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Glossary of tourism terms

UN standards for measuring tourism

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Glossary of tourism terms

Tourism is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon which entails the movement of people to countries or places outside their usual environment for personal or business/professional purposes. These people are called visitors (which may be either tourists or excursionists; residents or non-residents) and tourism has to do with their activities, some of which involve tourism expenditure.


Activity/activities : In tourism statistics, the term activities represent the actions and behaviors of people in preparation for and during a trip in their capacity as consumers ( IRTS 2008, 1.2 ).

Activity (principal): The principal activity of a producer unit is the activity whose value added exceeds that of any other activity carried out within the same unit ( SNA 2008, 5.8 ).

Activity (productive): The (productive) activity carried out by a statistical unit is the type of production in which it engages. It has to be understood as a process, i.e. the combination of actions that result in a certain set of products. The classification of productive activities is determined by their principal output.

Administrative data : Administrative data is the set of units and data derived from an administrative source. This is a data holding information collected and maintained for the purpose of implementing one or more administrative regulations.

Adventure tourism : Adventure tourism is a type of tourism which usually takes place in destinations with specific geographic features and landscape and tends to be associated with a physical activity, cultural exchange, interaction and engagement with nature. This experience may involve some kind of real or perceived risk and may require significant physical and/or mental effort. Adventure tourism generally includes outdoor activities such as mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, rock climbing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, canyoning, mountain biking, bush walking, scuba diving. Likewise, some indoor adventure tourism activities may also be practiced.

Aggregated data : The result of transforming unit level data into quantitative measures for a set of characteristics of a population.

Aggregation : A process that transforms microdata into aggregate-level information by using an aggregation function such as count, sum average, standard deviation, etc.

Analytical unit : Entity created by statisticians, by splitting or combining observation units with the help of estimations and imputations.

Balance of payments : The balance of payments is a statistical statement that summarizes transactions between residents and non-residents during a period. It consists of the goods and services account, the primary income account, the secondary income account, the capital account, and the financial account ( BPM6, 2.12 ).

Bias : An effect which deprives a statistical result of representativeness by systematically distorting it, as distinct from a random error which may distort on any one occasion but balances out on the average.

Business and professional purpose (of a tourism trip): The business and professional purpose of a tourism trip includes the activities of the self-employed and employees, as long as they do not correspond to an implicit or explicit employer-employee relationship with a resident producer in the country or place visited, those of investors, businessmen, etc. ( IRTS 2008, 3.17.2 ).

Business tourism : Business tourism is a type of tourism activity in which visitors travel for a specific professional and/or business purpose to a place outside their workplace and residence with the aim of attending a meeting, an activity or an event. The key components of business tourism are meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions. The term "meetings industry" within the context of business tourism recognizes the industrial nature of such activities. Business tourism can be combined with any other tourism type during the same trip.

Business visitor : A business visitor is a visitor whose main purpose for a tourism trip corresponds to the business and professional category of purpose ( IRTS 2008, 3.17.2 ).

Central Product Classification : The Central Product Classification (CPC) constitutes a complete product classification covering goods and services. It is intended to serve as an international standard for assembling and tabulating all kinds of data requiring product detail, including industrial production, national accounts, service industries, domestic and foreign commodity trade, international trade in services, balance of payments, consumption and price statistics. Other basic aims are to provide a framework for international comparison and promote harmonization of various types of statistics dealing with goods and services.

Census : A census is the complete enumeration of a population or groups at a point in time with respect to well defined characteristics: for example, Population, Production, Traffic on particular roads.

Coastal, maritime and inland water tourism : Coastal tourism refers to land-based tourism activities such as swimming, surfing, sunbathing and other coastal leisure, recreation and sports activities which take place on the shore of a sea, lake or river. Proximity to the coast is also a condition for services and facilities that support coastal tourism. Maritime tourism refers to sea-based activities such as cruising, yachting, boating and nautical sports and includes their respective land-based services and infrastructure. Inland water tourism refers to tourism activities such as cruising, yachting, boating and nautical sports which take place in aquatic- influenced environments located within land boundaries and include lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, groundwater, springs, cave waters and others traditionally grouped as inland wetlands.

Coherence : Adequacy of statistics to be combined in different ways and for various uses.

Competitiveness of a tourism destination : The competitiveness of a tourism destination is the ability of the destination to use its natural, cultural, human, man-made and capital resources efficiently to develop and deliver quality, innovative, ethical and attractive tourism products and services in order to achieve a sustainable growth within its overall vision and strategic goals, increase the added value of the tourism sector, improve and diversify its market components and optimize its attractiveness and benefits both for visitors and the local community in a sustainable perspective.

Consistency : Logical and numerical coherence.

Country of reference : The country of reference refers to the country for which the measurement is done. ( IRTS 2008, 2.15 ).

Country of residence : The country of residence of a household is determined according to the centre of predominant economic interest of its members. If a person resides (or intends to reside) for more than one year in a given country and has there his/her centre of economic interest (for example, where the predominant amount of time is spent), he/she is considered as a resident of this country.

Country-specific tourism characteristic products and activities : To be determined by each country by applying the criteria of IRTS 2008, 5.10 in their own context; for these products, the activities producing them will be considered as tourism characteristic, and the industries in which the principal activity is tourism-characteristic will be called tourism industries ( IRTS 2008, 5.16 ).

Cultural tourism : Cultural tourism is a type of tourism activity in which the visitor's essential motivation is to learn, discover, experience and consume the tangible and intangible cultural attractions/products in a tourism destination. These attractions/products relate to a set of distinctive material, intellectual, spiritual and emotional features of a society that encompasses arts and architecture, historical and cultural heritage, culinary heritage, literature, music, creative industries and the living cultures with their lifestyles, value systems, beliefs and traditions.

Data checking : Activity whereby the correctness conditions of the data are verified. It also includes the specification of the type of error or of the condition not met, and the qualification of the data and their division into "error-free data" and "erroneous data".

Data collection : Systematic process of gathering data for official statistics.

Data compilation : Operations performed on data to derive new information according to a given set of rules.

Data confrontation : The process of comparing data that has generally been derived from different surveys or other sources, especially those of different frequencies, in order to assess and possibly improve their coherency, and identify the reasons for any differences.

Data processing : Data processing is the operation performed on data by the organization, institute, agency, etc., responsible for undertaking the collection, tabulation, manipulation and preparation of data and metadata output.

Data reconciliation : The process of adjusting data derived from two different sources to remove, or at least reduce, the impact of differences identified.

Destination (main destination of a trip): The main destination of a tourism trip is defined as the place visited that is central to the decision to take the trip. See also purpose of a tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.31 ).

Destination management / marketing organization (DMO) : A destination management/marketing organization (DMO) is the leading organizational entity which may encompass the various authorities, stakeholders and professionals and facilitates tourism sector partnerships towards a collective destination vision. The governance structures of DMOs vary from a single public authority to a public/ private partnership model with the key role of initiating, coordinating and managing certain activities such as implementation of tourism policies, strategic planning, product development, promotion and marketing and convention bureau activities. The functions of the DMOs may vary from national to regional and local levels depending on the current and potential needs as well as on the decentralization level of public administration. Not every tourism destination has a DMO.

Documentation: Processes and procedures for imputation,  weighting,  confidentiality  and suppression rules, outlier treatment and data capture should be fully documented by the  survey provider.  Such documentation should be made available to at least  the body financing the survey.

Domestic tourism : Domestic tourism comprises the activities of a resident visitor within the country of reference, either as part of a domestic tourism trip or part of an outbound tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.39 ).

Domestic tourism consumption : Domestic tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of a resident visitor within the economy of reference ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

Domestic tourism expenditure : Domestic tourism expenditure is the tourism expenditure of a resident visitor within the economy of reference, (IRTS 2008, 4.15(a)).

Domestic tourism trip : A domestic tourism trip is one with a main destination within the country of residence of the visitor (IRTS 2008, 2.32).

Domestic visitor : As a visitor travels within his/her country of residence, he/she is a domestic visitor and his/her activities are part of domestic tourism.

Durable consumer goods : Durable consumer goods are goods that may be used repeatedly or continuously over a period of a year or more, assuming a normal or average rate of physical usage. When acquired by producers, these are considered to be capital goods used for production processes, as is the case of vehicles, computers, etc. When acquired by households, they are considered to be consumer durable goods ( TSA:RMF 2008, 2.39 ). This definition is identical to the definition of SNA 2008, 9.42 : A consumer durable is a goodthat may be used for purposes of consumption repeatedly or continuously over a period of a year or more.

Dwellings : Each household has a principal dwelling (sometimes also designated as main or primary home), usually defined with reference to time spent there, whose location defines the country of residence and place of usual residence of this household and of all its members. All other dwellings (owned or leased by the household) are considered secondary dwellings ( IRTS 2008, 2.26 ).

Ecotourism : Ecotourism is a type of nature-based tourism activity in which the visitor's essential motivation is to observe, learn, discover, experience and appreciate biological and cultural diversity with a responsible attitude to protect the integrity of the ecosystem and enhance the well-being of the local community. Ecotourism increases awareness towards the conservation of biodiversity, natural environment and cultural assets both among locals and the visitors and requires special management processes to minimize the negative impact on the ecosystem.

Economic analysis : Tourism generates directly and indirectly an increase in economic activity in the places visited (and beyond), mainly due to demand for goods and services thatneed to be produced and provided. In the economic analysis of tourism, one may distinguish between tourism's 'economic contribution' which refers to the direct effect of tourism and is measurable by means of the TSA, and tourism's 'economic impact' which is a much broader concept encapsulating the direct, indirect and induced effects of tourism and which must be estimated by applying models. Economic impact studies aim to quantify economic benefits, that is, the net increase in the wealth of residents resulting from tourism, measured in monetary terms, over and above the levels that would prevail in its absence.

Economic territory : The term "economic territory" is a geographical reference and points to the country for which the measurement is done (country of reference) ( IRTS 2008, 2.15 ).

Economically active population : The economically active population or labour force comprises all persons of either sex who furnish the supply of labour for the production of goods and services as defined by the system of national accounts during a specified time-reference period (ILO, Thirteenth ICLS, 6.18).

Economy (of reference): "Economy" (or "economy of reference") is an economic reference defined in the same way as in the balance of payments and in the system of national accounts: it refers to the economic agents that are resident in the country of reference ( IRTS 2008, 2.15 ).

Education tourism : Education tourism covers those types of tourism which have as a primary motivation the tourist's engagement and experience in learning, self-improvement, intellectual growth and skills development. Education Tourism represents a broad range of products and services related to academic studies, skill enhancement holidays, school trips, sports training, career development courses and language courses, among others.

Employees : Employees are all those workers who hold the type of job defined as "paid employment" (ILO, Fifteenth ICLS, pp. 20-22).

Employer-employee relationship : An employer-employee relationship exists when there is an agreement, which may be formal or informal, between an entity and an individual, normally entered into voluntarily by both parties, whereby the individual works for the entity in return for remuneration in cash or in kind ( BPM6, 11.11 ).

Employers : Employers are those workers who, working on their own account with one or more partners, hold the type of job defined as a "self-employment job" and, in this capacity, on a continuous basis (including the reference period) have engaged one or more persons to work for them in their business as "employee(s)" (ILO, Fifteenth ICLS, pp. 20-22).

Employment : Persons in employment are all persons above a specified age who, during a specified brief period, either one week or one day, were in paid employment or self-employment (OECD GST, p. 170).

Employment in tourism industries : Employment in tourism industries may be measured as a count of the persons employed in tourism industries in any of their jobs, as a count of the persons employed in tourism industries in their main job, or as a count of the jobs in tourism industries ( IRTS 2008, 7.9 ).

Enterprise : An enterprise is an institutional unit engaged in production of goods and/or services. It may be a corporation, a non-profit institution, or an unincorporated enterprise. Corporate enterprises and non-profit institutions are complete institutional units. An unincorporated enterprise, however, refers to an institutional unit —a household or government unit —only in its capacity as a producer of goods and services (OECD BD4, p. 232)

Establishment : An establishment is an enterprise, or part of an enterprise, that is situated in a single location and in which only a single productive activity is carried out or in which the principal productive activity accounts for most of the value added ( SNA 2008, 5.14 ).

Estimation : Estimation is concerned with inference about the numerical value of unknown population values from incomplete data such as a sample. If a single figure is calculated for each unknown parameter the process is called "point estimation". If an interval is calculated within which the parameter is likely, in some sense, to lie, the process is called "interval estimation".

Exports of goods and services : Exports of goods and services consist of sales, barter, or gifts or grants, of goods and services from residents to non-residents (OECD GST, p. 194)

Frame : A list, map or other specification of the units which define a population to be completely enumerated or sampled.

Forms of tourism : There are three basic forms of tourism: domestic tourism, inbound tourism, and outbound tourism. These can be combined in various ways to derive the following additional forms of tourism: internal tourism, national tourism and international tourism.

Gastronomy tourism :  Gastronomy tourism is a type of tourism activity which is characterized by the visitor's experience linked with food and related products and activities while travelling. Along with authentic, traditional, and/or innovative culinary experiences, Gastronomy Tourism may also involve other related activities such as visiting the local producers, participating in food festivals and attending cooking classes. Eno-tourism (wine tourism), as a sub-type of gastronomy tourism, refers to tourism whose purpose is visiting vineyards, wineries, tasting, consuming and/or purchasing wine, often at or near the source.

Goods : Goods are physical, produced objects for which a demand exists, over which ownership rights can be established and whose ownership can be transferred from one institutional unit to another by engaging in transactions on markets ( SNA 2008, p. 623 ).

Gross fixed capital formation : Gross fixed capital formation is defined as the value of institutional units' acquisitions less disposals of fixed assets. Fixed assets are produced assets (such as machinery, equipment, buildings or other structures) that are used repeatedly or continuously in production over several accounting periods (more than one year) ( SNA 2008, 1.52 ).

Gross margin : The gross margin of a provider of reservation services is the difference between the value at which the intermediated service is sold and the value accrued to the provider of reservation services for this intermediated service.

Gross value added : Gross value added is the value of output less the value of intermediate consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, 3.32 ).

Gross value added of tourism industries : Gross value added of tourism industries (GVATI) is the total gross value added of all establishments belonging to tourism industries, regardless of whether all their output is provided to visitors and the degree of specialization of their production process ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.86 ).

Grossing up : Activity aimed at transforming, based on statistical methodology, micro-data from samples into aggregate-level information representative of the target population.

Health tourism : Health tourism covers those types of tourism which have as a primary motivation, the contribution to physical, mental and/or spiritual health through medical and wellness-based activities which increase the capacity of individuals to satisfy their own needs and function better as individuals in their environment and society. Health tourism is the umbrella term for the subtypes wellness tourism and medical tourism.

Imputation : Procedure for entering a value for a specific data item where the response is missing or unusable.

Inbound tourism : Inbound tourism comprises the activities of a non-resident visitor within the country of reference on an inbound tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.39 ).

Inbound tourism consumption : Inbound tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of a non-resident visitor within the economy of reference ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

Inbound tourism expenditure : Inbound tourism expenditure is the tourism expenditure of a non-resident visitor within the economy of reference ( IRTS 2008, 4.15(b) ).

Innovation in tourism : Innovation in tourism is the introduction of a new or improved component which intends to bring tangible and intangible benefits to tourism stakeholders and the local community, improve the value of the tourism experience and the core competencies of the tourism sector and hence enhance tourism competitiveness and /or sustainability. Innovation in tourism may cover potential areas, such as tourism destinations, tourism products, technology, processes, organizations and business models, skills, architecture, services, tools and/or practices for management, marketing, communication, operation, quality assurance and pricing.

Institutional sector : An aggregation of institutional units on the basis of the type of producer and depending on their principal activity and function, which are considered to be indicative of their economic behaviour.

Institutional unit : The elementary economic decision-making centre characterised by uniformity of behaviour and decision-making autonomy in the exercise of its principal function.

Intermediate consumption : Intermediate consumption consists of the value of the goods and services consumed as inputs by a process of production, excluding fixed assets whose consumption is recorded as consumption of fixed capital ( SNA 2008, 6.213 ).

Internal tourism : Internal tourism comprises domestic tourism and inbound tourism, that is to say, the activities of resident and non-resident visitors within the country of reference as part of domestic or international tourism trips ( IRTS 2008, 2.40(a) ).

Internal tourism consumption : Internal tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of both resident and non-resident visitors within the economy of reference. It is the sum of domestic tourism consumption and inbound tourism consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

Internal tourism expenditure : Internal tourism expenditure comprises all tourism expenditure of visitors, both resident and non-resident, within the economy of reference. It is the sum of domestic tourism expenditure and inbound tourism expenditure. It includes acquisition of goods and services imported into the country of reference and sold to visitors. This indicator provides the most comprehensive measurement of tourism expenditure in the economy of reference ( IRTS 2008, 4.20(a) ).

International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities : The International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) consists of a coherent and consistent classification structure of economic activities based on a set of internationally agreed concepts, definitions, principles and classification rules. It provides a comprehensive framework within which economic data can be collected and reported in a format that is designed for purposes of economic analysis, decision-taking and policymaking. The classification structure represents a standard format to organize detailed information about the state of an economy according to economic principles and perceptions (ISIC, Rev.4, 1).

International tourism : International tourism comprises inbound tourism and outbound tourism, that is to say, the activities of resident visitors outside the country of reference, either as part of domestic or outbound tourism trips and the activities of non-resident visitors within the country of reference on inbound tourism trips ( IRTS 2008, 2.40(c) ).

International visitor : An international traveller qualifies as an international visitor with respect to the country of reference if: (a) he/she is on a tourism trip and (b) he/she is a non-resident travelling in the country of reference or a resident travelling outside of it ( IRTS 2008, 2.42 ).

Job : The agreement between an employee and the employer defines a job and each self-employed person has a job ( SNA 2008, 19.30 ).

Measurement error : Error in reading, calculating or recording numerical value.

Medical tourism : Medical tourism is a type of tourism activity which involves the use of evidence-based medical healing resources and services (both invasive and non-invasive). This may include diagnosis, treatment, cure, prevention and rehabilitation.

Meetings industry : To highlight purposes relevant to the meetings industry, if a trip's main purpose is business/professional, it can be further subdivided into "attending meetings, conferences or congresses, trade fairs and exhibitions" and "other business and professional purposes". The term meetings industry is preferred by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), Meeting Professionals International (MPI) and Reed Travel over the acronym MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) which does not recognize the industrial nature of such activities.

Metadata : Data that defines and describes other data and processes.

MICE : See meetings industry.

Microdata : Non-aggregated observations, or measurements of characteristics of individual units.

Mirror statistics : Mirror statistics are used to conduct bilateral comparisons of two basic measures of a trade flow and are a traditional tool for detecting the causes of asymmetries in statistics (OECD GST, p. 335).

Mountain tourism : Mountain tourism is a type of tourism activity which takes place in a defined and limited geographical space such as hills or mountains with distinctive characteristics and attributes that are inherent to a specific landscape, topography, climate, biodiversity (flora and fauna) and local community. It encompasses a broad range of outdoor leisure and sports activities.

National tourism : National tourism comprises domestic tourism and outbound tourism, that is to say, the activities of resident visitors within and outside the country of reference, either as part of domestic or outbound tourism trips ( IRTS 2008, 2.40(b) ).

National tourism consumption : National tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of resident visitors, within and outside the economy of reference. It is the sum of domestic tourism consumption and outbound tourism consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

National tourism expenditure : National tourism expenditure comprises all tourism expenditure of resident visitors within and outside the economy of reference. It is the sum of domestic tourism expenditure and outbound tourism expenditure ( IRTS 2008, 4.20(b) ).

Nationality : The concept of "country of residence" of a traveller is different from that of his/her nationality or citizenship ( IRTS 2008, 2.19 ).

Non-monetary indicators : Data measured in physical or other non-monetary units should not be considered a secondary part of a satellite account. They are essential components, both for the information they provide directly and in order to analyse the monetary data adequately ( SNA 2008, 29.84 ).

Observation unit : entity on which information is received and statistics are compiled.

Outbound tourism : Outbound tourism comprises the activities of a resident visitor outside the country of reference, either as part of an outbound tourism trip or as part of a domestic tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.39(c) ).

Outbound tourism consumption : Outbound tourism consumption is the tourism consumption of a resident visitor outside the economy of reference ( TSA:RMF 2008, figure 2.1 ).

Outbound tourism expenditure : Outbound tourism expenditure is the tourism expenditure of a resident visitor outside the economy of reference ( IRTS 2008, 4.15(c) ).

Output : Output is defined as the goods and services produced by an establishment, a) excluding the value of any goods and services used in an activity for which the establishment does not assume the risk of using the products in production, and b) excluding the value of goods and services consumed by the same establishment except for goods and services used for capital formation (fixed capital or changes in inventories) or own final consumption ( SNA 2008, 6.89 ).

Output (main): The main output of a (productive) activity should be determined by reference to the value added of the goods sold or services rendered (ISIC rev.4, 114).

Pilot survey : The aim of a pilot survey is to test the questionnaire (pertinence of the questions, understanding of questions by those being interviewed, duration of the interview) and to check various potential sources for sampling and non-sampling errors: for instance, the place in which the surveys are carried out and the method used, the identification of any omitted answers and the reason for the omission, problems of communicating in various languages, translation, the mechanics of data collection, the organization of field work, etc.

Place of usual residence : The place of usual residence is the geographical place where the enumerated person usually resides, and is defined by the location of his/her principal dwelling (Principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses of the United Nations, 2.20 to 2.24).

Probability sample : A sample selected by a method based on the theory of probability (random process), that is, by a method involving knowledge of the likelihood of any unit being selected.

Production account : The production account records the activity of producing goods and services as defined within the SNA. Its balancing item, gross value added, is defined as the value of output less the value of intermediate consumption and is a measure of the contribution to GDP made by an individual producer, industry or sector. Gross value added is the source from which the primary incomes of the SNA are generated and is therefore carried forward into the primary distribution of income account. Value added and GDP may also be measured net by deducting consumption of fixed capital, a figure representing the decline in value during the period of the fixed capital used in a production process ( SNA 2008, 1.17 ).

Production : Economic production may be defined as an activity carried out under the control and responsibility of an institutional unit that uses inputs of labour, capital, and goods and services to produce outputs of goods or services ( SNA 2008, 6.24. ).

Purpose of a tourism trip (main): The main purpose of a tourism trip is defined as the purpose in the absence of which the trip would not have taken place ( IRTS 2008, 3.10. ). Classification of tourism trips according to the main purpose refers to nine categories: this typology allows the identification of different subsets of visitors (business visitors, transit visitors, etc.) See also destination of a tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 3.14 ).

Quality of a tourism destination : Quality of a tourism destination is the result of a process which implies the satisfaction of all tourism product and service needs, requirements and expectations of the consumer at an acceptable price, in conformity with mutually accepted contractual conditions and the implicit underlying factors such as safety and security, hygiene, accessibility, communication, infrastructure and public amenities and services. It also involves aspects of ethics, transparency and respect towards the human, natural and cultural environment. Quality, as one of the key drivers of tourism competitiveness, is also a professional tool for organizational, operational and perception purposes for tourism suppliers.

Questionnaire and Questionnaire design : Questionnaire is a group or sequence of questions designed to elicit information on a subject, or sequence of subjects, from a reporting unit or from another producer of official statistics. Questionnaire design is the design (text, order, and conditions for skipping) of the questions used to obtain the data needed for the survey.

Reference period : The period of time or point in time to which the measured observation is intended to refer.

Relevance : The degree to which statistics meet current and potential users' needs.

Reliability : Closeness of the initial estimated value to the subsequent estimated value.

Reporting unit : Unit that supplies the data for a given survey instance, like a questionnaire or interview. Reporting units may, or may not, be the same as the observation unit.

Residents/non-residents : The residents of a country are individuals whose centre of predominant economic interest is located in its economic territory. For a country, the non-residents are individuals whose centre of predominant economic interest is located outside its economic territory.

Response and non-response : Response and non-response to various elements of a survey entail potential errors.

Response error : Response errors may be defined as those arising from the interviewing process. Such errors may be due to a number of circumstances, such as inadequate concepts or questions; inadequate training; interviewer failures; respondent failures.

Rural tourism : Rural tourism is a type of tourism activity in which the visitor's experience is related to a wide range of products generally linked to nature-based activities, agriculture, rural lifestyle / culture, angling and sightseeing. Rural tourism activities take place in non-urban (rural) areas with the following characteristics:

  • Low population density;
  • Landscape and land-use dominated by agriculture and forestry; and
  • Traditional social structure and lifestyle

Same-day visitor (or excursionist): A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise ( IRTS 2008, 2.13 ).

Sample : A subset of a frame where elements are selected based on a process with a known probability of selection.

Sample survey : A survey which is carried out using a sampling method.

Sampling error : That part of the difference between a population value and an estimate thereof, derived from a random sample, which is due to the fact that only a subset of the population is enumerated.

Satellite accounts : There are two types of satellite accounts, serving two different functions. The first type, sometimes called an internal satellite, takes the full set of accounting rules and conventions of the SNA but focuses on a particular aspect of interest by moving away from the standard classifications and hierarchies. Examples are tourism, coffee production and environmental protection expenditure. The second type, called an external satellite, may add non-economic data or vary some of the accounting conventions or both. It is a particularly suitable way to explore new areas in a research context. An example may be the role of volunteer labour in the economy ( SNA 2008, 29.85 ).

SDMX, Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange : Set of technical standards and content-oriented guidelines, together with an IT architecture and tools, to be used for the efficient exchange and sharing of statistical data and metadata (SDMX).

Seasonal adjustment : Seasonal adjustment is a statistical technique to remove the effects of seasonal calendar influences on a series. Seasonal effects usually reflect the influence of the seasons themselves, either directly or through production series related to them, or social conventions. Other types of calendar variation occur as a result of influences such as number of days in the calendar period, the accounting or recording practices adopted or the incidence of moving holidays.

Self-employment job : Self-employment jobs are those jobs where remuneration is directly dependent upon the profits (or the potential of profits) derived from the goods or services produced.

Self-employed with paid employees : Self-employed with paid employees are classified as employers.

Self-employed without employees : Self-employed without employees are classified as own-account workers.

Services : Services are the result of a production activity that changes the conditions of the consuming units, or facilitates the exchange of products or financial assets. They cannot be traded separately from their production. By the time their production is completed, they must have been provided to the consumers ( SNA 2008, 6.17 ).

Social transfers in kind : A special case of transfers in kind is that of social transfers in kind. These consist of goods and services provided by general government and non-profit institutions serving households (NPISHs) that are delivered to individual households. Health and education services are the prime examples. Rather than provide a specified amount of money to be used to purchase medical and educational services, the services are often provided in kind to make sure that the need for the services is met. (Sometimes the recipient purchases the service and is reimbursed by the insurance or assistance scheme. Such a transaction is still treated as being in kind because the recipient is merely acting as the agent of the insurance scheme) (SNA 2008, 3.83).

Sports tourism : Sports tourism is a type of tourism activity which refers to the travel experience of the tourist who either observes as a spectator or actively participates in a sporting event generally involving commercial and non-commercial activities of a competitive nature.

Standard classification : Classifications that follow prescribed rules and are generally recommended and accepted.

Statistical error : The unknown difference between the retained value and the true value.

Statistical indicator : A data element that represents statistical data for a specified time, place, and other characteristics, and is corrected for at least one dimension (usually size) to allow for meaningful comparisons.

Statistical metadata : Data about statistical data.

Statistical unit : Entity about which information is sought and about which statistics are compiled. Statistical units may be identifiable legal or physical entities or statistical constructs.

Survey : An investigation about the characteristics of a given population by means of collecting data from a sample of that population and estimating their characteristics through the systematic use of statistical methodology.

System of National Accounts : The System of National Accounts (SNA) is the internationally agreed standard set of recommendations on how to compile measures of economic activity in accordance with strict accounting conventions based on economic principles. The recommendations are expressed in terms of a set of concepts, definitions, classifications and accounting rules that comprise the internationally agreed standard for measuring indicators of economic performance. The accounting framework of the SNA allows economic data to be compiled and presented in a format that is designed for purposes of economic analysis, decision-taking and policymaking ( SNA 2008, 1.1 ).

Total tourism internal demand : Total tourism internal demand, is the sum of internal tourism consumption, tourism gross fixed capital formation and tourism collective consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.114 ). It does not include outbound tourism consumption.

Tourism : Tourism refers to the activity of visitors ( IRTS 2008, 2.9 ).

Tourism characteristic activities : Tourism characteristic activities are the activities that typically produce tourism characteristic products. As the industrial origin of a product (the ISIC industry that produces it) is not a criterion for the aggregation of products within a similar CPC category, there is no strict one-to-one relationship between products and the industries producing them as their principal outputs ( IRTS 2008, 5.11 ).

Tourism characteristic products : Tourism characteristic products are those that satisfy one or both of the following criteria: a) Tourism expenditure on the product should represent a significant share total tourism expenditure (share-of-expenditure/demand condition); b) Tourism expenditure on the product should represent a significant share of the supply of the product in the economy (share-of-supply condition). This criterion implies that the supply of a tourism characteristic product would cease to exist in meaningful quantity in the absence of visitors ( IRTS 2008, 5.10 ).

Tourism connected products : Their significance within tourism analysis for the economy of reference is recognized although their link to tourism is very limited worldwide. Consequently, lists of such products will be country-specific ( IRTS 2008, 5.12 ).

Tourism consumption : Tourism consumption has the same formal definition as tourism expenditure. Nevertheless, the concept of tourism consumption used in the Tourism Satellite Account goes beyond that of tourism expenditure. Besides the amount paid for the acquisition of consumption goods and services, as well as valuables for own use or to give away, for and during tourism trips, which corresponds to monetary transactions (the focus of tourism expenditure), it also includes services associated with vacation accommodation on own account, tourism social transfers in kind and other imputed consumption. These transactions need to be estimated using sources different from information collected directly from the visitors, such as reports on home exchanges, estimations of rents associated with vacation homes, calculations of financial intermediation services indirectly measured (FISIM), etc. ( TSA:RMF 2008, 2.25 ).

Tourism destination : A tourism destination is a physical space with or without administrative and/or analytical boundaries in which a visitor can spend an overnight. It is the cluster (co-location) of products and services, and of activities and experiences along the tourism value chain and a basic unit of analysis of tourism. A destination incorporates various stakeholders and can network to form larger destinations. It is also intangible with its image and identity which may influence its market competitiveness.

Tourism direct gross domestic product : Tourism direct gross domestic product (TDGDP) is the sum of the part of gross value added (at basic prices) generated by all industries in response to internal tourism consumption plus the amount of net taxes on products and imports included within the value of this expenditure at purchasers' prices ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.96 ).

Tourism direct gross value added : Tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA) is the part of gross value added generated by tourism industries and other industries of the economy that directly serve visitors in response to internal tourism consumption ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.88 ).

Tourism expenditure : Tourism expenditure refers to the amount paid for the acquisition of consumption goods and services, as well as valuables, for own use or to give away, for and during tourism trips. It includes expenditures by visitors themselves, as well as expenses that are paid for or reimbursed by others ( IRTS 2008, 4.2 ).

Tourism industries : The tourism industries comprise all establishments for which the principal activity is a tourism characteristic activity. Tourism industries (also referred to as tourism activities) are the activities that typically producetourism characteristic products. The term tourism industries is equivalent to tourism characteristic activities and the two terms are sometimes used synonymously in the IRTS 2008, 5.10, 5.11 and figure 5.1 .

Tourism product : A tourism product is a combination of tangible and intangible elements, such as natural, cultural and man-made resources, attractions, facilities, services and activities around a specific center of interest which represents the core of the destination marketing mix and creates an overall visitor experience including emotional aspects for the potential customers. A tourism product is priced and sold through distribution channels and it has a life-cycle.

Tourism ratio : For each variable of supply in the Tourism Satellite Account, the tourism ratiois the ratio between the total value of tourism share and total value of the corresponding variable in the Tourism Satellite Account expressed in percentage form ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.56 ). (See also Tourism share).

Tourism Satellite Account : The Tourism Satellite Account is the second international standard on tourism statistics (Tourism Satellite Account: Recommended Methodological Framework 2008 –TSA:RMF 2008) that has been developed in order to present economic data relative to tourism within a framework of internal and external consistency with the rest of the statistical system through its link to the System of National Accounts. It is the basic reconciliation framework of tourism statistics. As a statistical tool for the economic accounting of tourism, the TSA can be seen as a set of 10 summary tables, each with their underlying data and representing a different aspect of the economic data relative to tourism: inbound, domestic tourism and outbound tourism expenditure, internal tourism expenditure, production accounts of tourism industries, the Gross Value Added (GVA) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) attributable to tourism demand, employment, investment, government consumption, and non-monetary indicators.

Tourism Satellite Account aggregates : The compilation of the following aggregates, which represent a set of relevant indicators of the size of tourism in an economy is recommended ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.81 ):

  • Internal tourism expenditure;
  • Internal tourism consumption;
  • Gross value added of tourism industries (GVATI);
  • Tourism direct gross value added (TDGVA);
  • Tourism direct gross domestic product (TDGDP).

Tourism sector : The tourism sector, as contemplated in the TSA, is the cluster of production units in different industries that provide consumption goods and services demanded by visitors. Such industries are called tourism industries because visitor acquisition represents such a significant share of their supply that, in the absence of visitors, their production of these would cease to exist in meaningful quantity.

Tourism share : Tourism share is the share of the corresponding fraction of internal tourism consumption in each component of supply ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.51 ). For each industry, the tourism share of output (in value), is the sum of the tourism share corresponding to each product component of its output ( TSA:RMF 2008, 4.55 ). (See also Tourism ratio ).

Tourism single-purpose consumer durable goods : Tourism single-purpose consumer durables is a specific category of consumer durable goods that include durable goods that are used exclusively, or almost exclusively, by individuals while on tourism trips ( TSA:RMF 2008 , 2.41 and Annex 5 ).

Tourism trip : Trips taken by visitors are tourism trips ( IRTS 2008, 2.29 ).

Tourist (or overnight visitor): A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise ( IRTS 2008, 2.13 ).

Tourism value chain : The tourism value chain is the sequence of primary and support activities which are strategically fundamental for the performance of the tourism sector. Linked processes such as policy making and integrated planning, product development and packaging, promotion and marketing, distribution and sales and destination operations and services are the key primary activities of the tourism value chain. Support activities involve transport and infrastructure, human resource development, technology and systems development and other complementary goods and services which may not be related to core tourism businesses but have a high impact on the value of tourism.

Travel / traveller : Travel refers to the activity of travellers. A traveller is someone who moves between different geographic locations, for any purpose and any duration ( IRTS 2008, 2.4 ). The visitor is a particular type of traveller and consequently tourism is a subset of travel.

Travel group : A travel group is made up of individuals or travel parties travelling together: examples are people travelling on the same package tour or youngsters attending a summer camp ( IRTS 2008, 3.5 ).

Travel item (in balance of payments): Travel is an item of the goods and services account of the balance of payments: travel credits cover goods and services for own use or to give away acquired from an economy by non-residents during visits to that economy. Travel debits cover goods and services for own use or to give away acquired from other economies by residents during visits to other economies ( BPM6, 10.86 ).

Travel party : A travel party is defined as visitors travelling together on a trip and whose expenditures are pooled ( IRTS 2008, 3.2 ).

Trip : A trip refers to the travel by a person from the time of departure from his/her usual residence until he/she returns: it thus refers to a round trip. Trips taken by visitors are tourism trips.

Urban/city tourism : Urban/city tourism is a type of tourism activity which takes place in an urban space with its inherent attributes characterized by non-agricultural based economy such as administration, manufacturing, trade and services and by being nodal points of transport. Urban/city destinations offer a broad and heterogeneous range of cultural, architectural, technological, social and natural experiences and products for leisure and business.

Usual environment: The usual environment of an individual, a key concept in tourism, is defined as the geographical area (though not necessarily a contiguous one) within which an individual conducts his/her regular life routines ( IRTS 2008, 2.21 ).

Usual residence : The place of usual residence is the geographical place where the enumerated person usually resides (Principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses of the United Nations, 2.16 to 2.18).

Vacation home : A vacation home (sometimes also designated as a holiday home) is a secondary dwelling that is visited by the members of the household mostly for purposes of recreation, vacation or any other form of leisure ( IRTS 2008, 2.27 ).

Valuables : Valuables are produced goods of considerable value that are not used primarily for purposes of production or consumption but are held as stores of value over time ( SNA 2008, 10.13 ).

Visit : A trip is made up of visits to different places.The term "tourism visit" refers to a stay in a place visited during a tourism trip ( IRTS 2008, 2.7 and 2.33 ).

Visitor : A visitor is a traveller taking a trip to a main destination outside his/her usual environment, for less than a year, for any main purpose (business, leisure or other personal purpose) other than to be employed by a resident entity in the country or place visited ( IRTS 2008, 2.9 ). A visitor (domestic, inbound or outbound) is classified as a tourist (or overnight visitor), if his/her trip includes an overnight stay, or as a same-day visitor (or excursionist) otherwise ( IRTS 2008, 2.13 ).

Wellness tourism : Wellness tourism is a type of tourism activity which aims to improve and balance all of the main domains of human life including physical, mental, emotional, occupational, intellectual and spiritual. The primary motivation for the wellness tourist is to engage in preventive, proactive, lifestyle-enhancing activities such as fitness, healthy eating, relaxation, pampering and healing treatments.

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Do you have a glossary of travel, tourism & hospitality terms?

Every industry has its own jargon and lingo. tourism is no different. here's a great list of tourism terms that you should know..

The list has been compiled by the world-class team of strategists, consultants, educators and established tourism experts at the nonprofit Tourism Academy . Our team offers relationship powered professional development, trade marketing, tourism development and consulting solutions. 

Glossary of Tourism Terms

tourism glossary

adventure travel:  a type of niche tourism, involving exploration or travel with a certain degree of risk (real or perceived), and which may require special skills and physical exertion 

affinity group : a group of people linked by a common interest or purpose. See also pre- formed group. 

agent : one who acts or has the power to act as the representative of another. A person whose job it is to arrange travel for end clients (individuals, groups, corporations), confirming travel components and simplifying the planning process for customers, providing consultation services and travel packages. 

American Bus Association (ABA) : A trade organization consisting of member bus lines throughout the country. www.buses.org 

American National Standards Institute (ANSI): A private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. www.ansi.org

American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA):  The oldest and largest travel agent organization in the world with travel agents being the primary members. Other companies providing travel industry products and services can be associate members. www.astanet.com 

Application Programming Interface  ( API) : a code that allows two software programs to communicate with each other. 

attrition : Shortfall of sleeping room block pick-up or food-and-beverage projections from numbers agreed to in a contract. Penalties for attrition may be outlined in a contract’s attrition clause. 

Average Daily Rate (ADR) : a statistical unit that represents the average rental income per paid occupied room in a given time period. 

back of house : a business term that refers to parts of a business operation that customers do not see. This may refer to mechanical rooms, accounting offices, kitchens, and those persons who are engaged in those areas. 

block : a group of rooms, tickets, seats or space reserved for a specific customer - usually for a set period of time. Room blocks are commonly reserved for conventions, meetings or groups in general. Room blocks may also be allocated to high volume buyers (wholesale, receptive, tour) who intend to sell them as tour components on an ongoing basis. A room block is usually under a firm agreement and is for a set period of time. 

Brand USA : A public/private partnership to promote inbound tourism to the United States and communicate US entry/exit policies. Also known as the Corporation for Travel Promotion. www.thebrandusa.com 

bulk pricing : the practice of offering exceptionally low, typically non-commissionable rates to high volume buyers who purchase a specified number of units to resell at a mark up. 

campaign : A specific, defined series of activities used in marketing a new or changed product or service, or in using new marketing channels and methods. 

Certified Tour Professional (CTP) : A designation administered by the National Tour Foundation and conferred upon tour professionals who complete prescribed evaluation requirements. 

certificate:  an official document attesting to a fact such as a level of achievement in a course of study or training.

certification: the action or process of providing someone or something with an official document attesting to a status or level of achievement. See also: American National Standards Institute

certified: officially recognized as possessing certain qualifications or meeting certain standards. 

Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) : A designation conferred upon travel professionals who have completed a travel management program offered by the Institute of Certified Travel Agents. 

Certified Meeting Planner (CMP) : A designation conferred upon convention and meeting management professionals who have completed an application and written exam offered by the Events Industry Council. 

channel manager : a system or platform that coordinates the distribution of product details, inventory and pricing in real time across multiple sales “channels” 

charter : to hire for exclusive use any aircraft, motorcoach, cruise ship or other vehicle 

class of service : a parameter used to differentiate the types of accommodation offered by travel suppliers, often denoted by fare code on air tickets. Classes may reflect differences in space, comfort, amenities and cabin service. Ex: First Class, Business Class, Coach Class or please hold this chicken until we land. 

commercial rate : A special rate given by a hotel or rental car, motor coach, bus or passenger transport company to an organization based on either the volume of business done or the type of accommodation or rental car. Also referred to as a corporate rate. 

commission : The varying amount paid by suppliers to travel agents for the sale of travel products and services. 

commissioned tours : A tour available for sale through retail and wholesale travel agencies, which provides for a payment of an agreed upon sales commission either to the retail or wholesale seller.

complementary : goods or services that add to the value of another good or service. Ex: peanut butter complements jelly

complimentary (comp) : Service, space or item given at no charge.

complimentary (comp) ratio : The number of rooms, tickets, meals or service items provided at no cost based on the number of occupied rooms.

  • The industry standard is one complimentary room per 20-50 rooms occupied per day. 
  • The industry standard for ticketed attractions and restaurants is one complimentary admission/meal per 10-20 paid. 

complimentary registration : Waiver of registration fees. 

concierge : a hotel employee whose job is to assist guests by arranging tours, local transportation, making reservations for theater or restaurants, etc. 

Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) : A nonprofit organization supported by bed taxes, government budget allocations, private memberships or a combination of these. A CVB promotes tourism, encourages groups to hold meetings and trade shows in its city, and assists groups before and during meetings. 

consolidator : a person or company which forms groups to travel using group rates on to increase sales, earn override commissions or reduce the possibility of tour cancellations. 

consortium : a loosely knit group of independently owned and managed companies such as travel agencies, tour operators, hotels, or other suppliers, with a joint marketing distribution process 

convention and visitors bureau (CVB) : a nonprofit local organizations charged with representing (and promoting) a specific destination. CVBs are funded by transient room taxes, government budget allocations, private membership dues, sponsorship sales and program participation fees, or a combination of these mechanisms.  See also: destination marketing organization 

co-op marketing: outreach activities that help multiple suppliers reach the target audience by sharing costs, resources and tactics. 

course: a series of lessons or modules to teach the skills and knowledge for a particular job or activity. 

destination : a place where travelers might visit. This may be any neighborhood, city, region or country that can be marketing as a single entity for tourists. 

destination management company (DMC) : Company or professional individual engaged in organizing tours, meetings of all types and their related activities. Also referred to as a ground operator. 

destination marketing organization (DMO) : A nonprofit marketing organization for a city, state, province, region or area whose primary purpose is the promotion of the destination.  See also: convention & visitors bureau 

direct spend : the value of goods and services purchased by tourists (e.g., attraction ticket, hotel room rate and meals) 

double double : refers to a room containing two separate double beds, capable of sleeping up to four guests comfortably, sometimes referred to as a “quad” 

double occupancy rate : the price per person for a room that will be shared between two people 

dynamic pricing : the practice of varying the price for a product or service to reflect changing market conditions, in particular the charging of a higher price during times of greater demand. This is the opposite of static pricing. 

educational travel : a type of niche tourism, built around learning objectives, often to the benefit of students and/or those who share a common interest, hobby or profession 

emerging market : A group of customers who do not provide as much business as the target markets, but show interest in the destination. 

escort : a person employed or contracted by a seller of packaged travel product who accompanies tour participants from point to point often acting as a the tour operator liaison and onsite problem solver. 

escorted tour : a packaged, pre-planned itinerary that includes the services of a tour manager or tour escort who accompanies participants for the full duration of the tour 

escrow : a legal concept and financial instrument whereby assets are held by a third party on behalf of two other parties that are in the process of completing a transaction. In many places, agents and tour operators are required by law to maintain customer deposits and pre-payments in escrow until the time of service. 

excursion : a trip made for leisure, education or physical purposes. It is often an adjunct to a longer journey, cruise or visit to a place. 

familiarization tour (FAM) : A program designed to acquaint participants with specific destinations or services. Offered in groups and on an individual basis. 

folio : an itemized record of guest charges and credits, often referred to as a guest bill or statement. 

frequent independent travel (FIT) : A custom-designed, pre-paid travel package with many individualized arrangements. An FIT operator specializes in preparing FITs documents at the request of retail travel agents. FITs usually receive travel vouchers to present to onsite services as verification or pre-payment. Also known as foreign individual/independent travel or frequent individual travel. 

front office : a business term that refers to a company’s departments that come in direct contact with customers. 

gateway : a city, airport, port or area where visitors arrive. International gateway refers to places where foreign visitors may first enter a country. 

ground operator : a company or individual providing local accommodations, transfers, ticketing and related services.  See also: receptive operator 

group booking : Reservation for a block of rooms for a single group. 

group tour : A prearranged, prepaid travel program for a group usually including transportation, accommodations, attraction admissions and meals. Also referred to as a package tour. 

guaranteed departure : a tour that will definitely operate on the day it is scheduled and will not be cancelled. 

Horizontal Market : audiences for products or services that are not easily distinguished by consumer characteristics. Examples of horizontal markets include those for computer security, legal or accounting services. 

Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI):  A trade association for hotel sales, marketing and revenue management professionals. 

hotel classifications : Classification of a hotel by its amenities, facilities, service and cost. Qualifications and terms may vary by country. 

  • limited service or economy  is generally a reasonably priced, generally providing a bed, telephone, TV, shower and free parking. They often do not have room service or a restaurant. 
  • full service  may refer to a property of any price category that offers some meeting space and features a restaurant onsite 
  • moderate  medium-priced property with services and amenities such as a restaurant and possibly conference rooms. 
  • upper moderate  is a property that offers special services such as a first-rate restaurant, banquet and conference rooms, valet service, room service, cable TV, and a host of other amenities. 
  • luxury or deluxe  is a top-grade hotel or resort offering the highest service and the maximum variety of amenities. All rooms have a private bath, and all the usual public rooms and services are provided. 
  • boutique  is loosely used to describe properties that have typically between 10 and 100 rooms and often contain luxury facilities in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. 

hub and spoke : a style of tour that has guests staying in a single location with excursions to nearby destinations 

incentive tour : travel experience offered to stimulate employee productivity or as a reward for sales agents 

incidentals : items not included in the package price 

inclusive : referring to a package or product price that includes all of the varying components, taxes and gratuities for a flat rate. An inclusive tour may include transportation, lodging, transfers, etc. for a set price. An inclusive meal might include food, drink, tax and gratuity. 

independent tour : a style of travel packaging that allows visitors to move about without the accompaniment of a tour manager or escort 

indirect spend : the value of all goods and services used to produce tourism output. (e.g., toiletries for hotel guests, ingredients for meals and plastic used in souvenirs) 

International Inbound Travel Association (IITA) : A trade association of inbound receptive tour operators and suppliers from the US. Formerly RSAA Receptive Services Association of America. 

incentive travel : A travel reward given by companies to employees to stimulate productivity. Also known as an incentive trip. 

inclusive tour : A specific package in which all components of the package are part of the price. Generally, an inclusive package includes transportation, lodging, meals, gratuities and taxes, and some form of sightseeing or rental car. The terms and conditions of a tour contract should specify exactly what is covered. Also referred to as an all-expense tour and an all-inclusive tour. 

inclusive rate : The rate charged to an operator that includes all service, tax, gratuities and additional fees. 

IPW : A computerized scheduled appointment show for international tour operators always held in the United States and sponsored by U.S. Travel Association. Formerly known as Pow Wow. 

itinerary : a schedule of travel components put together by an agent or operator. 

leg : a portion of a journey between two scheduled stops.

lesson: an amount of teaching given at one time; a period of learning or teaching.  

market segment : a group of consumers or buyer types that share one or more common characteristics, lumped together for sales or marketing purposes. 

markup : the difference between the cost of a good or service and its selling price. 

meet and greet : Pre-purchased service for meeting and greeting a client upon arrival in a city, usually at the airport, and assisting the client with entrance formalities, baggage and transportation. 

microlearning : a tool for training, teaching and development that delivers content in small, very specific bursts. 

module: each of a set of standardized parts or independent units that can be used to construct a more complex structure such as an item of furniture or a building. multiple lessons may be combined to create a module.  

motor coach : A large, comfortable, well-powered bus that can transport groups and their luggage over long distances. Motor coaches are normally able to accommodate 46 to 54 passengers. 

motor coach tour operator : A company that creates tours in which group members are transported via motor coach to their destination, itinerary activities and back. 

mystery tour : a short journey, usually in a bus, that people make for pleasure without knowing where they are going. 

NAJ : Producers of the RTO (receptive tour operator) summit and similar small trade show formats with a regional focus. Also referred to as North American Journeys 

net rate : A wholesale rate for groups (usually 10-15 people) which an operator may add a mark up. 

NTA (formerly National Tour Association) : A trade association of North American motor coach tour operators. www.ntaonline.com 

occupancy : the percentage of available rooms in use during a given period. 

online travel agent (OTA) : a travel website that specialized in the sale of travel products to consumers 

outbound operator (or outbound tour) : A company or tour that takes groups from a given city or country to another city or country. 

Ontario Motor Coach Association (OMCA) : A trade association of motorcoach operators based in and around Ontario province. 

package : Travel arrangements with two or more components offered for one price, inclusive of all taxes. Also refers to a single-fee booth package offered by show management. 

packager : An individual or organization that coordinates and promotes the development of a package tour and establishes operating procedures and guidelines for that tour. 

performance tour operator : A tour operator company that focuses on planning trips for groups that must perform while traveling like school bands, choral groups, etc. 

plus plus : a term used to describe a product price that does not include taxes, gratuities and/or service charges. Ex: The meal is $15 plus tax and gratuity OR $15++. 

pre- and post-trip tours : Optional extension or side trip package offered before or after a meeting, gathering or convention. 

pre-formed group : a group that contacts the tour operator to plan travel exclusively for the group members. 

rack rate : the normal rate of a product or service, before any discounts, commissions or net price arrangements 

receptive operator : A tour operator who provides local services, transfers, sightseeing, guides, etc. Many large receptive operators develop packages and sell them through wholesale tour operators in foreign countries. Also referred to as a ground operator, an inbound tour operator, a land operator, an RTO and a receiving agent. 

retail tour : A tour put together by a tour operator and sold to individuals.

request for proposal (RFP) : A document that stipulates what services the organization wants from an outside contractor and requests a bid to perform such services.

retailer : one who sells directly to the consumer.  See also: travel agent 

return on investment (ROI) : Net profit divided by net worth. A financial ratio indicating the degree of profitability. 

revenue per available room (RevPAR) : A measure used by hotels that divides revenue for a given time period by the number of available rooms for the same time period. 

sales mission : Intense selling effort in a particular locality; calling upon qualify leads. Usually performed by a group of people who may or may not all be in a sales capacity but have an interest in meeting with the same buyers. 

Seasons  (from a buyer/operator perspective): 

  • looking The time of year when tour operators are looking at for new activities & vendors to include in future trips. Also known as product or catalog development season. 
  • selling The time of year when tour operators are focused on reaching out to their customers, promoting future trips and selling packaged travel programs. 
  • booking The time of year when tour operators are booking and confirming tour components they plan to utilize. 
  • travel The time of year when the majority of the tour operators’ customers are traveling. 

Seasons  (from a supplier perspective): 

  • off-season The time of year when tourist traffic, and often rates, are at their lowest because of decreased demand. Also referred to as low season, off-peak or value season. 
  • peak season The time of year when demand and price is at a premium. Also known as high season. 
  • shoulder season The season between peak season and off-season when demand is average and the travel product will not produce the highest price but does not need a deep discount to generate traffic.

series : describing a piece of business or scheduled itinerary that takes place on a regular frequency 

site inspection : Personal, careful survey of property, facility or area.

Skål  is a professional, fraternal organization of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. 

SMERF : Meetings acronym for a category of meeting market segments including social, military, educational, religious and fraternal type groups. These organizations often are looking for value when selecting a meeting destination. 

supplier : The actual provider of a travel product such as the hotel, attraction, restaurant, airline or car rental agency; not the travel agent or tour operator selling the product. 

STAR (STR) Report : a tool used to measure hotel performance against competitive aggregates and within local markets. Data is collected and distributed by strglobal 

static pricing : the practice of maintaining the same price for a product or service at all times regardless of changing market conditions, trends and demand. This is the opposite of dynamic pricing. 

Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA) : a trade association representing tour operator companies that specialize in student travel. www.syta.com 

tariff : a schedule of rates for a good or services provided by a supplier 

tiered pricing : A pricing structure that offers a variety of price points for different customer types. For more or suggested rates by buyer type. 

tour operator : A person or company that negotiates discount rates, packages travel products, prints brochures, and markets these travel products through travel agents or to the general public. 

tour vouchers : Documents issued by tour operators to be exchanged for accommodations, meals, sightseeing, admission tickets and other services. Also referred to as coupons and tour orders. 

tourism : travel for business or pleasure; also the theory and practice of touring, the business of attracting, accommodating, and entertaining tourists, and the business of operating tours. Tourism may be international, or within the traveler’s country. 

tourism ambassador: an individual possessing the knowledge, skill and training to represent a destination, assist tourists and create better visitor experiences. 

Tourism Cares : A charitable organization that focuses on helping preserve the travel experience for future travelers. www.tourismcares.org 

trade association : Group of persons employed in a particular trade.

trade publication : A magazine or newsletter that targets a specific industry. 

trade show : Exhibit of products and services that is targeted to a specific clientele and not open to the public. 

travel agent (or travel agency) : Person or firm qualified to advise and arrange for travel needs such as hotel rooms, meals, transportation, tours and other travel elements. Represents all travel suppliers worldwide. Also referred to as a retailer. 

Travel Alliance Partners (TAP) : A member-owned organization of tour operators that work together to develop unique itineraries within their respective regions, cross-promote products offered by other members and leverage their collective buying power. www.tapintotravel.com 

travel receipt : purchase of travel and tourism related goods and services by visitors. These goods and services include food, lodging, recreation, gifts, entertainment, local transportation and other items incidental to travel. 

United Motor Coach Association (UMA) : North America's largest association for operators of motorcoach companies providing charter, tour and regular route services. www.uma.org 

United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) : A nationwide organization of tour operators offering protection for travelers purchasing member travel products by way of a multi-million-dollar bond. www.ustoa.com 

Upsell : sales technique where a seller induces the customer to purchase more expensive items, upgrades or other add-ons in an attempt to make a more profitable sale 

U.S. Travel Association : The national, nonprofit association representing all components of the U.S. travel industry. (formerly known as TIA - Travel Industry Association of America) www.ustravel.org 

Vertical Market : used to identify areas where vendors offer goods & services specific to a group of customers with specialized needs. Examples may include customers identified by their areas of origin, age range(s) or interest types. 

Visa : a conditional authorization granted by a country to a foreigner, allowing them to enter, remain within, or to leave that country. 

voluntourism : the act or practice of doing volunteer or charitable work as needed in the communities where one is vacationing 

voucher : documents or digital codes issued to consumers by tour operators that may be exchanged for tour components 

walk-through : Review of meeting details, or inspection of function room or trade show floor prior to event. 

webinar : Short for web-based seminar, a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the web. A key feature of the webinar is its interactive elements – the ability to give, receive and discuss information. Contrast with webcast in which the data transmission is one way and does not allow interaction between the presenter and the audience. 

wholesaler : A company that creates and markets inclusive tours and FITs for sale through travel agents. Often used interchangeably with “tour operator,” but several distinctions should be drawn: a wholesaler presumably sells nothing at retail, a tour operator does both; a wholesaler does not always create his or her own products, a tour operator virtually always does; and a wholesaler is less inclined than a tour operator to perform local services. 

World Tourism Organization (WTO) : An organization created to promote and develop tourism in the interest of the economic, social and cultural progress of all nations. www.world-tourism.org

About the Author

Stephen Ekstrom is the Chief Strategist at The Tourism Academy | tourismacademy.org, featured speaker at numerous tourism industry conferences, travel writer and host of the Business Class podcast.

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English Tourism Vocabulary and Exercises for Any Traveler

People who work in the travel industry around the world generally use English as a common language to communicate with international tourists.

Because there are so many jobs in tourism, there are many different types of tourism English . 

In this guide, I’ll show you some of the most useful vocabulary you’ll need to know for the tourism industry, so that you’ll be prepared for a range of situations!

Basic Vocabulary to Get You Started

Phrases to check for understanding, to double-check what you heard, to ask for clarification, to invite your guests to ask questions, common scenarios in tourism english, giving recommendations, providing directions and describing places, using simple “ice breakers” to make friendly small talk, exercises to improve your tourism vocabulary, and one more thing....

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Here’s a list of common tourism-related English words. You might be asked questions with these words, or you might need to use them yourself. Make sure you’re familiar with them and can use them in full sentences.

  • Attractions — places for tourists to see
  • Business district — also called the financial district, this is the center of the city where most offices are located
  • Entertainment district  — an area that has lots of clubs, bars, theaters, etc.
  • Dining district  — an area with a lot of restaurants
  • Custom — something that people do as part of their culture
  • Highlight — best part (of something) or an important part of an event or period of time
  • Scenery  — the setting for a place, natural beauty that you see around a place
  • Surroundings  — all of the things around you
  • Depart  — leave, take off
  • Arrive  — come to a place, reach a destination
  • Recommend  — give advice, suggest
  • Sit back and relax  — a common phrase to tell people to have a good time

If you work in the tourism industry, you probably have experience with miscommunication.

As a guide, host or receptionist, it’s your job to make sure that you’re double-checking for understanding. These phrases are simple and quick ways to make sure you and your guest are on the same page.

  • I heard you ask (about flights). Is that correct?
  • So, you said (you wanted to visit the ruins), right?
  • Okay, I understand that (your flight leaves at 3 PM). Is that correct?

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Even though you’re both speaking English, your guest may use vocabulary that you’re unfamiliar with. Likewise, they might have an accent that’s difficult for you to understand. Here are some polite ways to ask them to repeat or clarify what they said.

  • I’m sorry, I didn’t quite understand that. Can you say that again?
  • Pardon my English, but I didn’t quite understand that. Can you say that again?
  • I’m sorry, but I didn’t catch that. Can you describe what you mean?

Some cultures encourage people to be outspoken, while those from other parts of the world prefer people to act in a more reserved manner. Make all of your guests feel welcome by encouraging them to ask questions.

  • Does anyone have any questions?
  • Yes, sir / ma’am? Do you have a question?
  • Please feel free to raise your hand any time if you have a question.
  • So, any questions?

Depending on your job, you’ll probably be required to give directions to tourists, provide them with recommendations for a good restaurant or attraction and in general make friendly conversation that makes them feel welcome.

In these scenarios, you’ll play the part of the “guide,” but it could really be anyone a tourist might come in contact with. Practice these dialogues so that you feel confident using these words and phrases in your interactions.

  • For (authentic cuisine, family activities, etc), I recommend…
  • My favorite place is…
  • Personally, I suggest…

Tourist: Excuse me, do you know a good place for ice cream?

Guide: Oh, yes. For really good ice cream, I recommend “Maria’s.” It’s located about six blocks from here, and it’s my favorite place. Personally, I suggest the chocolate cherry flavor, but they’re famous for their award-winning lemon flavor. I think your family will like it.

Tourist: Great, thanks!

  • Go straight
  • Stop at the…
  • Continue until…
  • Take the (subway, bus, etc.)
  • Follow the signs for…

Points of reference

  • At the traffic light
  • At the next (street, light, block, etc.)
  • In (five) blocks
  • Near the (hotel, beach, station, etc.)
  • On the main plaza

Tourist: Can you tell me how to get to the theater?

Guide: Sure! The theater is near the train station. You need to go straight down this street for one block. At the next street, turn left. Continue until you see a sign for the theater, in about five blocks. If you’re lost, you can follow the signs for the train station. Does that make sense?

Tourist: Yes, thank you!

Here’s a helpful video  to practice basic phrases for giving directions.

Here are some phrases that you can use when you want to get to know the tourists a little bit better.

  • So, are you enjoying your time in (Paris) so far?
  • Tell me, what is your favorite part of the city so far?
  • I’m curious, do you think this city seems friendly?
  • Tell me, what do you think of the (architecture, food, beach, festival, etc.)?

Each chapter is filled with  different tourism-related scenarios that you’re likely to encounter . The series is designed like a language course to steadily grow your skills. Try to find half an hour every day to read a chapter and complete the associated exercises.

  • Follow English Speakers on X (Twitter). More specifically, follow English speakers who work in the travel industry. This will help you naturally absorb English tourism vocabulary, plus today’s big topics in the world of travel.

@TravelEditor :  Full of great travel advice and destination information. She also likes to tweet travel questions and talk with her followers.

@Just1WayTicket :  Want some ideas of where to go next? Check out beautiful pictures and helpful information posted on this account.

@GettingStamped :  Great profile for learning about popular tourist destinations, as well as what tourists like to do while traveling abroad.

And remember, if you really want to  use Twitter to sharpen your English skills , you need to do more than just read tweets.  Engage in discussions as well!  Not only will that make using Twitter more fun, but it’ll also require you to learn and use new words during your chats back and forth with others.

/r/Travel :  Reddit has always been a great place for English language learners to  practice their written English with people all over the world . The travel  sub (Reddit slang for “forum”) is a great place to talk about everything related to tourism. Think of it as more like chatting about tourism rather than answering specific questions.

If you’re a hospitality professional, you’ll want to check out Oxford University Press’  free   online workbook series,  English for Careers . There, you’ll see English for Tourism exercises divided up into three different skill levels, along with various other careers.

Try spending as little as 30 minutes a day using Memrise to brush up on your tourism vocabulary—you’ll notice a difference!

Soon you’ll be able to communicate with any tourist who crosses your path!

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials , as you can see here:


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tourism related words

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noun as in travel for pleasure

Strongest matches

Strong matches

  • exploration
  • globetrotting

Weak matches

  • peregrination

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Example sentences.

Those who transmigrate into the bodies of the less fortunate are accused of tourism, voyeurism.

The pollution closes beaches that are vital to San Diego’s tourism economy.

Covid-19 has brought tourism from China to the UK to a standstill.

Even as most domestic air travel routes have opened now, aviation and tourism experts believe that the country is unlikely to resume international commercial flights before October.

Growth is now expected to collapse in many countries especially those dependent on tourism and resources, such as oil and mineral exporters.

Slowly, two were opened up, and in 2010 the regional government opened all four Brogpa villages in a push for tourism.

Religious profiteering has spread beyond the tourism industry.

Apparently tourism in the country had jumped tenfold since the film hit theaters.

In recent years news outlets have documented the rise of so-called “birth tourism” here in America.

But the site has seen little of the decimation from heavy tourism that has plagued the northern pyramids of Giza in Egypt.

For years too few doctors have seen clearly that gymnastic tourism and sport do more for health than all doctors taken together.

Increasing tourism has resulted in special problems in resort areas.

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On this page you'll find 11 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to tourism, such as: null, travel, exploration, globetrotting, journey, and passage.

From Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

Travel Vocabulary for English-Language Learners

With a follow-up quiz for extra practice

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The travel-related words below are the most important terms to know when talking about travel or taking vacations . Words are categorized into different sections depending on the type of travel. You'll find example sentences for each word to help provide context for learning, as well as a short quiz at the end to test your knowledge.

Air Travel Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

Airport : I went to the airport to catch a flight to San Francisco. Check in : Make sure to get to the airport two hours early to check in. Fly : I like to fly on the same airline to get mileage points. Land : The airplane will land in two hours. Landing : The landing took place during a storm. It was very scary! Plane : The plane is packed with 300 passengers. Take off : The airplane is scheduled to take off at 3:30 p.m.

Vacation Travel Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

Camp : Do you like to camp in the woods? Destination : What is your final destination? Excursion : I'd like to take an excursion to the wine country while we're in Tuscany. Go camping : Let's go to the beach and go camping next weekend. Go sightseeing : Did you go sightseeing while you were in France? Hostel : Staying in a youth hostel is a great way to save money on vacation. Hotel : I'll book a hotel for two nights. Journey : The journey will take four weeks and we'll visit four countries. Luggage : Can you carry the luggage upstairs? Motel : We stayed in a convenient motel on our way to Chicago. Package holiday : I prefer to buy package holidays , so I don't have to worry about anything. Passenger : The passenger felt ill during the voyage. Route : Our route will take us through Germany and on to Poland. Sightseeing : The sightseeing in this town is rather boring. Let's go shopping . Suitcase : Let me unpack my suitcase and then we can go swimming. Tour : Peter went on a tour of the vineyard. Tourism : Tourism is becoming an important industry in almost every country. Tourist : Every May, many tourists from around the world come to see the flower festival. Travel : Travel is one of his favorite free time activities. Travel agent : The travel agent found us a great deal. Trip : The trip to New York was lovely and interesting. Vacation : I'd love to take a nice long vacation on the beach.

Overland Travel Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

Bicycle : One of the best ways to see the countryside is to ride a bicycle. Bike : We rode a bike from shop to shop. Bus : You can catch a bus for Seattle at the bus station. Bus station : The bus station is three blocks from here. Car : You might want to rent a car when you go on vacation. Lane : Make sure to get into the left lane when you want to pass. Motorcycle : Riding a motorcycle can be fun and exciting, but it's also dangerous. Freeway : We'll have to take the freeway to Los Angeles. Highway : The highway between the two cities is quite lovely. Rail : Have you ever traveled by rail? Go by rail : Going by rail offers the opportunity to get up and walk around as you travel. Railway : The railway station is down this street. Road: There are three roads to Denver. Main road : Take the main road into town and turn left at 5th Street. Taxi : I got in a taxi and went to the train station. Traffic : There's a lot of traffic today on the road! Train : I like riding on trains. It's a very relaxing way to travel. Tube : You can take the tube in London. Underground : You can take the underground in many cities throughout Europe. Subway : You can take the subway in New York.

Sea / Ocean Travel Vocabulary and Sample Sentences

Boat: Have you ever piloted a boat? Cruise: We will stop at three destinations during our cruise through the Mediterranean. Cruise ship: It's the most elegant cruise ship in the world! Ferry: Ferries allow passengers to take their cars with them to their destination. Ocean: The Atlantic Ocean takes four days to cross. Port: There are all kinds of commercial ships in the port. Sailboat: The sailboat requires nothing but the wind. Sea: The sea is very calm today. Set sail: We set sail for the exotic island. Ship: Have you ever been a passenger on a ship? Voyage: The voyage to the Bahamas took three days.

Travel Vocabulary Quiz

Test your knowledge by taking this short quiz.

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Smart vocabulary: related words and phrases.

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Enjoy this glossary that we've compiled over the years to provide a helpful reference for tourism professionals, students and volunteers with a passion for product development, sustainable tourism, destination development and experiential travel.

Affinity group / Travellers

All-Inclusive Travel

Appreciative inquiry


Best Practice(s)/Best Practice Mission

Business Visitor

Call to Action

Commissionable Tour

Content curation

Community tourism partnerships

Creative economy

Custom Travel Package

Customer lifecycle

Customized market

Customer experience

Customer experience management

Demand Generator


Destination Assessment

Destination Development

Destination Management Company (DMC)

Destination Management Organization (DMO)

Destination Marketing Organization (DMO)

Destination Marketing vs. Destination Management Organization

Digital Placemaking

Domestic Tourism

Dynamic Packaging


Educational Travel

Emotional Marketing

Emotional Touchpoint

Enabler/Helping Organizations

Experience broker

Experience economy

Experience Design

Experiential marketing

Experience provider

Experiential travel

Explorer Quotient EQ™

Export Ready

FIT (Fully Independent Traveller)

Hub and Spoke

Ideal/valued guest

Inbound Tourism

Inbound Tour Operator

Incentive Travel

International Tourism


Learning Travel

Major market segment

Market Ready

Mass market

Moment of truth

Net promoter score

Net-rate pricing

Niche market

Online travel agency (OTA)

Outbound tour operator



Piloting Experiences (aka Trial Run)

Place Making

Place Marketing

Perceived value

Product Extension

Product Life Cycle

Receptive tour operator

Regenerative Tourism

Responsible tourism


Service Economy

Sharing economy

Shore Excursion


Social media

Social networking

Special Interest Package

Split Itinerary

Spousal Programs



Supply vs. demand thinking

Sustainable Development

Sustainable Tourism

Tourism economy

Tour Operator


Travel Package

Traveller Ready

Travel Supplier

Travel trade

Travel Wholesaler

User Experience

Visitor centric model

Visitor economy

Visitor experience

Visitor Experience Design

Visitor Friendly Communities

Visitor lifecycle 

Word of Mouth

Appreciative Inquiry: An approach to engaging conversations that encourage imagination, innovation and flexibility with stakeholder groups, and builds on the positive attributes that already exist.

Clusters: Businesses that benefit from working together to create and market tourism experiences that meet the needs of niche markets.

Content Curation: The act of discovering, gathering and presenting digital content that surrounds specific subject matter and funnelling it in relevant ways to enhance your online presence. 

Community Tourism Partnerships: A mutually beneficial commitment between multiple businesses and government organizations to leverage their respective retail, service, community or program deliverables to develop and deliver innovative ways for travellers to experience their community’s rich culture, art, nature and cuisine offerings - often through packaging and marketing - to add new business opportunities and revenues to the community.

Creative Economy:

Describes economic systems where value is based on creative and imaginative qualities rather than the traditional resources of land, labour and capital. It represents the business opportunities, generated from use of people’s creative imagination and an intersection between creativity, culture, economics and technology dominated by images, sounds, texts and symbols.

Customer Lifecycle: The creation and delivery of value to the customer at every touchpoint in the engagement cycle; in tourism this means from they time they decide to travel, to the time they are at home telling stories and sharing photos.

Customized Market: Tailoring a tourism product or experience to the specific needs of an individual customer. Generally practiced by companies whose products are very expensive or unique, and who have significant specific information on their customer to design and deliver ‘what they want, when they want, where they want it and with whom!’ 

Customer Experience: A blend of an organization’s physical performance, the senses stimulated and emotions evoked, each intuitively measured against customer expectations across all moments of contact.

Customer Experience Management: The processes used by a company to track, oversee and organize every interaction between a customer and the organization throughout the customer lifecycle. The goal is to optimize interactions and all touchpoints, from the customer's perspective, to foster customer loyalty.

Destination Marketing Organization vs Destination Management Organization:

In recent years, the DMO acronym has been used to refer to traditional destination marketing organizations whose primary function is to promote and market the destination, tourism businesses, services, transportation, associated retail stores, restaurants, and events. Many also invest in primary research to inform decision-making. The alternate use of the term DMO (management) refers to organizations that include the promotion and research functions and also invest in broader industry development and stakeholder development activities.

E-marketing: Electronic marketing, using the Internet and other forms of electronic communications to communicate in the most cost-effective ways with target markets.

Emotional Marketing: Getting your target audience to connect with your product, service, and brand at a very basic and fundamental level; emotionally.

Enabler/Helping Organizations: In the context of tourism, an enabler or helping organization describes the business-to-business entities that support the development and promotion of tourism to foster growth in the industry, drive consumer awareness, develop product, promote, market and help to sell a destination. Examples include: destination marketing organizations (DMOs), economic development agencies, tourism departments/ministries within government, Chambers of Commerce, etc.

Experience: An experience is something that is personally encountered, lived through and affects the individual. It may involve observation or participation; be active or passive, planned, opportunistic, personal or shared.

Experience Broker: An individual who coaches local area businesses so that they may deliver a high-quality experience aligned with guest expectations; the experiential broker then acts as an intermediary between experience providers and guests to identify market opportunities.

Experience Economy: A five-tiered economic framework, founded by Joe Pine and James Gilmore, that defines experiences as a distinct economic offer, one that creates a specific atmosphere that engages the customer in memorable ways. It provides an economic understanding of where businesses can focus to meet the consumer demand for: commodities, goods, services, experiences and transformation.

Experiential Marketing: A holistic approach to customer relations and branding that focuses on making an emotional and physical connection with the customer, rather than merely describing features and benefits.   Experience Provider: Individuals, companies or organizations that create holistic travel opportunities by sequencing and staging activities, personal encounters and authentic experiences that are designed to create long-lasting memories and customer loyalty. Experience providers consciously create memorable activities by staging a theme, harmonizing positive cues and eliminating negative ones, mixing in memorabilia and engaging all five senses.

Experiential Travel: Travel that connects you with the essence of a place and its people by engaging visitors in a series of memorable travel activities revealed over time that are inherently personal, engage the senses and make connections on an emotional, physical, spiritual or intellectual level. It responds to the desire to venture beyond the beaten tourist paths, dive deeper into authentic, local culture, connects with people and enriches their lives.

Explorer Quotient (EQ™):

An innovative market segmentation tool from Destination Canada [add hyperlink:  https://www.destinationcanada.com/en/tools ] that looks at attitudes, personal beliefs, social values and travel values to better understand current and prospective customers and what drives people to seek out certain types of visitor experiences. This information helps target your focus and investment in product and market development, promotions and sales activities.

Export Ready:

Refers to a business that markets to and through national and international travel trade distribution sales channels, understands commission or net rate pricing, agrees to trade bookings and has a cancellation policy.

Familiarization tours are provided through a collaboration of tourism partners to receptive tour operators, travel agencies, travel writers and influencers and others to provide information about a certain experience or destination at no or minimal cost to invited participants.

FIT (Fully Independent Traveller): Originally FIT was an abbreviation for a foreign independent tour. Today, it is most commonly used for flexible or fully independent travel describing a type of travel that does not incorporate a packaged tour but is customized for the traveller by a tourism professional who sells travel, such as a tour operator or travel agent.

Ideal/Valued Guest: The visitors with the greatest potential to strengthen to grow your business or destination. Knowing their attitudes, values, motivations and demographic profile is essential to designing value-based, emotionally connecting travel experiences.

Inbound Tour Operator:

An operator who packages multiple elements together in a variety of ways (accommodation, shuttles, experiences, meals, admissions) to bring visitors from external markets to a destination.

Incentive Travel:

An organizational management tool that uses an exceptional travel experience to motivate and/or recognize participants for increased levels of performance in support of organizational goals.

Major Market Segment: A large market of travellers identifiable as having particular customers with specific buying characteristics (e.g. family, business, festivals, motor-coach).

Market Ready:

Refers to a business that markets to potential travellers; communicates with potential travellers year-round and is able to accept advance reservations.

Mass Market: The un-segmented market in which tourism products and services are available, positioned and sold to any traveller (e.g. museum admissions, airline tickets, cruise), or large geographic regions (e.g. USA, Germany).

Moment of Truth: A moment of truth is usually defined as an instance where a visitor comes into contact with businesses or destinations in real life, or online. It provides the opportunity for either party to make an impression or change an impression about the business.

Net Promoter Score:

A metric designed to monitor customer engagement, reflecting the likelihood that travellers will recommend a destination to friends, family, or colleagues.

Net-Rate Pricing:

The net rate is the price without the commission included. The tourism business or travel trade distributor can mark-up the rate with  the margin they wish to make, or an amount which is contractually agreed upon to secure business. Companies that work with net rate pricing include receptive tour operators (e.g., Jonview), tour operators (e.g., Virgin Holidays), Destination Management Companies, travel agencies and packaging partners.

​ Niche Market: A business focus on a small, defined part of a larger market that has a need for a product or service that is not being addressed by mainstream providers. Common to small businesses aiming to differentiate themselves. Companies succeed by narrowly defining a group of potential customers and serving them well (e.g. Girls Getaway Weekends, Weddings, Spa seekers).

Online Travel Agency (OTA):

A travel website that specializes in the sale of travel products to consumers without the assistance of a person. Some agencies sell a variety of travel products including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, activities and packages (e.g., Travelocity, Expedia, Trivago).

Outbound Tour Operator:

An operator who packages and sells travel products to people within a destination who want to travel abroad.

Operator: Refers to all business (private, public, not-for-profit) that operate a tourism asset that provides value to a visitor. It is a broader reference than the traditional ‘tour operator’ or ‘receptive operator’ and includes everyone and everything such hoteliers, attractions, restaurants, transportation, outfitters, wilderness operators, trails, heritage properties etc.

Path-to-Purchase: The steps customers take as they move from being aware of the travel opportunity to actually purchasing travel.

Perceived Value:

The worth that a product or service has in the mind of the consumer that shapes how much he or she is willing to pay.

Receptive Tour Operator:

A Canada-based tour company that specializes in tourism experiences and manages products and services for incoming visitors most often booked through international tour operators. Receptive tour operators play an important role in the packaged travel industry.

Responsible Tourism:

Any form of tourism that can be consumed in a more responsible way. It minimizes negative economic, environmental and social impacts; generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry; involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances; makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world’s diversity; provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues; provides access for physically challenged people; and is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts and builds local pride and confidence.

SEO vs SMO: Search engine optimization (SEO) is different than social media optimization (SMO). In a nutshell, SEO optimizes your website for rankings with search engines through the use of select keywords, optimizing HTML and backend coding, meta description, alt tags, headers etc. SMO is about optimizing the content to increase brand and encourage sharing by your viewers through various social media channels.

Service Economy: Services represent a diverse group of intangible economic activities such as restaurants, hotels, shoe-shining, physiotherapy, computer repair, a home inspection before buying a house ... and the list goes on!

Sharing Economy:  An emerging and trending business concept based on the ability for individuals to rent or borrow good and services rather than buy them. Leading examples that are shaping how we think about this business model are Airbnb and Uber.

Social Media: Social media are works of user-created video, audio, text or multimedia that are published and shared in a social environment, such as a blog, social networking site, photo or video hosting site.

Social Networking: The interaction between a group of people who share a common interest. Using websites such as Facebook and Twitter to network and share information and media. Individuals and businesses can use social networks to further customer relationships and extend the customer lifecycle.

Storytelling: Storytelling involves a two-way interaction between a storyteller and one or more listeners in person, online or through other means of communication. It is a first-person narrative that accompanies an experience, offers personal insights and can reflect the passion, values and humour of the experience provider/storyteller. Done well, it engages travellers.

Supply vs. Demand Thinking: Supply thinking is tourism that is built on what a company wants to sell vs. what the demand from the marketplace is looking for.

Sustainable Travel: Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities optimizing environmental resources while, helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity; respecting the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values; contributes to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance; and ensures viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly  distributed within host communities.

A term used in the travel trade to describe: (1) fare/rate from a supplier  (2) class or type of fare; (3) published rates from a supplier;  and (4) official publication compiling rates or fares and conditions of services

Touchpoint: A touchpoint is any time a customer or potential customer comes in contact with your brand–before, during, or after they purchase something from you or interact with your business. Identifying your touchpoints is a vital step towards understanding the customer journey from their perspective and building positive engagement every step of the way.

Tour Operator:

 A company that creates and/or markets packaged tours and/or performs tour services.

Tourism: Is defined as: “The activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes.” Source: The World Tourism Organization.

Tourism Economy: An important economic driver, the tourism economy focuses on the value created by tourism businesses (private, not-for-profit, government) that generate sustainable visitor activities. It is a sectoral lens that has been commonly used to understand the contribution tourism businesses and visitors bring to a community.

Traveller Ready:

Refers to a business which has all of its licenses, permits and insurance in place in order to operate legally (also known as Visitor Ready).

Travel Trade: The distribution network of companies (operating at a national or international level) that resell travel products to visitors that have been reserved and purchased from other tour operators or travel businesses. This includes: •    Travel agencies - companies that offer travel services and assistance to groups and individuals including, documentation, ticketing, booking for transportation and/or accommodation. •    Tour operators - companies that bring together separate travel components (such as airline seats, hotel rooms, activities and attractions), into one package. Examples of tour operators include: Thomas Cook (UK), DERTOUR (Germany), Scenic Tours (Australia), Tauck Tours (US) •    Online travel agencies (OTA’s) – OTA’S specialize in offering planning sources and booking capabilities. Major OTA’s include: Expedia, lasminute.com, Travelocity.

Travel Wholesaler:

A company that purchases large blocks of rooms, tickets, etc., and then resell them as tours products or packages to travel agents. They do not sell to the general public. Packaged elements are purchased in exchange for a commission or a reduced fee, known as a tariff. These companies target bulk transactions for the larger the volume, the better the discount.

User Experience:

User Experience (UX) encompasses all aspects of the visitor's interaction with your company. This includes their pre-travel information search experience, booking, selection of products, services and experiences, plus their online and face-to-face interactions across all touchpoints.

Visitor Centric Model:   A visual representation of a way of thinking about tourism that places the visitor at the heart of the model, the starting point for tourism planning, development, promotions and delivering on the brand promise.

Visitor Economy:

The visitor economy refers to the widespread and often unseen benefits from dollars spent by travellers. It encompasses everything that attracts visitors to a destination and everything that makes a place special, distinctive and capable of engendering price and interest in a place worth experiencing. The full impact of the visitor economy is felt when the multiplier effect of tourist spending ripples throughout the entire economy, supporting job creation, infrastructure development, community building, strengthening the brand and engaging visitors in memorable experiences. A successful visitor economy requires managing all of the components in an integrated and long-term way with a clear focus on the needs of the visitor the destination is trying to attract.

Visitor Experience: The sum of all perceptions, senses stimulated, emotions evoked and interactions a traveller has with the people, places and cultures of a destination, the communities and businesses they encounter.

Visitor Lifecycle: All physical and emotional touchpoint a traveller experiences with a tourism business and destination as he/she moves through the stages of pre-trip considerations and purchase, engaging with the place, people, products and services, plus their post-trip reflections and actions. Together this influences loyalty, the potential for a long-term relationship with the traveller and their desire to revisit and/or refer.

Word of Mouth:

The phenomenon of a particular message or recommendation being passed from an individual to his/her contacts through the internet or to the public at large through online means such as TripAdvisor, blogs, comment sections, YouTube, Instagram, etc.

Synonyms of travel

  • as in to trek
  • as in to traverse
  • as in to fly
  • as in to associate
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Thesaurus Definition of travel

 (Entry 1 of 2)

Synonyms & Similar Words

  • peregrinate
  • road - trip
  • knock (about)
  • perambulate
  • pass (over)
  • cut (across)
  • proceed (along)
  • get a move on
  • make tracks
  • shake a leg
  • hotfoot (it)
  • fast - forward

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

  • hang (around or out)
  • slow (down or up)
  • collaborate
  • take up with
  • keep company (with)
  • rub shoulders (with)
  • fall in with
  • pal (around)
  • rub elbows (with)
  • mess around
  • be friends with
  • interrelate
  • confederate
  • cold - shoulder

Thesaurus Definition of travel  (Entry 2 of 2)

  • peregrination
  • commutation

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Thesaurus Entries Near travel

Cite this entry.

“Travel.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus , Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/travel. Accessed 9 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on travel

Nglish: Translation of travel for Spanish Speakers

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Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about travel

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Tour Operator Software

The A to Z of the tourism industry

Tourism glossary

Let’s be honest. We’ve all been in that scenario where you find yourself stumped with a travel acronym that you can’t quite remember! We don’t blame you for feeling frustrated by it all… travel is a complex industry and understanding (and remembering!) all of the jargon, terminology and acronyms can sometimes feel like you are learning an entirely new language.

Lucky for you, we’re making things a bit easier. Drawing from our team’s experience through creating travel software, and decades working as travel professionals ourselves we wanted to share the knowledge and create your very own Tour Operator Software glossary. 

Bookmark it for times of need, skim over it to get refreshed, or share it with your industry friends and colleagues.

Adventure Tourism

The adventure tourism industry has developed for those thrill-seekers looking for a holiday jam-packed full of activities. From whitewater rafting to dog sledging to glacier exploration, Adventure Tourism isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

The ADR is used to track performance and measures the average income for each paid room over a certain time period. 

Business Development Manager (BDM)

As a tour operator, travel agent or DMC , you are most likely going to be working closely with a Business Development Manager (BDM). These are the sales representatives for suppliers, therefore a good relationship with the BDM is likely to serve your business well!

Blackout Dates

There are often dates when particularly awesome promotions or sales don’t apply. This is usually because of holiday periods or big events where suppliers anticipate that there is going to be an increased demand during that time.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Nowadays, CRM software is used by almost every organisation, both in and outside the travel industry. At its simplest form, a CRM allows you to store contact details of your customers and prospective customers. More complex CRM’s allow you to keep track of customers food allergies to pet names (and everything in between). Learn how to get the most out of your CRM here

Once upon a time, data would be stored on a local computer. However, the birth of Cloud computing means that platforms are able to store their information on remote servers. Meaning you can access your online information from any device at any time.

Cross season pricing

With the change of season often a change in pricing also comes for many tour operators. Tour operators may adjust their pricing in either direction to accommodate the decrease or increase in business during these times – See Low Season Travel. 

Destination Management Company (DMC)

Known for their deep local knowledge, DMC’s are organisations that specialise in offering tours, logistics, and planning services for a particular destination. Often known for re-selling their services to tour operators.

This one is just what it sounds like; how long someone ‘dwells’ or stays in a certain place. It’s relevant to the tourism industry as it refers to the amount of time a customer spends at a certain activity or accommodation – this is useful to know when planning and creating tailor-made itineraries. 

Demand-Based Pricing

Pricing does not have to stay the same all the time, it can fluctuate based on the amount of people interested in a product of service. In the tourism industry, this pricing model is commonly used and operates under the same principle as Cross-Seasonal Pricing above. As a tour operator, this may affect your own pricing or the pricing of the suppliers you use.

As more people and businesses are becoming aware of the environmental impact that travel can have, the niche market of ecotourism is developing. This type of tourism works to ensure that environmental impacts are minimised at every opportunity and is driven by both the tourist and the tourism industry. Learn more about ecotourism and sustainable travel here.

Also known as Electronic Commerce or EC, this is any form of commercial transactions conducted via the internet. For example, your customers might book and pay for their tour online, using e-commerce platforms.

Free Independent Travellers (FIT)

This is a bit of a contentious one, we found 6 slightly different definitions in our search alone! Regardless of whether the F stands for Free, Foreign or Fully, the underlying definition is the same: FIT’s are people who shy away from mass tourism and want to travel with people they know. They want a tailor made itinerary created based on their unique needs, passions and interests. They do not travel with group tours or by a schedule imposed by others. 


Globalisation has meant that travellers are able to shop around for the cheapest rate and source their trip from multiple different suppliers. Read more about travel industry fragmentation here .

Far from researching everything that there is to know about every destination in the world, travel agents often go on famils. This is a scouting trip; to be able to give some insider knowledge about the destinations they are sending their customers to. Famils are also often organised and paid for by airlines or suppliers in an effort to encourage you to promote their offering.

This is the final rate that your customers pay for your service, ie. the cost plus your commission.

Hotels will sometimes offer a discounted rate for hotel rooms if you book more than 5 rooms at a time.

Group Tour/GIT

Also known as Group Incentive Tour (GIT), packaged trips or escorted tours, a group tour has a set date, price and itinerary. The itinerary may include portions of free time with optional activities to choose from but the travellers are limited to what the tour offers. The group is made up of a variety of travellers.

Heritage Sites

The UNESCO World Heritage Sites are popular tourist destinations listed by UNESCO as having cultural or environmental significance.

Inbound Tour Operator

A tour operator based in a specific destination country who plans itineraries and organises travel arrangements or conducts tours for travellers based elsewhere.

Travellers often want to stop over in a transit country to refresh when taking long-haul flights. The second flight of their journey may be with a different airline that fits in with their travel times and needs. The Joint Fare is the fare for both of these flights combined.

Carrier Confirmed. An abbreviation used when booking airline tickets.

Low Season Travel

Also called off-peak travel, certain destinations are less popular during different times of the year (think of a tropical island in the middle of the rainy season). Often, rates also drop during these times – see cross season pricing

Luxury Tour Operator

These tour operators work with often high net worth customers who are looking for a luxury holiday for them or their family. Their travel plans may include private yachts, helicopters or exclusive, VIP experiences – the sky’s the limit.

A supplier may increase their rate at a time in which there is a higher demand for their offering. For example, flights and accommodation in a popular destination will increase during school breaks where there are lots of families travelling.

Market Segment

Identifying a market segment is an ideal way to make sure that your offering is being marketed to and attracting the right type of customers. This is especially important for niche tour operators who may specialise in adventure tourism in Canada for under 30’s for example.

The price of the flights, accommodation etc without the agent’s commission added.

Online Booking System

An easy way for customers to book (or reserve) an offering online and receive confirmation without having to go through an agent.

Outbound Tour Operator

The opposite of an Inbound Tour Operator , an Outbound Tour Operator or OTO typically offers trips to a variety of destinations, some or all of which are not in the country that the tour operator is based in.

Online Travel Agency (OTA)

An online travel agency is a web-based marketplace where people can go to research, plan and book travel products or services. For many tour operators working with or listing their products or services on an OTA allows them to be seen by a wider audience.   

Pax is travel industry jargon that refers to the number of passengers ie. 2 pax. It also extends to the number of guests, diners or participants.

An easy and popular way to travel is by buying packages. These often include accommodation, travel and some meals. 

Peak Season

Peak season, also known as the high season, is the time of the year when most people are travelling to or around a destination. This means that travellers will experience bigger crowds and higher costs. Pre-booking activities or experiences well in advance may also be required to ensure travellers can do what they want to at the destination during the peak season.

Also known as a proposal, it is a document that details the planned itinerary and the costs associated with the trip. It is usually supplied by a tour operator or travel agency based on a discussion about what the traveller wants. By providing a quotation it makes it easier to compare details before selecting the ideal trip for themselves.

A company who resells and markets tours and activities for a specific destination, country, region or specialisation.

Although not specifically related to travel, Search Engine Optimisation is an aspect of digital marketing that is crucial for travel businesses in this day and age. SEO refers to the way that you can make sure your website ranks highly in organic search results – increasing your visibility. Read more about how to make sure your website is serving you well here .

You may have been to a website where an alert popped up notifying you that the website was not secure – not a great first impression, right? The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is the standard way to reassure your customers that your site is safe, by creating an encrypted link between your browser and the server. Read more about the importance of SSL certification here .

Single Supplement

A single supplement is a surcharge applied to a single person staying in a room usually intended for two or more people. The surcharge usually applies when a room is charged per person and is essentially to cover the cost of only receiving a single payment for a room that they usually get two payments for.

Travel/Trade Association

Travel associations and communities exist to service those in the travel industry who wish to network with, collaborate and be supported by others in the industry. These associations can be niche or broad and often provide fantastic resources and support to help your business thrive! There are a lot out there but don’t worry, we’ve got the down-low on travel associations and luxury travel communities for you.

TTL (Ticket Time Limit)

This is the time limit that businesses (often airlines) give for a ticket to be purchased to avoid cancellations or expiration of the fare.

Target Market

Unfortunately, no one can please everyone. That’s why when you are marketing your tour operator business, it pays to think about who your target market is – the demographic or type of people you expect to be most interested in your offering. Specialise your business offering to this target market to get more joy from your marketing efforts.

This is a payment method used mainly in China, however, Union Pay is also becoming increasingly available and accepted internationally, opening doors for many Chinese tourists to use this payment method during their travels.

From production to consumption, Value Added Tax may be added to products or services each time they are bought or resold for a profit. Also known as goods and services tax, VAT may apply when tours or activities are resold by a wholesaler. 

Waitlist (WL)

Travellers may wish to buy waitlisted tickets in order to save costs. This means that they are placed on a list and will wait to take the place of someone who cancels or doesn’t show up.

WTM (The World Travel Market)

The World Travel Market is a leading event in the travel industry, bringing together all areas of tourism and facilitating business connections and growth.

XE.com currency conversion

Currency conversion is the difference in value between two countries’ money. Determining what currency you need and the rate of exchange easily is helpful when travelling between countries.  XE.com is the leading currency conversion website with 20 years of experience in the industry.

Yield Management

The yield of your offering is the average revenue per unit of sale eg. revenue per 1 person’s airline ticket. Yield management involves understanding the times in which your offering is in higher demand and identifying the type of people who would purchase your offering. You can then calculate and manage your anticipated yield to maximise profit!

You may have seen pictures before of adrenalin-junkie tourists hurtling down a hill in a blow-up ball. These balls are called Zorbs and it might seem mad but it’s a massively popular adventure tourism activity. 

Relating to the rise of ecotourism , some areas are prone to the pressures of tourism and are zoned as such. These zoned areas sometimes limit the number of people allowed at one time, or simply notify tourists about their environmental impact and monitor the damage.

How does the travel industry actually work?

How does the travel industry actually work?

Who are the key players in the industry, where do they all fit together and how does the industry actually work?! There’s no doubt that the travel industry is a confusing space to wrap your head around so we’ve broken it down for you in this easy new resource.

Travel designers- meet the influencers you should work with.

Travel designers- meet the influencers you should work with.

Understand the role travel influencers play in the industry and why tour operators should be following, interacting and collaborating with them. Explore eight global travel influencers who are inspiring travellers daily.

Tourism news websites you can trust

Tourism news websites you can trust

In the tourism industry it can be hard to differentiate the reliable travel news sources from the not-so-trustworthy ones. In this blog we summarise the top travel news websites that tour operators, travel agencies and DMC’s should pay attention to.

How to set your team up for success when introducing new software

How to set your team up for success when introducing new software

Making changes happen is hard. Especially when it is something that will create a significant impact on the way you work, like new software. We discover what change management is and how it can assist you, your leaders and your team in creating new processes that will make you more successful in the long run. Is it time for a change?

tourism related words


Travel and Tourism Vocabulary Words List – A to Z

Travel is something everyone loves to do. People like to explore new places, try out new cuisines, connect with people from the different geographic backgrounds. It helps them to understand how people live and also experience new things. 

tourism related words

We have prepared a list of common English words one would encounter while travelling from one place to another.

Travel Vocabulary Words for ESL Beginners

Englishbix has put together an entire list of words that contains relatable key terms and it’s significance in the tourism industry. Let’s have a look at tourism words and their meaning. To make it easy for you we have sorted the list from A to Z.

Tourism Vocabulary Words List

We hope that this guide will help you to get acquainted with words which are commonly used whenever you travel.

Keep Learning with EnglishBix!

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Travel Words

Words related to travel.

Below is a massive list of travel words - that is, words related to travel. The top 4 are: journey , trip , wander and tourism . You can get the definition(s) of a word in the list below by tapping the question-mark icon next to it. The words at the top of the list are the ones most associated with travel, and as you go down the relatedness becomes more slight. By default, the words are sorted by relevance/relatedness, but you can also get the most common travel terms by using the menu below, and there's also the option to sort the words alphabetically so you can get travel words starting with a particular letter. You can also filter the word list so it only shows words that are also related to another word of your choosing. So for example, you could enter "journey" and click "filter", and it'd give you words that are related to travel and journey.

You can highlight the terms by the frequency with which they occur in the written English language using the menu below. The frequency data is extracted from the English Wikipedia corpus, and updated regularly. If you just care about the words' direct semantic similarity to travel, then there's probably no need for this.

There are already a bunch of websites on the net that help you find synonyms for various words, but only a handful that help you find related , or even loosely associated words. So although you might see some synonyms of travel in the list below, many of the words below will have other relationships with travel - you could see a word with the exact opposite meaning in the word list, for example. So it's the sort of list that would be useful for helping you build a travel vocabulary list, or just a general travel word list for whatever purpose, but it's not necessarily going to be useful if you're looking for words that mean the same thing as travel (though it still might be handy for that).

If you're looking for names related to travel (e.g. business names, or pet names), this page might help you come up with ideas. The results below obviously aren't all going to be applicable for the actual name of your pet/blog/startup/etc., but hopefully they get your mind working and help you see the links between various concepts. If your pet/blog/etc. has something to do with travel, then it's obviously a good idea to use concepts or words to do with travel.

If you don't find what you're looking for in the list below, or if there's some sort of bug and it's not displaying travel related words, please send me feedback using this page. Thanks for using the site - I hope it is useful to you! 🐨

show more

  • change of location
  • see new place
  • international
  • accommodation
  • visit other country
  • exploration
  • destinations
  • choose destination
  • adventure travel
  • cruise ship
  • transportation
  • intercontinental
  • destination
  • holidaymakers
  • extreme tourism
  • circumnavigation
  • go to airport
  • backpacking
  • hand luggage
  • get on plane
  • on the road
  • round trip ticket
  • hospitality
  • peregrinate
  • go back home
  • accomodation
  • communication
  • peregrination
  • return ticket
  • experiences
  • save your money
  • get somewhere
  • volunteer travel
  • immigration
  • arrive at destination
  • sightseeing
  • return home
  • cosmopolitan
  • globetrotters
  • accommodations
  • fly in airplane
  • business trip
  • drive your car
  • fellow traveller
  • translation
  • travel purposefully
  • train ticket
  • travel long distance
  • overnighting
  • caravanning
  • cybertravel
  • bedroom community
  • move around
  • take the air
  • vacationers
  • overnighters
  • get to work
  • reverse commuter
  • buy souvenir
  • lose something
  • experience different culture
  • book holiday
  • go somewhere
  • plane ticket
  • learn foreign language
  • visit relative
  • autobiography
  • mt. everest
  • amazon rainforest
  • board plane
  • mode of transportation
  • motion sickness
  • passenger ticket
  • toll highway
  • mode of transport
  • road warrior
  • get driver's license
  • water travel
  • circulation
  • brachiation
  • reservations
  • itineraries
  • horseback riding
  • circumnavigate
  • kilometrage
  • vagabonding
  • county highway
  • time space convergence
  • hypertravel
  • entertainment
  • go someplace
  • head for hill
  • spring break
  • gravitation
  • commutation
  • vagabondage
  • betake oneself
  • thanatourism
  • pilgrimages
  • telecommuting
  • human migration
  • hang around
  • manipulation
  • progression
  • slice through
  • bullock cart
  • between deck
  • telecommute

That's about all the travel related words we've got! I hope this list of travel terms was useful to you in some way or another. The words down here at the bottom of the list will be in some way associated with travel, but perhaps tenuously (if you've currenly got it sorted by relevance, that is). If you have any feedback for the site, please share it here , but please note this is only a hobby project, so I may not be able to make regular updates to the site. Have a nice day! 🐱

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A Dictionary of Travel and Tourism

A Dictionary of Travel and Tourism  

Allan beaver.

Over 6,500 entries

Provides over 6,500 definitions of travel and tourism terminology, including the operating language of the travel industry, acronyms of organizations, associations, and trade bodies, IT terms, and brand names. Completely up to date, this dictionary covers the implications of web technology and social media on the travel and tourism industry, as well as new products and services, such as e-tickets, home-based travel agents, awareness amongst consumers and within the industry of terror-threatened travel, recent changes in legislation, and environmental concerns.

Useful appendices include the World Tourism Organization Global Code of Ethics for Tourism , the recommended tourism syllabus content for Higher Education courses worldwide, and a list of the EC Neutral Computerized Reservation System Rules . Providing a wealth of information on one of the fastest-growing global industries of the 21st century, this dictionary is the ideal point of reference for students taking travel, tourism, and hospitality courses, as well as professionals working within these areas.

Bibliographic Information

Affiliations are at time of print publication..

Allan Beaver is an expert in the fields of travel and tourism, and is Visiting Professor at Bournemouth University and Director of Beaver Travel . Previous publications include Mind Your Own Travel Business (1993), Travel Agency Layout, Equipment and Design (1989), and Air Fares Guide (1995).

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For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs , and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us .

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Front matter, publishing information, general links for this work, introduction, recommended tourism syllabus content for higher education courses, ec computer reservation system rules, acknowledgements.

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date: 09 February 2024

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IELTS Vocabulary – Tourism

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tourism ielts vocabulary

Considering that tourism is one of the biggest industries in the world, questions about tourism are common on the IELTS examination. You may be asked about trips you have taken or the wider impact of different types of tourism. Therefore, it is essential that you know and understands a range of words and phrases used to discuss tourism and related issues. This page contains commonly used IELTS vocabulary that will help make your answers more advanced and natural sounding. There are some exercises for you to practice using the words with some real IELTS questions.

Table of Contents

  • General Tourism Vocabulary
  • General Tourism Vocabulary Activity
  • Tourism Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, and Collocations
  • Tourism Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, and Collocations Activity

1. General Tourism Vocabulary

  • Accommodation – The places where tourists/visitors stay. For example, hotels, hostels etc…
  • Acculturation – The process of incorporating the values of other cultures. For example, a destination may adapt to the culture of visitors.
  • Backpacking – To travel, often to more than one destination, with your belongings in a backpack
  • Camping – A holiday spent in a tent or camper van
  • Cruise – A sea-based trip taking a pre-planned route that involves visiting several ports
  • Ecotourism – Tourism that does not cause damage to the natural environment
  • Excursion – A short trip usually taken whilst on holiday
  • Footfall – The number of people who enter an area/shop
  • Heritage – Objects and characteristics that are valued because of their cultural or historical significance
  • Homeland – The country you were born/brought up in
  • Infrastructure – The basic organisational structures in a place such as roads, transport systems, power supply, water etc…
  • Itinerary – A detailed plan of a route or journey. It usually includes times, dates, prices etc…
  • Luggage – The collective name for the suitcases/bags that you take on a trip
  • Luxurious – Of high quality
  • Mass tourism – Tourism on a large scale, often with standardised packages
  • Overseas – In a different country
  • Picturesque – Something that has an attractive or pretty appearance
  • Resorts – Places or destinations that are popular with tourists
  • Safari – A type of holiday/trip to observe or hunt animals. Most common in Africa.
  • Seasonal – Only occurring at certain times of the year
  • Sightseeing – The act of visiting different attractions or sights
  • Skiing holiday – A holiday where the primary purpose is to ski or engage in winter sports
  • Souvenir – Something you keep as a reminder of a place
  • To book – To reserve a flight or accommodation
  • To stroll – To walk, often slowly, with no particular destination in mind
  • Touristy – Places that are adapted or designed specifically for tourists, or places that have lots of tourists
  • Traditional/Quaint – Old-fashioned and attractive

IELTS writing correction

2. General Tourism Vocabulary Activity

Ielts vocabulary – tourism-1, 3. tourism idioms, phrasal verbs, and collocations.

Possessing the ability to use idioms, phrasal verbs and collocations correctly when discussing tourism will enable you to gain a higher score when you come to take the IELTS exam. Here are some useful words and phrases that you can use to make your answers sound more natural and advanced.

  • A sense of adventure – A desire to explore and engage in adventurous activities
  • A thirst for adventure – A desire to do something adventurous
  • All-inclusive – A trip where all food, drink, and accommodation are provided
  • Around the world – A large proportion of the world. Many destinations/continents.
  • Booked-up – Fully sold out or full
  • Bucket list – The places you want to visit and things you want to do in your lifetime
  • Check-in – Arrive and register at an airport or hotel
  • City break – A short 2- or 3-day trip to a city destination
  • Day trip – A trip that only lasts for one day
  • Get around – To move from place to place
  • Get away – To go on holiday/vacation/ (n) The holiday/vacation itself
  • Guided tour – Part of a trip where tourists are taken from place to place and given information by a guide
  • Head for/towards – To go in a certain direction or the direction of a specific place
  • Itchy feet – The desire to travel
  • Long haul/Short-haul destination – A destination far away from your home/ close to your home
  • Long haul/Short-haul flight- A flight that takes 6 + hours / A flight that takes -3 hours
  • Low-cost-airline – An airline that offers cheap with a minimal level of on-board service
  • On a shoestring – With a low amount of money
  • Out of season – The part of the year when it is not very busy
  • Package holiday – A holiday where the flight and accommodation, and often food, are included
  • Peak season – The busiest time of the year. For example, school holidays and Christmas
  • The road less travelled – The places where not many people have been
  • Travelling light – To go on a trip with little bags or luggage

4. Idioms, Phrasal Verbs, and Collocations Activity

Ielts vocabulary – tourism-2.

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Ielts vocabulary themes.

  • Finance and Money
  • Science and Technology

One thought on “IELTS Vocabulary – Tourism”

The exercise help me a lot, I´ll try to keep in touch. Thanks Encarna

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Related Words

tourism related words

This tool helps you find words that are related to a specific word or phrase. Also check out ReverseDictionary.org and DescribingWords.io . Here are some words that are associated with tourism : . You can get the definitions of these tourism related words by clicking on them. Also check out describing words for tourism and find more words related to tourism using ReverseDictionary.org

Click words for definitions

Our algorithm is scanning multiple databases for related words. Please be patient! :)

Words Related to tourism

Below is a list of words related to tourism . You can click words for definitions. Sorry if there's a few unusual suggestions! The algorithm isn't perfect, but it does a pretty good job for common-ish words. Here's the list of words that are related to tourism :

  • world tourism organization
  • cruise ship
  • united states
  • late-2000s recession
  • continental europe
  • sightseeing
  • balance of payments
  • 2009 flu pandemic
  • agricultural
  • agriculture
  • transportation
  • destination
  • attractions
  • united nations
  • tourist destination
  • biodiversity
  • middle class
  • the new york times
  • switzerland
  • multilingualism
  • peregrinate
  • peregrination
  • hypertravel
  • circumnavigation
  • cybertravel
  • development

Popular Searches

As you've probably noticed, words related to " tourism " are listed above. Hopefully the generated list of term related words above suit your needs.

P.S. There are some problems that I'm aware of, but can't currently fix (because they are out of the scope of this project). The main one is that individual words can have many different senses (meanings), so when you search for a word like mean , the engine doesn't know which definition you're referring to ("bullies are mean " vs. "what do you mean ?", etc.), so consider that your search query for words like term may be a bit ambiguous to the engine in that sense, and the related terms that are returned may reflect this. You might also be wondering: What type of word is ~term~ ?

Also check out tourism words on relatedwords.io for another source of associations.

Related Words runs on several different algorithms which compete to get their results higher in the list. One such algorithm uses word embedding to convert words into many dimensional vectors which represent their meanings. The vectors of the words in your query are compared to a huge database of of pre-computed vectors to find similar words. Another algorithm crawls through Concept Net to find words which have some meaningful relationship with your query. These algorithms, and several more, are what allows Related Words to give you... related words - rather than just direct synonyms.

As well as finding words related to other words, you can enter phrases and it should give you related words and phrases, so long as the phrase/sentence you entered isn't too long. You will probably get some weird results every now and then - that's just the nature of the engine in its current state.

Special thanks to the contributors of the open-source code that was used to bring you this list of tourism themed words: @Planeshifter , @HubSpot , Concept Net , WordNet , and @mongodb .

There is still lots of work to be done to get this to give consistently good results, but I think it's at the stage where it could be useful to people, which is why I released it.

Please note that Related Words uses third party scripts (such as Google Analytics and advertisements) which use cookies. To learn more, see the privacy policy .

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tourism related words

Top 30 Words Related to Tourism

The world of tourism is vast and exciting, encompassing a variety of activities, services, and destinations that attract travelers. Whether it’s leisure or business travel, tourism significantly impacts economies and cultures. Here is an exploration of the key terms that make up this dynamic industry.

Words Related to Tourism

Here are the top 30 terms related to tourism with meanings:

  • Destination : The place where tourists aim to visit.
  • Tourist : A person who travels for leisure or culture.
  • Hospitality : The service given to tourists in hotels, restaurants, etc.
  • Excursion : A short journey for pleasure or education.
  • Itinerary : A planned route or schedule for a trip.
  • Accommodation : A place for tourists to stay, like hotels or hostels.
  • Attraction : Something that draws tourists, such as landmarks.
  • Guided Tour : A tour led by an expert or local guide.
  • Leisure : Free time when you are not working, often spent traveling.
  • Travel Agent : A person who arranges travel plans.
  • Passport : An official document for international travel.
  • Visa : A permit to enter a particular country.
  • Adventure Tourism : Travel focusing on outdoor activities.
  • Budget Travel : Traveling with limited financial resources.
  • Cruise : A journey by sea for vacation purposes.
  • Eco-Tourism : Responsible travel to natural areas.
  • Backpacking : Traveling cheaply with minimal belongings.
  • Souvenir : An item bought to remember a trip.
  • Reservation : Booking a service in advance.
  • Local Cuisine : Food native to a particular area.
  • Sightseeing : Visiting notable places for enjoyment.
  • Transportation : The means of getting from one place to another.
  • Cultural Exchange : Learning about another’s culture through travel.
  • Jet Lag : Fatigue caused by air travel across time zones.
  • Festival : A special event that attracts tourists.
  • Package Tour : A pre-arranged tour with multiple services.
  • High Season : Peak time for tourism in a destination.
  • Low Season : A period of reduced tourism activity.
  • Travel Insurance : Protection against travel-related risks.
  • Customs : Where goods are declared at international borders

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  23. Top 30 Words Related to Tourism

    Here are the top 30 terms related to tourism with meanings: Destination: The place where tourists aim to visit. Tourist: A person who travels for leisure or culture. Hospitality: The service given to tourists in hotels, restaurants, etc. Excursion: A short journey for pleasure or education. Itinerary: A planned route or schedule for a trip.

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