Industry Glossary


AAA American Automobile Association.
ABA American Bus Association. A trade association representing inter-city and charter bus companies.
ACOA Alaska Campground Owners Association.
ADA Americans with Disabilities Act.
ADD-ON Optional tour arrangement the customer may choose.
AHMA American Hotel & Motel Association.
AIAS Alaska International Airport System.
AIATMC Alaska International Airport Tourism Marketing Council.
AIDEA Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority.
AlaskaTIA Alaska Travel Industry Association.
ALASKA’S SOUTHWEST Regional marketing arm of Southwest Alaska Municipal Conference.
ALLOTMENT A certain number of rooms, cabins or other items held by an operator to sell, usually by a certain date.
ALMF Alaska Land Managers Forum.
AMHS Alaska Marine Highway System.
ANTC Alaska Native Tourism Council.
APLIC Alaska Public Lands Information Center.
ARDOR Alaska Regional Development Organization.
ARR Alaska Railroad.
ARTA Association of Retail Travel Agents.
ASCC Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.
ASCVB Alaska Society of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.
ASMP Alaska Society of Media Photographers.
ASTA American Society of Travel Agents.
ATIA Alaska Travel Industry Association.
ATTRACTION General term to include anything a visitor might be interested in seeing.
AVA Alaska Visitors Association. Dissolved 6/30/00
AVSP Alaska Visitors Statistics Program, a visitor study conducted by the State of Alaska, Division of Community and Business Development.
AWRTA Alaska Wilderness Recreation & Tourism Association.
B .: back to index
B&B Bed and Breakfast.
BRC Business Reply Card.
C of C Chamber of Commerce.
CARRIER Any organization that transports passengers or goods.
CHARTER To hire the exclusive use of a transportation vehicle.
CLIA Cruise Lines International Association.
COLLATERAL Brochures, posters, and other materials used to support tourism promotion.
COMMISSION An amount, which may vary, that a travel agent or tour operator receives from a supplier for marketing/selling transportation, accommodations, services or other products or services.
COMP. Complimentary.
CONCESSION A private business that operates at a public facility.
CONFIDENTIAL TARIFF A schedule of wholesale rates distributed in confidence to travel wholesalers and travel agents.
CONSORTIUM A group of persons/companies that pool together their resources to obtain benefits such as commissions, advertising, etc.
COOPERATIVE ADVERTISING Advertising that promotes and is sponsored by two or more companies or governmental agencies.
CORPORATE RATE A special rate offered to business clientele, or a rate negotiated upon by a supplier and company.
CVB Convention & Visitors Bureau.
DAY RATE Special rate for non-overnight use of a hotel room. Usually good only between 6:00am and 5:00pm.
DCCED Department of Commerce, Community, & Economic Development. The Office of Tourism falls within the realm of DCCED.
DEADHEAD (1) A person traveling on a free pass; more specifically a transportation crew or crew-member in transit. (2) To operate any empty vehicle.
DEPOSIT Partial payment used to hold space, usually refundable if cancellation is made enough in advance.
DESTINATION (1) The place to which a traveler is going. (2) In the travel industry: any city, area or country which can be marketed as a single entity to tourists.
DISCOVER AMERICA The U.S. travel industry’s national domestic travel marketing campaign, implemented by TIA, designed to stimulate pleasure travel within the U.S.
DMO Destination Marketing Organization. An organization that promotes a destination rather than a specific product such as state tourism offices, CVB’s, regional marketing organizations and chambers of commerce.
ECOTOURISM A type of tourism in which vacationers travel to unusual places to observe ecological systems and endangered wildlife species in their natural habitat.
ESCORT (1) A person, usually employed by a tour operator, who accompanies a tour from departure to return as guide or trouble-shooter. (2) A person who performs such functions only at the destination. The terms host-escort or host are often used, and are preferred, to describe this service.
ESCORTED TOUR An organized tour led by a professional tour manager.
EVENT An occurrence that attracts tourists.
FAM ORFAM TOUR Familiarization tour. A complimentary or reduced-rate travel program for travel professionals designed to acquaint them with specific destinations or suppliers and stimulate the sale of travel. Fams are also offered to journalists to cultivate media coverage of specific travel products.
FIT Has come to mean the independent traveler, one not traveling with a group.
FLY / CRUISE PACKAGE A vacation package that includes the air transportation to the port of embarkation and the cruise itself.
FLY / DRIVE PACKAGE A vacation package that includes air transportation and rental car use.
FOCUS GROUP INTERVIEW A research interview format in which a trained, objective moderator facilitates respondents’ discussion of a given topic. Focus groups are useful for examining subject’s responses to concepts and strategies, such as advertising campaigns.
FULFILLMENT Responding to requests from potential visitors.
GATEWAY City, airport or area from which a flight or tour departs.
GIT Group Inclusive Tour. A prepaid tour of specified minimum size, components and value.
HIGHWAY NEIGHBORS Loose-knit group of communities and businesses situated along the road system.
IACVB International Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.
ICTA Institute of Certified Travel Agents.
INBOUND TOURISM Vacation travel to the United States from other countries.
INCENTIVE TRAVEL (1) A trip offered as a prize, particularly to stimulate the productivity of employees or sales agents. (2) The business of operating such travel programs.
INDEPENDENT TOUR An unescorted tour sold through agents to individuals. For one price, the client receives air travel, accommodation, attraction admissions and typically, car rental.
INTERPRETATION The process of educating visitors to national parks and other cultural or historical facilities through the use of signs, markers, etc.
ITB International Tourism Exchange, held annually in Berlin, is the largest single travel trade/consumer show in Europe.
ITINERARY The travel schedule provided by a travel agent or tour operator for his or her client. A proposed or preliminary itinerary may be rather vague or specific. A final itinerary, however, provides all details–flight numbers, departure times and so on–and describes planned activities. It should be delivered shortly before departure.
KPTMC Kenai Peninsula Tourism Marketing Council.
LAND / CRUISE PACKAGE A vacation package that includes a cruise and hotel accommodation at or near the port of embarkation.
LAND OPERATOR A company or individual providing such services as hotel accommodations, sightseeing, transfers and other related services, exclusive of transportation to and from a given destination. Sometimes called a purveyor.
MARKET SEGMENT A limited portion of the total consumer market.
MARKETING The promotional activities that bring buyers and sellers together.
MOTOR COACH A large highway passenger vehicle used to perform any travel service other than scheduled transportation for individually ticketed passengers (see Bus).
NACA National Air Carriers Association.
NETRATE Wholesale rate to be marked up for eventual resale to the consumer.
NTA National Tour Association. A trade association of North American tour operators.
OUTBOUND OPERATOR A company that takes groups from a given city of country to another city or country.
OUTFITTER A business providing the equipment necessary for some adventure or activity, such as white-water rafting.
OVERRIDE COMMISSION Extra commission paid by suppliers for quantity or volume sales.
PACKAGE TOUR A tour that includes pre-paid transportation, accommodations and/or some combination of other tour elements, such as meals, transfers, sightseeing or car rental. A package tour may include more than one destination, as cruises often do.
PACKAGER Entity that puts together the tour product.
POW WOW TIA’s annual meeting for U.S. tourism businesses to meet with international inbound tour operators.
PR Public relations.
PREAND POST TOURS Optional extension or side-trip package before or after a meeting, gathering or convention.
PREFORMED GROUP A tour group in existence prior to the tour, the members of which share a common bond, interest or organizational affiliation. Also referred to as affinity group.
PROPERTY In the hospitality industry, any lodging facility, such as a hotel or motel.
PWSTC Prince William Sound Tourism Coalition.
RACK RATE The official tariff as established and posted by a business; however, not usually used by tour operators.
RECEPTIVE OPERATOR A tour operator or travel agent who specialized in services for incoming visitors. See inbound tour operators.
RECREATION The activities that people pursue in their leisure time.
RMO Regional Marketing Organization.
RTC Rural Tourism Center.
SATW Society of American Travel Writers.
SHORE EXCURSION Land tours, usually available at ports of call, sold by cruise lines or tour operators to cruise passengers.
SHOULDER SEASON That period when there is lower demand for a particular destination. In Alaska, this is usually the fall/winter seasons.
SPECIAL INTEREST GROUP TOUR A tour for clubs, societies and organizations whose members share a common interest.
SPECIAL INTEREST TOUR A tour designed to appeal to clients with curiosity or concern about a specific subject. Most such tours provide an expert tour leader and usually visit places or events of special interest to the participants. Examples of special interest tours include those featuring a particular industry or historical itinerary.
STEP-ON GUIDE A freelance guide who comes aboard a COACH to give an informed overview of the city or attraction to be toured.
SUPPLIER Those who supply travel trade with product. In the broadest sense, this could also include DMOs.
TIA or TIAA Travel Industry Association of America.
TOUR BASING FARE A reduced-rate excursion fare available only to those who buy pre-paid tours or packages. Also, any fare offered by a carrier on which a travel agent may claim a higher commission if he sells specified ground arrangements at the same time.
TOUR GUIDE The leader of a guided tour who possesses in-depth knowledge of an area’s attractions.
TOUR LEADER A person who accompanies a tour group, usually with particular knowledge of the destination.
TOUR MANAGER A person who supervises an escorted tour to oversee the group and to make sure that everything runs smoothly
TOUR OPERATOR A company that creates and/or markets inclusive tours and/or performs tour services and/or subcontracts their performance. Most tour operators sell through travel agents and directly to clients. See tour wholesaler, too.
TOUR SHELLS Brochures containing artwork, graphics and/or illustrations but bare of copy, which are overprinted by individual tour operators or wholesalers with their contact information.
TOUR SUPPLIER Those who supply the travel trade with a specific component, experience, attraction, and activity.
TOUR WHOLESALER A company that usually creates and certainly markets inclusive tours and independent tours for sale through travel agents. Often used interchangeably with tour operator, but several distinctions might be drawn: (1) A wholesaler presumably sells nothing at retail; a tour operator often does both; (2) A wholesaler does not always create his own products; a tour operator virtually always does; (3) a wholesaler is less inclined than a tour operator to perform local services. Often these distinctions are not made because many travel companies perform any or all of the functions of travel agent, tour operator and wholesaler.
TOURISM The business of providing and marketing services and facilities for pleasure travelers.
TOURISM NORTH Joint highway travel marketing program conducted by Alaska, Yukon, Alberta, British Columbia and Prince Rupert.
TRADE MISSION Group tour with a business rather than vacation purpose.
TRADE SHOW A meeting that features free-standing vendor displays and booths. Also known as trade fair.
TRANSFER The service of transportation from the modes of transportation (air, rail, bus, ship, boat) terminal to the accommodation.
TRAVEL AGENT A company or individual engaged in selling transportation and other travel services and products directly to the consumer.
TTRA Travel & Tourism Research Association.
TURNAROUND TIME Time required to clean, disassemble, and/or remove objects from a function/guest room and reset it for another function or guest.
USTDC U.S. Travel Data Center.
VOUCHER Document to be exchanged for goods or services, substantiating that payment has already been made. Also called an exchange order.
WAIT-LIST List established when there are no more ready available spaces; names waiting for cancellations.
WALKED Term used when a traveler arrives at a hotel with a reservation but no rooms are available, so the hotel pays for the traveler’s accommodations at another hotel.
WHOLESALER A company that usually creates and certainly markets inclusive tours and FITs for sale through travel agents. Often used interchangeably with tour operator, but several distinctions might be drawn: (1) A wholesaler presumably sells nothing at retail; a tour operator often does both; (2) A wholesaler does not always create his own products; a tour operator virtually always does; (3) a wholesales is less inclined than a tour operator to perform local services. Industry reportage often fails to make distinctions, and to confound things further, many travel companies perform any or all of the functions of travel agent, contractor, tour operator and wholesaler.
WTM World Travel Market. Largest trade show geared for the United Kingdom, held annually in London.