing mix: The 4 Ps of marketing: product, price, promotion, place (distribution).


Marketing plan: A written report that details marketing objectives for a product or service, and recommends strategies for achieving these objectives.


Marketing research: The function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through the systematic gathering and ananlyzing of information.


Markup pricing: Pricing a product by adding a standard markup to costs. Also called cost-plus pricing.


Markup: A percentage added to the cost of a product to achieve a selling price.


Master account: The guest account for a particular group or function that will be paid by the sponsoring orgainzation. See folio.


Media: Communications channel such as broadcast (radio, TV), print (newspapers, magazines, direct mail), outdoor (billboards), and multimedia (Internet).


Meet-and-greet service: A prepurchased service for meeting and greeting clients upon arrival in a city, usually at the airport, pier, or rail station, and assisting clients with entrance formalities, collecting baggage, and obtaining transportation.


Meeting/conference tour: A tour designed around a specific meeting or conference for the participants.


Microenvironment: Those forces close to a company that impact operations and marketing programs.


Mission statement: The concise description of what an organization is, its purpose, and what it intends to accomplish.


Motorcoach Tour: A tour that features the motoroach as the form of transportation to and from destinations.


Motorcoach tour operators: Tour operators that own their own motorcoaches.


Motorcoach: A large, comfortable bus that can transport travelers and their luggage long distances.


Multi-day tour: A travel package of two or more days. Most multi-day tours are escorted, all-inclusive packages.


Murder-mystery tour: A tour that features a staged "murder" and involves travelers in solving the crime.


Mystery tour: A journey to unpublicized destinations in which tour takers aren’t told where they will be going until en route or upon arrival.

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National tourism organization (NTO): A federal-government-level DMO that promotes country as a travel destination.


Needs: Those aspects of the life a person can’t do without.


Net wholesale rate: A rate usually slightly lower than the wholesale rate, applicable to groups of individuals when a hotel is specifically mentioned in a tour brochure. The rate is marked up by wholesale sellers of tours to cover distribution and promotion costs.


Niche market: A highly specialized segment of the travel market, such as an affinity group with a unique special interest.


No show: A guest with confirmed reservations who does not arrive and whose reservation was not canceled.

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Objective and task method: A process for creating a promotion budget that sets objectives first, then defines the tasks needed to achieve those objectives, and then commits funds necessary to perform the tasks.


Occupancy: The percentage of available rooms occupied for a given period. It is computed by dividing the number of rooms occupied for a period by the number of rooms available for the same period.


Off peak: Slow booking periods for suppliers. Also called the low season.


On-site guide: A tour guide who conducts tours of one or several hours’ duration at a specific building, attraction, or site.


Open-end question: A question that allows the respondent to provide a free-response answer.


Open-jaw intinerary: A travel routing design that departs from one location and returns to another. For example, travelers may fly into one city and depart from another one. Or a traveler may purchase round-trip transportation from the point of origin to one destination, at which another form of transportation is used to reach a second destination, where the traveler resumes the inital form of transportation to return to the point of origin.


Opertations: Performing the practical work of operating a tour or travel program.


Operator: See Tour Operator.


Optionals: Optional tour features that are not included in the base tour price, such as sightseeing excursions or special activities.


Outbound operator: A company that takes groups from a given city or country to another city or country.


Outbound tour: A tour that takes travelers out of the area, usually from a domestic city to another country.


Overbook: Accepting reservations for more space than is available.


Overhead: Those fixed costs involved in regular operations, such as rent, insurance, management salaries, and utilities.


Override: A commission over and above the normal base commission percentage.

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Packaged travel: A package in combination of two or more types of tour components into a product which is produced, assembled, promoted and sold as a package by a tour operator for an all-inclusive price.


Passenger vessel: Ships, yachts, ferries, boats, etc.


Patronage Program: A program that rewards the customer for loyalty and repeat purchase, such as frequent-flyer programs.


Peak season: A destination’s high season when demand is strong. Also called the high season.


Per-capita costs: Per-person costs.


Per-capita tour: See scheduled tour.


Perceived value: The ratio of perceived benefits to perceived price.


Port of entry: Destination providing customs and immigration services.


Porter: A person who handles luggage at an airport, train station, etc.; also called skycap or baggage handler.


Positioning strategy: The development of a clear, unique, and attractive image for a company and/or product in the minds of target customers.


Pre-deduct commission: When a distributor such as a travel agent takes up front the commission on a sale and sends the supplier the balance of the sales price.


Preferred Supplier: The selection of specific supplier(s) for priority promotion to customers and/or integration in travel packages in exchange for reduced rates and/or higher commission.


Preformed group: A pre-existing collection of travelers, such as affinity groups and travel clubs, whose members share a common interest or organizational affiliation.


Pre- and post-trip tour: An optional extension or side trip package before and/or after a meeting, gathering, or convention.


Primary research: The collection of data specifically to solve the marketing problem at hand.


Profit margin: A dollar value that represents the markup of a product’s price over its costs.


Promotion mix: Promotion tools including advertising, direct marketing, sales promotion, and public relations.


Promotional group tour: A travel package composed of tour elements that match the specific needs and wants of niche customers who aren’t part of an organized or preformed group.


Promotional partnership: The combination of two or more companies to offer special incentives to customers.


Property: A specific lodging structure, such as a hotel, and the ground on which it is built.


Protection overbooking: The practice of blocking space that will likely be in excess of what will actually be needed.


Psychographics: Measures of a person’s lifestyle. See also AIO variables.


Public relations (PR): A management function that determines the attitudes and opinions of an organization’s publics, identifies its policies with the interests of its publics, and formulates and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and goodwill.


Public tours: See scheduled tour.


Pull strategy: A marketing approach that creates demand at the customer level by generating awareness, interest, and desire so customers pull a product through a distribution channel by demanding it.


Push strategy: A marketing approach that creates demand at the distributor level by providing resellers with an incentive to push (sell) a product to end consumers.

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Query: The process of sorting and retrieving information from a database.


Quota sample: A research sample that involves forming groups based on certain characteristics. A random sample can then be selected form the quota segments.

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Rack rate: The published (brochure) rate for a travel component.


Reach: The measure of how many people in a market will be exposed to a certain advertisement via a specific medium.


Reasonable number: A forecast of the break-even point for a tour.


Receptive tour operator: Receptive Tour Operators are defined as United States-based companies which specialize in creating, marketing, and selling United States travel products to International Inbound travelers. Receptive Tour Operators have unique knowledge of the countries they serve and of the destinations they sell.  A Tour Operator shall be considered a Receptive when the majority of its revenue is derived from Inbound International travelers to the United States.


Relationship marketing: The process of building and nurturing ongoing, solid relationship with customers.


Research constraints: Those issues, such as cost and timing, that will limit the scope of marketing research.


Reseller: See retailer and wholesaler.


Reservation fee: A customer payment for a certain percentage of the travel package price that’s made immediately after booking.


Retail price: The actual price a cusotmer pays for a travel element or tour.


Retail tour: See scheduled tour.


Retailer: A middleman, such as a travel agent, who sells directly to the customer.


Room rates: The various rates used by lodging properties to price rooms. These include: day rate (usually one half the regular rate for a room used by a guest during the day up to 5 p.m.-sometimes called a use rate), flat rate (a specific room rate for a group agreed upon by the hotel and group in advance), group rate (same as flat rate), netgroup rate ( a wholesale rate for group business to which an operator may add a markup if desired), net wholesale rate ( a rate usually lower than the group rate and applicable to groups or individuals when a hotel is specifically mentioned in a tour folder), and published rate ( a full rate available to or advertised to the public-also called the rack rate.)


Rooming list: A printout of the names of all tour participants that also lists special lodging requests and provides a spot for the hotel or cruise ship to fill in the passenger’s room number.


Run-of-the-house rate: A flat rate for which a lodging property agrees to offer any of its available rooms to a group. Final assignment of the rooms is at the discretion of lodging management.

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Sales margin: A term used by resellers to describe profit as a percentage of sales revenue.


Sample: The portion of a population chosen to represent the population being studied for research.


Scandals tour: A light-hearted history tour that shows locations where interesting scandals took place.


Scheduled flights: Air flights that are publicly scheduled and promoted by major airlines.


Scheduled tour: A tour that’s set in a tour operator’s regular schedule of tour departures and that’s often sold to the general public. Also called public tour or retail tour.


Secondary information: Research data that was collected by another company or person and usually for a purpose that’s different than the research objectives and tasks at hand.


Shells: Preprinted brochures with photos, illustrations, and graphics but no text; also called slicks.


Shore excursion: A land tour, usually available at ports of call, sold by cruise lines or tour operators to cruise passengers.


Shoulder season: Those periods between the peak and off season when destination demand is moderate.


Sightseeing companies: Organizations that provide local guided tours


Sightseeing guide: See driver/guide.


Sightseeing tour: Short excursions of usually a few hours that focus on sightseeing and/or attraction visits.


Simple random sample: A sample that draws a group of respondents randomly from all members of the population.


Special event tour: A travel package that features major happenings, such as concerts or sporting events, as the reason for the journey.


Split itinerary: An itinerary in which part of the group does one thing while the other part does something else.


Step-on guide: A tour guide who boards a motorcoach to give detailed, expert commentary about the city or area being visited.


Strategic plan: A report that describes a company’s mission statement, goals, objectives and strategic actions.


Subcontractor: A local operator who provides services for a wholesaler.


Supplier: The actual producer and seller of travel components.


SWOT analysis: A summary of a company’s strengths and weaknesses, and the environmental opportunities and threats that will most influence it.

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Target market: The group of customers who will be the focus of a company’s marketing efforts.


Tariff: (1) Fare or rate from a supplier; (2) Class or type of a fare or rate; (3) Published list of fares or rates from a supplier; (4) Official publication compiling rates or fares and conditions of service.


Telemarketing: Direct marketing via the telephone.


Terminal: A building where clients report for trips via train, plane, etc.; also called a depot or a station.


Theme tour: A tour that’s designed around a concept of specific interest to the tour takers, such as history or sports.


Tickler system: A method for monitoring reservations and payments that’s arranged by date and points out late payments so customers can be contacted.


Tiered pricing: When suppliers offer different prices to receptive operators, tour operators, and group leaders, so each party can earn a profit by marking up the supplier's price while still offering a fair price to customers.


Tiered override plan: When commissions rise proportionately with a corresponding increase in sales.


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 broker: See tour operator.


Tour catalog: A publication by tour wholesalers listing their tour offerings. Catalogs are distributed to retail agents who make them available to their customers. Bookings by retail agents are commissionable.


Tour conductor: See tour director.


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.


Tour director: Also called tour manager, tour conductor, and tour escort. The person who is responsible for a group on tour and for most aspects of a tour’s execution.


Tour escort: See tour director.


Tour guide: A person qualified (and often certified) to conduct tours of specific locations or attractions. See also step-on guide, city guide, on-site guide, and docent.


Tour manager: See tour director.


Tour manual: A compendium of facts about a destination, tour procedures, forms, and other information that a tour operator gives to its tour directors.


Tour menu: A menu that limits group clients to two or three choices.


Tour operator: A person or company that contracts with suppliers to create and/or market a tour and/or subcontract their performance.


Tour planner: A person who researches destinations and suppliers, negotiates contracts, and creates itineraries for travel packages.


Tour order: A voucher given to the purchaser of a tour package that identifies the tour, the seller, and the fact that the tour is prepaid. The purchaser then uses this form as proof of payment and receives vouchers for meals, porterage, transfers, entrance fees, and other expenses. See also voucher.


Tour rate: See group rate.


Tour series: Multiple departures to the same destination throughout the year.


Tourism: The business of providing marketing services and facilities for leisure travelers.


Tracking study: A survey of customers before and after implementing a promotion campaign to assess changes in consumer behavior.


Transfer: Local transportation and porterage from one carrier terminal to another, from a terminal to a hotel, or from a hotel to an attraction.


Transit visa: A visa allowing the holder to stop over in a country or make a travel connection or a brief visit.


Transportation: Any method of moving travelers from one point in a journey to another, such as air, ship, rail, and motorcoach travel.


Travel agent: A person or firm qualified to arrange for lodging, meals, transportation, cruises, tours, and other travel elements


Travel component: Transportation, lodging, dining, attractions, entertainment, guide services, and other travel elements offered as part of a travel package.


Trip director: An escort for an incentive company. Larger companies reserve this title for the person who directs all personnel and activities for a particular incentive trip.


Turnaway: A potential reservation that couldn’t be satisfied because the tour (or hotel, ship, etc.) was fully booked.

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Upgrade: To move to a better accommodation or class of service.

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Value season: See off season.


Value: The relationship between the benefits associated with a product or service and the costs of obtaining the product or service. See also perceived value.


Value-added tax: (VAT): A type of tax system which adds a fixed percentage of taxation on products and services at each step of production or service delivery.


Value-based pricing: Pricing a product based on buyer perceptions of value rather than actual product costs.


Variable costs: Costs that change with sales or production levels.


Variance report: A summary of how much a company has gone above or below budget.


Visa: Stamp of approval recorded in a traveler’s passport to enter a country for a specific purpose.


Volume incentive: See override.


Volume purchase: The purchase of large quantities of a product or service.


Voucher: Documents that are exchanged for goods and service to substantiate payment that will be or already has been made.

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Waitlist: A list of clients awaiting transportation or accommodations at times when they are not available. Waitlisted clients are confirmed as a result of subsequent cancellations.


Wants: Ways in which a person satisfies a basic need.


Wholesale: Sale of travel products through an intermediary in exchange for a commission or fee generally at reduced tariffs.


Word-of-mouth promotion: Personal communication about a product or service from one customer to another.

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Yield management: Calculating and analyzing the profits earned per customer.

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