Travel Agency

A travel agent is a person who has full knowledge of tourist product – destinations, modes of travel, climate, accommodation, and other areas of the service sector. He acts on the behalf of product providers/principles and in return gets a commission. Technically, a travel agent is an owner or manage r of an agency, but other employees are responsible for advising tourists and selling packages tours/individual components of travel products.

A travel agent may be an individual /firm or corporation which is commonly known as a travel agency . An agency means the office of travel agent or organization where all travel goods and services are assembled and coordinated for the smooth conduct of travel agency business.

Travel agency is one of the most important organizations in the tourism private sector which plays a significant and crucial role in the entire process of developing and promoting tourism in the country or at a destination. It is a travel agency which packages and processes all the attractions, accesses, amenities and ancillary services of a country and present them to tourists. That’s why travel agency is known as ‘ image builder ‘ of a country.

A prospective travel agency is one which makes arrangements of travel tickets (air, rail, road, and sea); travel documents (passports, visa and other documents required to travel); accommodation, entertainment, and other travel-related services from principle suppliers. It may also secure travel insurance, foreign currency for traveling people.

History of Travel Agency

The first Travel Agency of the world was established by Thomas Cook in 1845 in England. The use of the term travel trade dates back from the early years of the 19th century, but this should not obscure the fact that what we today describe as travel trade (travel agency and tour operation business) was taking place much earlier in history.

Throughout history, there was travel middleman who helped the merchants traveling for trade and others who traveled for religious purposes.

In 1841 a fortunate day comes in the history of travel trade when Thomas Cook , as secretary of South Midland Temperance Association, organized a trip by a train for 570 members for his association to the distance of 22 miles. He bought railway tickets in bulk to sell them to people.

The experiment was successful and everybody was exultant. Mr. Cook had done his job on a no-profit basis. But, incidentally, It gave him a new idea and turned it into a tour business.

Four years later in 1845 , he set up a ‘ World’s First Travel Agency ‘ to organize excursions.  Due to this innovative approach, Mr. Thomas Cook is known as the Father of Travel Agency Business . He co-ordinated railway and steamship excursions throughout England, Scotland and Europe.

However, the railways only gave him a 5% commission which was not enough to meet his overheads, so he decided to diversify this business into tour operation .

In 1855 Mr. Cook started operating package tours . He conducted the world’s first international tour from England to Paris.

Types of Travel Agency

Travel agencies are basically categorized into two types-: Retail Travel Agenc y and Wholesale Travel Agency .

Retail Travel Agency

A retail travel agency sells tourists products directly to the public on the behalf of the products suppliers and in return get commissions. Some package tour is sold in two ways i.e., on a commission basis and mark up the price.

When a travel agency sells a tour on the marked-up price it means that first, it markup the cost of the tour and then sell it at a higher rate. The markup price is the difference between retail price and wholesale cost.

Definitions of Retail Travel Agency

According to Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) a retail travel agency is defined as ” a business that performs the following functions: quotes fares, rates, make reservations, arrange travel tickets and accommodation, arrange travel insurance, foreign currency, documents and accepts payments.”

According to SARC (1967), ” retail travel agency business consists of the activities involved in selling tourism products/services directly to the tourists and performs normal functions such as issuing air tickets, making accommodation and transportation reservation, providing specialized services, and accepting and making payments.”

The main source of the revenue for the travel agency is the commission received from the vendors. However, the rate of the commission differs from organization to organization an travel component to the travel component.

A travel agency receives appx. 95% of their revenue from the commission, and the remaining 5% from consultancy services and others.

Wholesale Travel Agency

These agencies are specialized in organizing package tours, which are marketed to the customers/tourists through the network of a retail travel agency or directly to the prospective clients ( if wholesale travel agency has a retail division). A wholesale travel agency purchases tourists’ product components in the bulk and designs tour packages.

Sometimes, a wholesale travel agency buys travel components from the vendor in bulk and resell them to other travel business originations.

Wholesale travel agencies assemble package holidays and sell them to clients through retail travel agencies. A typical package tour includes – air tickets, accommodation, and something other services may also be included in it such as entertainment, sightseeing, and sports activities, etc.

These packages are referred to as ‘package tours’ most of these tours include the services of escorts but a few are sold to people who wish to travel independently.

Now a question arises – How a wholesale travel agency generates profits?

Generally, a wholesaler receives volume discounts from the principal suppliers because a wholesaler might agree to purchase a large number of seats from a particular airline or reserve a large number of rooms at a particular hotel or resort.

Practically, a wholesaler who sells package vacations/tours is called a Tour Operator .  However, technically there is a difference between a wholesaler and a tour operator. A wholesaler who sells tourists products individually without assembling them into a package tour is called a Consolidator .

Mostly, these are specialized in particular product components such as air tickets, accommodation, and conferences, and conventions, etc.

Difference between Wholesale Travel Agencies and Tour operators

The wholesale travel agencies may offer or operate the package tours or may specialize in developing tours for inbound as well as outbound travelers. They are often referred to as tour operators , but these two essentially different:

  • Wholesale travel agency does not sell directly to the public, while tour operators do sell directly to clients.
  • A wholesale travel agency usually combines, assembles and contacts for existing travel services to formulate a new travel product she has his own one or more components of travel product i.e. ‘ inclusive tours.’
  • Wholesale travel agencies are less inclined than tour operators to perform ground services i.e. handling agency or ground operators.
  • A wholesale travel agency may deal with one component of travel product while a tour operator offers a variety of tour programmes.
  • The size of the business is large in the case of tour operators in comparison to a wholesale travel agency.

Features and Importance of the Travel Agency

Travel agency plays an important role in the travel sector business. Some most important features and importance of the travel agency business are following as:-

  • An important link between the clients and principal suppliers.
  • Image-Builder.
  • Ensures rapid travel services.
  • Provider of authentic and reliable travel information.
  • A social a continuous process.
  • Establishes a good relationship with clients and vendors.

These are the most important features of the Travel Agency Business.

Functions and Services of Travel Agency

Today, Travel Agencies have been recognized as a vital component of travel and tourism and have become an integral part of the travel and tourism industry at globally. They account for more than 90% of international and 70% of domestic tourist traffic

Further, more than 60%  of all travel agency revenues are derived from business travel. Most travel agencies sell both commercial and leisure travel but there are many travel agencies that only specialized in one sector or the other.

The operation of each travel agency is based on the scope of its activities and organizational size. Here we discuss the functions of a large scale travel agency that performs all types of activities such as Retail travel agency, wholesaling and tour operations, etc. The main function of a large-scale travel agency are:

Travel Information

Whatever the size of a travel agency, it has to provide necessary travel information to tourists. A travel agency must give up-to-date, accurate, and timely information regarding destinations mode of travel, accommodation, sight-seeing, shopping, immigration, passport, visa, customs clearance and procedure, health and security rules, and various permits required to travel in particular areas, etc.

Itinerary Preparation

The term tourists itinerary is used to identify the origin, destination and all the stopping points in a traveler’s tours. It is a composition of various elements and designed after a detailed study of the market. Travel agencies prepare an itinerary for tour packages.

Airline Ticketing and Reservation

A travel agency sells a variety of tourism products. Airline ticketing and reservation is still a major source of revenue. Travel agencies perform a function of airline ticketing and reservation on behalf of various airlines.

Tour Packaging and Costing

Travel agencies prepare a tour package and sell them to tourists. The coasting and pricing of tour packages depend to a large extent on the ability of travel agents as to how effectively he is able to negotiate with the principal suppliers.


It is a very important function of all types of travel agencies. A travel agency consistently makes linkage with the accommodation sector, transport sector and other entertainment organizations to reserve rooms, and seats in the cultural programs and transportation.

Travel Insurance

Some large-scale travel agencies perform additional functions to serve their clients. Travel insurance protects travelers against the person as well as baggage losses resulting from a wide range of travel-related happenings and problems.

Currency Services

Approved travel agency authorized by Govt. body provides currency exchange services to tourists.

Organization of Conference/Conventions

Large-scale travel agencies offer a complete convention/conference package which includes registration of the participants at the venue to be picked up for dropped to the airport/hotel, overhead projectors, slide projectors, TV, VCR, information counter, sightseeing, etc.

Travel Agency Linkages and Integration

Basically, a travel agency serves two types of clients: business travelers and leisure travelers. Incidentally, the requirements of these tourists are different and an agency has to assemble or purchase-related components from the principal suppliers to cater to their needs.

Essentially, travel agencies maintain close ties with Airlines, hotels, car rentals, banks, insurance companies, railways, government, trade associations, foreign tour operators and travel agents, ground operators, cruise companies, and tourism educational institutes.

Our Passion

Our purpose.

The Travel Corporation logo featuring a globe with "TTC" initials, surrounded by the text "The Travel Corporation" and "Est. 1920," followed by the tagline "Driven by Service.

Passion For Travel

  • inherent Passion
  • Travel Styles
  • Destinations

Travel Inspiration

  • Immersive Experiences

Specialized Travel

  • Group Travel

Spreading our passion and love of travel

To take your breath away

TTC Sustainability

  • impactful Purpose
  • How We Tread Right
  • MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experiences
  • Sustainability Awards
  • TreadRight Foundation

Learn how we Make Travel Matter


Travel that makes a difference

Our Culture

  • Our Offices
  • incredible People

Our Heritage

  • Stanley Tollman

Learn about what makes our team unique

Discover your career path in travel


Tailor-made, sustainability, ttc sustainability, our passion, our purpose, passion for travel, travel inspiration, specialized travel.

  • Group-Travel
  • Our DMC’s


Our heritage.

  • Thoughts from our Chairman
  • MTM Experiences

tourist company definition

What is a Destination Management Company (DMC)?

by Marie Anne MacRae | 05 7, 2021 | TTC

May 7, 2021 | TTC

by Marie Anne MacRae

The travel industry is a very big place. You may have worked in it for many years and still never heard of a destination management company. If you haven’t, though, you could be missing out on some important business opportunities. 

To celebrate The Travel Corporation’s expansion of our DMC offering , we’re giving the low-down on these crucial pieces of the travel and tourism puzzle. Let’s take a look.

What is a DMC?

A destination management company is an enterprise that manages a range of products and services at a popular travel destination. Put very simply, they’re the companies that make travel experiences work. Whether you’re looking for someone to provide a safari trip, coach tours, cruises, catering or just about any other travel service you can name, it’s a DMC that makes it happen.

DMCs are usually smaller, local organizations that have been on the ground at a destination for years. They bring crucial local knowledge and experience to a travel enterprise, giving international partners the insight they need to create safe and exciting products.

What services can they help me with?

Name any travel experience and you’ll find a DMC out there that can provide it for you. The obvious services they provide are travel experiences that might require specialized equipment or skills, like coach tours, flotilla holidays or safaris. But they can also provide a huge range of smaller services that make the holiday planning experience a lot smoother. These include things like airport pickups and transfers, accommodation bookings, vehicle rental, catering or event management. If you’re looking to provide a really unique experience, such as bungee jumping, rainforest hikes or exclusive entry to local sights, the easiest way to provide it is by going through a DMC.

Why work with a DMC?

Destination Management Companies have two crucial benefits: they’re experts in the local area and specialists in the particular services that they offer. That means that you, as a travel professional, don’t have to be. Working with a DMC allows you to book any experience in any location around the world in the confidence that it will be delivered safely and to a high standard. 

However, the benefits don’t end there. Most DMCs have been running their travel businesses successfully for decades. That means they have localized knowledge about what works and what doesn’t in their region. They know that this road is usually flooded in summer, or that the best views of that valley are at sunrise – the secrets that you simply can’t know. That allows you to create better travel experiences that are more likely to do well in a competitive market.

Finally, many DMCs operate a huge range of different services or have partners that do so. That means that they can act as a one-stop shop when you’re creating a travel package. Bring on a DMC partner and there’s a good chance they can book just about everything you’ll need.

Who hires a DMC?

DMCs are a critical piece of the puzzle for international travel agents. If you’re building a travel product with inclusive services, a destination management company will help you put all the pieces together and plug any logistical gaps. They’re also perfect if you’re building something completely new for the market; they’ll offer a great perspective on the most successful travel experiences in the region.

DMCs are also ideal if you’re creating bespoke travel packages for an exclusive clientele. The huge range of services they provide allows you to be more flexible and plan more complex itineraries. And when your client’s needs change, the DMC is there to help you adapt on the fly, providing services as and when you need them.

DMCs are a big help no matter how you work. To learn more about what DMCs can do for you here at TTC, take a look at our services page. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is.

Latest articles

Hawaii beach - Top 10 Best Islands To Visit In The World In 2021

Top 10 Best Islands to Visit in The World in 2021

by Vanessa Budah | January 15, 2021 | TTC | 0 Comments

Top Train Travel Trips From Around The World To Get You On The Right Track

Top Train Travel Trips from Around the World to Get You on the Right Track

by Laura Hodges | November 25, 2020 | TTC | 0 Comments

A Bridge From The Past To The Future

A Bridge From The Past To The Future

by The Tollman Family | December 4, 2020 | TTC , TTC 100 | 0 Comments

When We Travel Again

When We Travel Again

by TreadRight’s Ambassadors | November 17, 2020 | TTC , TTC 100 | 0 Comments


Why Use a Destination Management Company (DMC)?

by Marie Anne MacRae | June 9, 2021 | TTC | 0 Comments

rooftops, Santorini, how to create a travel package product in Greece the Travel Corporation

How to Create a Travel Package Product in Greece

by Marie Anne MacRae | June 24, 2021 | TTC | 0 Comments

Two woman sitting in a boat, white label travel product the Travel Corporation

How Does a White-Label Travel Product Work?

by Marie Anne MacRae | July 5, 2021 | TTC | 0 Comments

Smiling friends at a beach - five travel experience trending in 2021 The Travel Corporation

Five Travel Experiences Trending in 2021

by Marie Anne MacRae | July 14, 2021 | TTC | 0 Comments

Top 10 Best Places to Visit in The World in 2021 - New Zealand

Top 10 Best Places to Visit in The World in 2021

by Vanessa Budah | November 5, 2020 | TTC | 0 Comments

practice self-care on your next vacation

Six Ways to Bring Self-Care to Your Next Vacation

by Vanessa Budah | October 29, 2020 | TTC | 0 Comments

This website uses cookies. We use cookies to analyse our traffic, enhance our website’s functionality and performance and better experience for our users. If you require more information please view our cookie policy .

  • More from M-W
  • To save this word, you'll need to log in. Log In

travel agency

Definition of travel agency

called also travel bureau

Examples of travel agency in a Sentence

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'travel agency.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

1898, in the meaning defined above

Articles Related to travel agency

woman looking at departures board

Is it ‘traveling’ or...

Is it ‘traveling’ or ‘travelling’?

A tale of two variants

Dictionary Entries Near travel agency

travel agent

Cite this Entry

“Travel agency.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

Kids definition of travel agency, more from merriam-webster on travel agency. Encyclopedia article about travel agency

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

Play Quordle: Guess all four words in a limited number of tries.  Each of your guesses must be a real 5-letter word.

Can you solve 4 words at once?

Word of the day.

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Popular in Grammar & Usage

Plural and possessive names: a guide, commonly misspelled words, how to use em dashes (—), en dashes (–) , and hyphens (-), absent letters that are heard anyway, how to use accents and diacritical marks, popular in wordplay, it's a scorcher words for the summer heat, flower etymologies for your spring garden, 12 star wars words, 'swash', 'praya', and 12 more beachy words, 8 words for lesser-known musical instruments, games & quizzes.

Play Blossom: Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

  • English (UK)
  • English (CA)
  • Deutsch (DE)
  • Deutsch (CH)

The 2024 guide to corporate travel management

What is a travel management company, how do travel management companies work, is a travel management company the same thing as a travel management agency, 8 reasons why organizations use a corporate travel management company, 1. they increase efficiency, 2. they provide 24/7 assistance, 3. they offer concierge services to organize the important extras, 4. they deliver excellent duty of care solutions, 5. they deliver excellent duty of care solutions, 6.  they help businesses reduce travel costs, travelperk is the all-in-one business travel platform that saves you time and money., 7. they offer greater visibility through real-time travel reports, 8. they can integrate corporate travel policies for greater compliance, what's the difference between traditional tmcs and travelperk.

Train Plane Travel

Make business travel simpler. Forever.

  • See our platform in action . Trusted by thousands of companies worldwide, TravelPerk makes business travel simpler to manage with more flexibility, full control of spending with easy reporting, and options to offset your carbon footprint.
  • Find hundreds of resources on all things business travel, from tips on traveling more sustainably, to advice on setting up a business travel policy, and managing your expenses. Our latest e-books and blog posts have you covered.
  • Never miss another update. Stay in touch with us on social for the latest product releases, upcoming events, and articles fresh off the press.
  • Business Travel Management
  • Offset Carbon Footprint
  • Flexible travel
  • Travelperk Sustainability Policy
  • Corporate Travel Resources
  • Corporate Travel Glossary
  • For Travel Managers
  • For Finance Teams
  • For Travelers
  • Thoughts from TravelPerk
  • Careers Hiring
  • User Reviews
  • Integrations
  • Privacy Center
  • Help Center
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookies Policy
  • Modern Slavery Act | Statement
  • Supplier Code of Conduct

TMC Finder

What is a Travel Management Company?

The definition of a travel management company (tmc).

A Travel Management Company (TMC) is a travel agent that fully manages the business travel requirements delegated by an individual, company or organisation to fundamentally save clients both time and money.

A TMC is also commonly known as a business travel agency or corporate travel provider.

As opposed to the traditional travel agent, which will usually deal with occasional leisure travel needs, a travel management company provides on-going services with the aim of providing cost savings, keeping control of a travel policy and allowing the client to spend less time on time-consuming travel arrangements.

tourist company definition

A travel management company will typically use a GDS (Global Distribution System like Sabre or Amadeus) displaying real time availability to book flights, hotels and cars as well as other trusted software systems like Evolvi for train bookings.

Services Provided by a Travel Management Company

As well as simply making flight or hotel reservations, the TMC will offer many other ancillary services such as aircraft charter, airport lounges, parking and transfers, hotel bed requests, car hire, chauffeurs, foreign exchange, group travel, hotel bill backs, insurance, leisure travel, marine travel, meal requests, meet and greets, passport and visa procurement, rail tickets, roadshow services and venue sourcing.

Company and individual profiles are safely stored ensuring all personal travel requests are adhered to within an overall travel policy with every booking.

Other management services will often include MIS reporting, account management, risk management, cost/expense management, traveller tracking/security and travel policy adherence. Many TMCs will now also provide online self-booking tools whereby organisations can make their own flight and hotel reservations and bookings. Travel management companies will also typically negotiate with vendors/suppliers to provide discounted fares and loyalty programs.

Credit and Specialities

Credit Facilities are usually not provided in the first 6-12 months however a travel management company should be able to advise a new client about external credit facilities, for example the BA Lodged Card. Some TMCs will specialise in working alongside charity or providing marine travel services.

Cambridge Dictionary

  • Cambridge Dictionary +Plus

Meaning of travel agent in English

Your browser doesn't support HTML5 audio

  • air corridor
  • amenity kit
  • caravanning
  • high season
  • package tour
  • phrase book
  • post-holiday
  • put something up
  • ranger station
  • tourist trap

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

travel agent | American Dictionary

Travel agent | business english, examples of travel agent, translations of travel agent.

Get a quick, free translation!


Word of the Day


of or relating to a parliament

Fakes and forgeries (Things that are not what they seem to be)

Fakes and forgeries (Things that are not what they seem to be)

tourist company definition

Learn more with +Plus

  • Recent and Recommended {{#preferredDictionaries}} {{name}} {{/preferredDictionaries}}
  • Definitions Clear explanations of natural written and spoken English English Learner’s Dictionary Essential British English Essential American English
  • Grammar and thesaurus Usage explanations of natural written and spoken English Grammar Thesaurus
  • Pronunciation British and American pronunciations with audio English Pronunciation
  • English–Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified)–English
  • English–Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional)–English
  • English–Dutch Dutch–English
  • English–French French–English
  • English–German German–English
  • English–Indonesian Indonesian–English
  • English–Italian Italian–English
  • English–Japanese Japanese–English
  • English–Norwegian Norwegian–English
  • English–Polish Polish–English
  • English–Portuguese Portuguese–English
  • English–Spanish Spanish–English
  • English–Swedish Swedish–English
  • Dictionary +Plus Word Lists
  • English    Noun
  • American    Noun
  • Business    Noun
  • Translations
  • All translations

To add travel agent to a word list please sign up or log in.

Add travel agent to one of your lists below, or create a new one.


Something went wrong.

There was a problem sending your report.

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

  • Travel Tips

What Is Tourism Managment

Published: December 12, 2023

Modified: December 28, 2023

by Ashil Brookshire

  • Plan Your Trip
  • Sustainability



Tourism is a flourishing industry that encompasses travel, accommodations, attractions, and activities for leisure, business, or educational purposes. As travel becomes more accessible and people’s desire to explore new places increases, the importance of effective tourism management becomes paramount. Tourism management plays a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation, sustainability, and profitability of tourism destinations and businesses.

Tourism management involves overseeing and coordinating various aspects of the tourism industry, including marketing, planning, development, operations, and customer service. It aims to provide a positive and enriching experience for tourists, while also benefiting the local communities and preserving the environment.

In this article, we will delve into the definition of tourism management, discuss its importance, explore the key elements and functions within tourism management, and highlight the challenges and emerging trends in the field.

By understanding the intricacies of tourism management, professionals in the industry can develop effective strategies to attract tourists, optimize the visitor experience, and contribute to the overall growth and sustainability of the tourism sector.

Definition of Tourism Management

Tourism management refers to the practice of planning, organizing, and coordinating all the activities and resources involved in the operation of tourism destinations, businesses, and services. It encompasses a wide range of responsibilities, including marketing, budgeting, development, operations, and customer service, with the ultimate goal of ensuring a positive and fulfilling experience for tourists.

Effective tourism management involves a comprehensive understanding of customer preferences, market trends, and destination dynamics. It requires a strategic approach to attract tourists, create memorable experiences, and maximize the economic and social benefits for the local communities. A successful tourism management plan takes into account factors such as infrastructure, transportation, accommodation, attractions, and local resources.

Tourism managers play a crucial role in coordinating the various stakeholders involved in the tourism industry, including government agencies, tourism boards, hospitality establishments, transportation companies, tour operators, and local communities. They work towards developing and implementing strategies that align with the objectives of all parties and ensure the sustainability of tourism destinations.

Furthermore, tourism management involves maintaining a delicate balance between preserving the natural and cultural heritage of a destination and providing quality experiences for tourists. It encompasses initiatives for environmental conservation, responsible tourism practices, and community engagement. By implementing sustainable measures, tourism managers can create long-term benefits and mitigate any negative impacts of tourism on the environment and local communities.

Ultimately, the goal of tourism management is to create a harmonious relationship between tourists, the destination, and the local community. By carefully examining and managing all aspects of the tourism experience, tourism managers strive to meet the demands of the modern traveler, while simultaneously promoting the social, economic, and environmental sustainability of the destination.

Importance of Tourism Management

The importance of effective tourism management cannot be overstated. It plays a crucial role in the sustainable development and success of tourism destinations and businesses. Here are several key reasons why tourism management is essential:

  • Economic Impact: Tourism is a significant source of revenue and job creation worldwide. Tourism management helps maximize the economic benefits by attracting tourists, promoting local businesses, and ensuring the efficient utilization of resources. It stimulates economic growth, enhances employment opportunities, and generates income for the local community.
  • Sustainable Development: By implementing sustainable tourism practices, tourism management aims to minimize negative impacts on the environment and culture of the destination. It fosters responsible tourism, encourages conservation efforts, and promotes the well-being of local communities. This ensures the long-term viability and preservation of the destination for future generations.
  • Enhanced Visitor Experience: Tourism management focuses on providing exceptional experiences for tourists. It involves careful planning and coordination of attractions, accommodations, transportation, and activities to meet the needs and preferences of different types of travelers. By creating memorable and enjoyable experiences, tourism management fosters positive word-of-mouth recommendations and repeat visits.
  • Destination Promotion: Effective tourism management plays a crucial role in destination promotion. It involves strategic marketing initiatives, digital campaigns, and partnerships to attract tourists from different regions. By showcasing the unique offerings of a destination, tourism management helps create a positive image and differentiate it from competitors in the global tourism market.
  • Community Engagement: Tourism management actively engages with local communities to ensure their involvement and support in tourism activities. By promoting community participation, respect for local customs and traditions, and equitable distribution of benefits, tourism management fosters a positive relationship between tourists and the local community.

In summary, tourism management is vital for driving economic growth, environmental sustainability, and cultural preservation. It strives to enhance the visitor experience, promote responsible tourism practices, and foster positive relationships between tourists, the destination, and local communities. By prioritizing effective tourism management, destinations can thrive and maximize the benefits of tourism while mitigating potential negative impacts.

Elements of Tourism Management

Tourism management involves various elements that are essential for the successful operation and development of tourism destinations and businesses. These elements encompass the key components that contribute to the overall tourism experience. Here are the main elements of tourism management:

  • Marketing and Promotion: This element focuses on creating awareness and attracting tourists to a destination or business. It involves market research, branding, advertising, digital marketing, public relations, and partnerships to effectively communicate the unique selling points of the destination or business.
  • Planning and Development: This element involves strategic planning for the sustainable development of tourism destinations. It includes market analysis, infrastructure development, zoning regulations, carrying capacity assessment, and collaboration with stakeholders to ensure the optimal use of resources and development of tourism facilities.
  • Operations and Logistics: This element deals with the day-to-day operations and logistical aspects of tourism businesses and destinations. It includes managing accommodations, transportation, attractions, tour operations, customer service, and ensuring smooth operations and seamless experiences for tourists.
  • Customer Service and Experience: This element focuses on providing excellent customer service and creating memorable experiences for tourists. It includes training staff, implementing quality assurance measures, addressing customer feedback, and continuously improving the visitor experience to exceed customer expectations.
  • Sustainability and Responsible Tourism: This element emphasizes the importance of preserving the natural and cultural heritage of a destination and promoting responsible tourism practices. It involves implementing sustainable measures, minimizing negative impacts of tourism, supporting local communities, and engaging in environmental conservation efforts.
  • Economic Management: This element focuses on the financial aspect of tourism management. It involves budgeting, revenue management, pricing strategies, cost control, and financial analysis to ensure profitability and economic sustainability for tourism businesses and destinations.
  • Partnerships and Collaboration: This element highlights the significance of collaboration with various stakeholders in the tourism industry. It includes establishing partnerships with government entities, tourism boards, local communities, businesses, and industry associations to foster cooperation, share resources, and work towards common goals.

By addressing and integrating these elements effectively, tourism management can create a well-rounded and holistic approach to the overall management and success of tourism destinations and businesses. It ensures a memorable and sustainable tourism experience for both tourists and the local community.

Functions of Tourism Management

Tourism management involves a range of functions that are essential for the efficient and effective operation of tourism destinations and businesses. These functions contribute to the overall success of the tourism industry and play a vital role in providing a positive experience for tourists. Here are the main functions of tourism management:

  • Strategic Planning: This function involves setting goals, formulating strategies, and developing plans to achieve the desired outcomes. It includes analyzing market trends, identifying target markets, and determining the positioning and competitive advantage of the destination or business.
  • Market Research: Market research is crucial for understanding customer preferences, market trends, and demand patterns. This function involves conducting surveys, collecting data, and analyzing market insights to develop marketing strategies, identify target audiences, and tailor tourism offerings accordingly.
  • Product Development: This function focuses on creating tourism products and experiences that meet the needs and expectations of tourists. It involves identifying unique selling points, designing packages and itineraries, collaborating with local attractions and service providers, and ensuring product innovation to enhance the tourism experience.
  • Marketing and Promotion: This function entails creating awareness, attracting tourists, and promoting tourism offerings. It includes advertising, digital marketing, public relations, social media management, content creation, and developing partnerships to effectively reach and engage with target audiences.
  • Operations Management: This function deals with the day-to-day operations of tourism businesses and destinations. It includes managing accommodations, transportation, attractions, and activities, as well as ensuring efficient logistics and providing quality customer service to enhance the overall visitor experience.
  • Financial Management: Financial management is crucial for the economic sustainability of tourism businesses and destinations. This function involves budgeting, revenue management, pricing strategies, cost control, and financial analysis to ensure profitability and optimize resource allocation.
  • Sustainability and Responsible Tourism: This function focuses on environmental conservation, community engagement, and responsible tourism practices. It involves implementing sustainable measures, promoting cultural preservation, supporting local communities, and ensuring the long-term viability of tourism destinations.
  • Customer Relationship Management: This function emphasizes building and maintaining strong relationships with customers. It includes managing customer inquiries, addressing feedback and complaints, providing personalized experiences, and fostering customer loyalty through effective communication and relationship building initiatives.
  • Partnerships and Collaboration: Collaboration is crucial for the success of tourism management. This function involves establishing partnerships with government entities, tourism boards, local communities, businesses, and industry associations to collaborate, share resources, and work towards common goals for the development and growth of the tourism industry.

By fulfilling these functions, tourism management ensures the seamless operation, sustainable development, and memorable experiences for both tourists and the local community. It is a multifaceted discipline that requires a comprehensive approach to meet the ever-evolving demands of the tourism industry.

Challenges in Tourism Management

Tourism management faces various challenges that can impact the sustainability and success of tourism destinations and businesses. These challenges arise from both internal and external factors and require proactive strategies to overcome. Here are some common challenges in tourism management:

  • Seasonality: Seasonality refers to the fluctuation in tourism demand based on the time of year. Many destinations experience peak tourist seasons followed by periods of low or off-peak seasons. Managing seasonality can be a challenge, as it requires finding ways to attract tourists during off-peak times and optimizing resources to accommodate peak season demands.
  • Overtourism: Overtourism occurs when the number of tourists exceeds the carrying capacity of a destination, resulting in overcrowding, infrastructure strain, and negative environmental and sociocultural impacts. Managing overtourism involves implementing measures to distribute tourism flows, regulate visitor numbers, and promote sustainable tourism practices.
  • Sustainability: Ensuring sustainable tourism is a challenge faced by tourism management. This involves balancing the economic, social, and environmental aspects of tourism to minimize negative impacts and maximize long-term benefits. It requires implementing sustainable practices, promoting responsible tourism, and engaging local communities in decision-making processes.
  • Competition: The tourism industry is highly competitive, with destinations and businesses vying for the attention of tourists. Managing competition requires differentiating the destination or business through unique offerings, effective marketing strategies, and continuous innovation to attract and retain visitors.
  • Changing Consumer Behavior: Consumer behavior and travel preferences are constantly evolving. Tourism management needs to adapt to these changes by understanding emerging trends, catering to different market segments, and providing personalized experiences. This requires staying updated with technology advancements, digital marketing strategies, and consumer insights.
  • Economic Volatility: Tourism can be impacted by economic factors such as recessions, exchange rate fluctuations, and political instability. These factors can influence travel decisions, tourist spending, and business operations. Tourism management needs to develop strategies to mitigate the effects of economic volatility and attract tourists during challenging times.
  • Infrastructure and Resource Management: Adequate and well-maintained infrastructure is crucial for the smooth operation of tourism. However, managing limited resources, ensuring sustainability, and maintaining infrastructure can be challenging. Tourism management needs to prioritize infrastructure development, enhance resource management, and strike a balance between tourist needs and environmental conservation.
  • Technology Disruptions: Rapid advancements in technology impact the tourism industry. Online platforms, social media, and mobile applications have changed the way tourists research, book, and experience travel. Tourism management needs to leverage technology to enhance marketing, distribution channels, customer service, and overall tourism experiences.
  • Crisis Management: Tourism destinations are susceptible to natural disasters, political unrest, health crises, and other unforeseen events. Crisis management is crucial in ensuring safety, communication, and recovery. Tourism management should have contingency plans, crisis communication strategies, and cooperation with authorities to effectively manage crises.

Overcoming these challenges requires proactive and strategic approaches in tourism management. By addressing these issues, tourism destinations and businesses can thrive, deliver exceptional visitor experiences, and contribute to the sustainable development of the tourism industry.

Emerging Trends in Tourism Management

Tourism management is constantly evolving to adapt to changing market dynamics, consumer preferences, and technological advancements. Here are some emerging trends in tourism management that are shaping the future of the industry:

  • Sustainable Tourism: The increasing emphasis on sustainability has led to a rise in sustainable tourism practices. Travelers are seeking eco-friendly and socially responsible experiences. Tourism management is embracing sustainable initiatives such as reducing carbon emissions, promoting local sourcing, and supporting community development.
  • Authentic Experiences: Tourists are increasingly looking for unique and authentic experiences that provide a deeper connection with the destination and its culture. Tourism management is focusing on curating immersive activities, cultural interactions, and off-the-beaten-path experiences to meet these demands.
  • Technology Integration: Technology continues to revolutionize the tourism industry. Tourism management is leveraging technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence to enhance the booking process, improve customer service, and create engaging marketing campaigns.
  • Personalization: Personalization is gaining prominence as tourists seek customized experiences tailored to their preferences. Tourism management is utilizing data analytics and customer relationship management tools to segment markets, target specific demographics, and deliver personalized recommendations and offers to travelers.
  • Wellness and Health Tourism: Wellness and health tourism have witnessed significant growth. As people prioritize their well-being, tourism management is incorporating wellness activities, spa treatments, yoga retreats, and healthy dining options into destination offerings.
  • Community Engagement: Tourism management is recognizing the importance of involving local communities in tourism development. Engaging with local residents, empowering them economically, and showcasing their culture and traditions contribute to sustainable destination management.
  • Multi-Generational Travel: With families traveling together, tourism management is focusing on catering to the diverse needs of multi-generational travelers. Destinations are offering a variety of activities and accommodations suitable for different age groups and interests.
  • Sharing Economy: The sharing economy has disrupted the traditional tourism industry. Tourism management is adapting by collaborating with sharing economy platforms, integrating home-sharing options, and exploring new business models to meet the evolving demands of travelers.
  • Destination Marketing through Influencers: Influencer marketing has become a powerful tool in tourism management. Collaborating with social media influencers to create authentic content and promote destinations has become an effective way to reach and engage with target audiences.
  • Accessible Tourism: The focus on inclusivity and accessibility has led to the growth of accessible tourism. Tourism management is ensuring that destinations, accommodations, and attractions are accessible to people with disabilities, providing equal opportunities for all travelers.

These emerging trends are reshaping the tourism industry and presenting new opportunities and challenges for tourism management. By embracing these trends, tourism destinations and businesses can stay competitive, attract a wider range of visitors, and deliver exceptional experiences in the ever-changing landscape of travel and tourism.

Tourism management plays a crucial role in the successful operation, development, and sustainability of tourism destinations and businesses. It encompasses various elements and functions that aim to create exceptional experiences for tourists while considering the economic, environmental, and social impacts of tourism.

Throughout this article, we have explored the definition of tourism management, its importance, key elements, functions, challenges, and emerging trends. It is evident that effective tourism management is essential for driving economic growth, preserving natural and cultural heritage, promoting responsible tourism practices, and enhancing the overall visitor experience.

However, tourism management also faces challenges such as seasonality, overtourism, sustainability, competition, and changing consumer behavior. These challenges require proactive strategies and innovative approaches to ensure the long-term success and development of tourism destinations.

At the same time, emerging trends in tourism management, including sustainable tourism, personalization, technology integration, and wellness tourism, present new opportunities for growth and innovation within the industry.

In conclusion, tourism management is a dynamic and evolving field that plays a vital role in shaping the tourism industry. By effectively managing tourism destinations and businesses, tourism managers can create positive synergies between tourists, the destination, and local communities, fostering economic growth, environmental preservation, and cultural enrichment.

With the constantly evolving landscape of travel, it is imperative for tourism managers to stay updated with the latest trends, embrace sustainable practices, leverage technology, and engage with diverse stakeholders. By doing so, tourism management can contribute to the growth and sustainability of the tourism industry, creating unforgettable experiences for travelers while fostering a positive and responsible approach towards tourism.


  • Privacy Overview
  • Strictly Necessary Cookies

This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful.

Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.

If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.

  • Market Segmentation in Tourism (What It Is & Why It Matters)

tourist company definition

Pete Sherwood , Director of Content Strategy

tourist company definition

Pete Sherwood

Director of content strategy.

Don’t let the ever-present hat fool you (he took it off for this one photo), Pete is "all business" when it comes to taking websites from good to great. Pete writes compelling copy for users as well as search engines, and while he's sensitive about his overuse of em-dashes, he's constantly churning out succinct, targeted copy for clients in a variety of industries.

  • eCommerce Content Marketing Tips (That Work)
  • E-Commerce Use Case: Corinthian Marine
  • E-commerce: Market segmentation strategies can grow your sales
  • The Pillars of Branding for Credit Unions
  • Why Hire a Copywriter
  • The Digital Patient Journey: Turning searches into conversions
  • Medical on Mobile: Why Responsive and Mobile First Design Are Vital to the Healthcare Industry

March 22, 2023 | Reach an Audience

banner travel

Originally published April 11, 2017 Updated March 26, 2023

As the tourism industry continues to advance, competition among businesses intensifies. To excel, you must understand your customers’ diverse needs and preferences.

This is where travel market segmentation comes in. This process divides a larger market into smaller groups of consumers with similar needs and characteristics.

Market segmentation is essential for travel and tourism businesses to effectively reach and engage with their target audience.

By identifying specific travel segments, such as solo travelers, adventure seekers, or luxury travelers, you can tailor your offerings and marketing messages to meet their unique needs.

In fact, a report by McKinsey & Company shows 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions .

This report indicates the increasing significance of market segmentation in the tourism industry. Companies that excel at demonstrating customer intimacy generate faster revenue growth rates than their peers.

In this blog post, I’ll explore the importance of market segmentation in tourism, why it’s important, and how you can use it to improve your marketing strategy.

What Is Market Segmentation in Tourism?

Market segmentation in tourism is the process of dividing the market into smaller groups of consumers with similar needs or characteristics . This helps tourism businesses tailor their offerings and marketing messages. Travel market segmentation also increases customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Why Is Market Segmentation Important in the Tourism Industry?

Travel market segmentation is a crucial strategy in the tourism industry. Travel segments divide customers into distinct groups based on their needs, interests, behaviors, and demographics.

Travel segments also help businesses tailor their marketing efforts and develop targeted products and services for each group. As a result, travel and tourism companies can maximize revenue and customer satisfaction.

Here are some key reasons why market segmentation is important in the tourism industry:

Helps businesses understand their customers : By segmenting the market, you can better understand your customers and create more personalized experiences and products.

Allows for targeted marketing : Customer segments help you create marketing messages and campaigns tailored to each unique group. This can increase the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and improve customer engagement.

Increases customer satisfaction : Offering products and services customized to your customers will likely satisfy their experience. This can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth.

Boosts revenue : Creating targeted products and services that appeal to specific customer segments can increase revenue. You can attract and retain more customers, which improves profitability.

What Are the 4 Types of Traveler Segmentation?

There are several different ways to segment the travel market. The four main tourism market segments include:

  • Demographic segmentation in tourism : Dividing customers based on age, gender, income, education, and other demographic factors.
  • Geographic segmentation in tourism : Segmenting customers based on location, such as country, region, or city.
  • Psychographic segmentation in tourism : Dividing customers based on their lifestyle, interests, values, and personality traits.
  • Behavioral segmentation in tourism : Segmenting customers based on their behaviors and actions, such as travel frequency, spending habits, and travel motivations.

Using these travel segments, you can develop targeted marketing strategies, improve customer satisfaction, increase loyalty, and boost revenue.

For instance, a business that focuses on adventure travel may target customers with a high interest in outdoor activities and a willingness to take risks.

Some popular segment names for the travel and tourism industry are escapists, learners, planners, and dreamers.

What Are Examples of Market Segmentation in Tourism?

Here are five brief tourism market segmentation examples. They illustrate how businesses can tailor their offerings to specific customer needs.

  • Hotel targeting business travelers by offering conference rooms and fast Wi-Fi.
  • Tour company targeting adventure seekers by offering hiking and extreme sports packages.
  • Cruise line targeting families by offering kid-friendly activities and childcare services.
  • Luxury resort targeting customers with a high income and a preference for exclusive amenities and experiences.
  • A destination marketing organization targeting retirees by promoting cultural events and attractions.

Businesses that leverage tailored travel segments gain a competitive edge in the tourism industry.

Seize the (Micro) Moment in Travel Market Segmentation

Market segmentation in tourism requires you to think critically about your target audience and how they move through the customer journey.

Often, tourism and travel market segments are created by one, or a combination, of the following:

  • Age / life stage (e.g., millennial, retiree)
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Type of travel (e.g., business, leisure, extended stay)

With online research easier and more portable than ever, we like to think about travel segments a little differently.

Travel brands and destination marketers should consider the moments your potential customers may jump online from their phone or computer—as the biggest marketing opportunity.

While the who still matters when you’re trying to reach an audience—the when is more vital than ever.

For example, think about how you planned your last vacation. If you were like most, you bounced back and forth between dreaming about and loosely planning your next getaway—zooming in on a destination and quickly bouncing around in search of inspiration only to zoom out and consider all the options yet again.

This quick spurt of research to answer an immediate need (usually turning to a search engine) has been coined “a micro-moment” by Google.

Such micro-moments represent a huge opportunity for destination marketing organizations and are the key to attracting and earning a savvy traveler’s consideration.

Often, we pull in focus groups to test our theories on user motivation and needs.   From on-paper prototypes and discussion groups to high-fidelity wireframes and user-experience videos—we pick from our bag of user-testing methods to ensure content and calls-to-action are placed in the best places possible.

How to Use Travel Segments in Your Marketing Strategy

What if your brand or location could be in front of your potential customers during the exact moments they are dreaming about getting away, planning their visit, and eventually booking their vacation? What content should you create at what moments?

Knowing how to leverage travel market segmentation and the power of micro-moments is the key to upping your travel industry marketing game.

It’s how you keep your messaging laser focused and your audience satisfied. As a result, your travel or tourism company will see increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and revenue!

Market Segmentation in Tourism FAQ

Answers to common questions about tourism market segmentation.

Why Do We Segment the Tourism Market?

The travel market is far too large and diverse to reach effectively in one fell swoop. Tourism marketers use segmentation to understand customer needs better and allocate marketing dollars effectively.

Effective travel market segmentation is based on extensive quantitative research focusing on large numbers of people. Then grouping them based on shared characteristics such as:

  • Demographics
  • Behavioral patterns
  • Cognition ratings

Once identified, these groups are referred to as particular segments. You can target them with specific product offerings, services, and tailored marketing messages.

What Are the Components of the Tourism Industry?

There are six main components of tourism, each with sub-components. The six components of travel and tourism include attractions, activities, accessibility, accommodation, amenities, and transportation.

Travel Segments vs Personas: What’s the Difference?

Personas are used to encourage a design for real people with real needs. They break down the user’s context, needs, motivations, and pain points on a personal basis.

Travel segments aim to pinpoint and measure the size of different groups at a high level.

Market segmentation isn’t persona research. Sure, they’re very similar tools that group current and potential customers into manageable buckets. However, you can’t create a detailed buyer persona without first diving into market research.

Nonprofit Web Design Best Practice: Increasing Donations

B2b content marketing trends, four tips for marketing to older adults, hire gravitate. get results..

Logo for BCcampus Open Publishing

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Chapter 7. Travel Services

7.1 Components of Travel Services

The travel services sector helps travellers arrange and reserve their vacation or business trips (StatsCan, 2018). This sector is made up of businesses and organizations that work in a coordinated effort to provide travellers with seamless arrangements to maximize their travel experience. Go2HR describes travel services experiences and employment opportunities as follows:

Within this sector, you have the flexibility of working in various capacities with event and conference planning organizations, travel companies and organizations, as well as associations, government agencies and companies that specialize in serving the needs of the tourism sector as a whole. (go2HR, Essential Tips – Travel Services, 2020)

Before we move on, let’s explore the term travel services a little more. As detailed in Chapter 1 , Canada, the United States, and Mexico have used the NAICS guidelines, which define the tourism industry as consisting of transportation, accommodation, food and beverage, recreation and entertainment, and travel services (Tourism HR Canada, 2020). These five sectors are defined and further detailed in B.C. by the B.C. government (BC Government, 2014) and go2HR on their website (go2HR, Career Explorer, 2020).

For many years, however, the tourism industry was classified into eight sectors: accommodations, adventure and recreation, attractions, events and conferences, food and beverage, tourism services, transportation, and travel trade (Yukon Department of Tourism and Culture, 2020; go2HR, 2020, What is Tourism? – Travel Services).

Travel website showing outdoor activities in B.C., such as skiing and surfing.

Tourism services support industry development and the delivery of guest experiences, and some of these are missing from the NAICS classification. To ensure you have a complete picture of the tourism industry in BC, this chapter will cover both the NAICS travel services activities and some additional tourism services.

First, we’ll review the components of travel services as identified under NAICS, as well as exploring popular careers within:

  • Travel agencies (brick and mortar)
  • Online Travel Agencies/OTA
  • Tour operators
  • Destination marketing organizations (DMOs)

Other Organizations

Following these definitions and descriptions, we’ll take a look at some other support functions that fall under tourism services. These include sector organizations, tourism and hospitality human resources organizations, training providers, educational institutions, government branches and ministries, economic development and city planning offices, and consultants.

Finally, we’ll look at issues and trends in travel services, both at home, and abroad.

While the application of travel services functions are structured somewhat differently around the world, there are a few core types of travel services in every destination. Essentially, travel services are those processes used by guests to book components of their trip. Let’s explore these services in more detail.

Travel Agencies

Travel agency storefront, which is plastered with sales posters and advertisements.

A travel agency is a business that operates as the intermediary between the travel industry (supplier) and the traveller (purchaser). Part of the role of the travel agency is to market prepackaged travel tours and holidays to potential travellers. The agency can further function as a broker between the traveller and hotels, car rentals, and tour companies (Goeldner & Ritchie, 2003). Travel agencies can be small and privately owned or part of a larger entity.

A travel agent is the direct point of contact for a traveller who is researching and intending to purchase packages and experiences through an agency. Travel agents can specialize in certain types of travel including specific destinations; outdoor adventures; and backpacking, rail, cruise, cycling, or culinary tours, to name a few. These specializations can help travellers when they require advice about their trips. Some travel agents operate at a fixed address and others offer services both online and at a bricks-and-mortar location. Travellers are then able to have face-to-face conversations with their agents and also reach them by phone or by email. To promote professionalism within the travel industry, travel counsellors can apply for a specialized diploma or certificate in travel from ACTA (ACTA, 2020a; go2HR, 2020a).

Today, travellers have the option of researching and booking everything they need online without the help of a travel agent. As technology and the internet are increasingly being used to market destinations, people can now choose to book tours with a particular agency or agent, or they can be identified as seeking Domestic Independent Travel (DIT) or Foreign Independent Travel (FIT) , by creating their own itineraries from a number of suppliers.

Online Travel Agents (OTAs)

Increasing numbers of travellers are turning to online travel agents (OTAs), companies that aggregate accommodations and transportation options and allow users to choose one or many components of their trip based on price or other incentives. Examples of OTAs include iTravel2000,,,, and OTAs continue to gain popularity with the travelers; in 2012, they reported online sales of almost $100 billion (Carey, Kang, & Zea, 2012) and almost triple that figure, upward of $278 billion, in 2013 ( The Economist , 2014).

In early 2015 Expedia purchased Travelocity for $280 million, merging two of the world’s largest travel websites. Expedia became the owner of, Hotwire, Egencia, and Travelocity brands, facing its major competition from Priceline (Alba, 2015).

Although OTAs can provide lower-cost travel options to travellers and the freedom to plan and reserve when they choose, they have posed challenges for the tourism industry and travel services infrastructure. As evidenced by the merger of Expedia and Travelocity, the majority of popular OTA sites are owned by just a few companies, causing some concern over lack of competition between brands. Additionally, many OTAs charge accommodation providers and operators a commission to be listed in their inventory system. Commission-based services, as applied by Kayak, Expedia, Hotwire,, and others, can have an impact on smaller operators who cannot afford to pay commissions for multiple online inventories (Carey, Kang & Zea, 2012). Being excluded from listings can decrease the marketing reach of the product to potential travellers, which is a challenge when many service providers in the tourism industry are small or medium-sized businesses with budgets to match.

While the industry and communities struggle to keep up with the changing dynamics of travel sales, travellers are adapting to this new world order. One of these adaptations is the ever-increasing use of mobile devices for travel booking. The Expedia Future of Travel Report found that 49% of travellers from the millennial generation (which includes those born between 1980 and 1999) use mobile devices to book travel (Expedia Inc., 2014), and these numbers are expected to continue to increase. Travel agencies are reacting by developing personalized features for digital travellers and mobile user platforms (ETC Digital, 2014). With the number of smartphone users expected to reach 1.75 billion in 2014 (CWT Travel Management Institute, 2014) these agencies must adapt as demand dictates.

A chunky computer with a black and green screen.

A key feature of travel agencies’ (and to a growing extent transportation carriers) mobile services includes the ability to have up-to-date itinerary changes and information sent directly to consumers’ phones (Amadeus, 2014). By using mobile platforms that can develop customized, up-to-date travel itineraries for clients, agencies and operators are able to provide a personal touch, ideally increasing customer satisfaction rates.

Take a Closer Look: PATA — The Future of Travel is Personalisation at Scale

“The industry has changed monumentally over the past decade. The rise of meta-search websites and sharing economy services like Airbnb is giving travellers more control and choice than ever before. However, this is nothing compared to the changes that are on the horizon as technologies like mobile, AR, AI, and VR become mainstream.

One thing is certain; the pace of change is accelerating. Against this backdrop, the travel industry as a whole will need to fundamentally shift its focus to continuous innovation.” (PATA, 2019)

Despite the growth and demand for OTAs, brick and mortar travel agencies are still in demand by travellers (IBISWorld, 2019) as they have both an online presence and physical locations. The COVID-19 pandemic may see an increase in travellers relying on personal contact with brick and mortar travel agencies but at a distance through mail and phone.

Tour Operators

People walk across the snow in the mountains. A tour bus is parked behind them.

A tour operator packages all or most of the components of an offered trip and then sells them to the traveller. These packages can also be sold through retail outlets or travel agencies (CATO, 2020; Goeldner & Ritchie, 2003). Tour operators work closely with hotels, transportation providers, and attractions in order to purchase large volumes of each component and package these at a better rate than the traveller could if purchasing individually. Tour operators generally sell to the leisure market.

Inbound, Outbound, and Receptive Tour Operators

Tour operators may be inbound, outbound, or receptive:

  • Inbound tour operators  bring travellers into a country as a group or through individual tour packages (e.g., a package from China to visit Canada).
  • Outbound tour operators work within a country to take travellers to other countries (e.g., a package from Canada to the United Kingdom).
  • Receptive tour operators (RTOs) are not travel agents, and they do not operate the tours. They represent the various products of tourism suppliers to tour operators in other markets in a business-to-business (B2B) relationship. Receptive tour operators are key to selling packages to overseas markets (Destination BC, 2020) and creating awareness around possible product.

Destination Marketing Organizations

Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) include national tourism boards, state/provincial tourism offices, and community convention and visitor bureaus around the world. DMOs promote “the long-term development and marketing of a destination, focusing on convention sales, tourism marketing and service” (Destinations BC, 2020).

Spotlight On: Destinations International

Destinations International is the global trade association for official DMOs. It is made up of over 600 official DMOs in 15 countries around the world. DMAI provides its members with information, resources, research, networking opportunities, professional development, and certification programs. For more information, visit the Destinations International website.

With the proliferation of other planning and booking channels, including OTA s, today’s DMOs are shifting away from travel services functions and placing a higher priority on destination management components.

Working Together

One way tour operators, DMOs, and travel agents work together is by participating in familiarization tours (FAMs for short). These are usually hosted by the local DMO and include visits to different tour operators within a region. FAM attendees can be media, travel agents, RTO representatives, and tour operator representatives. FAMs are frequently low to no cost for the guests as the purpose is to orient them to the tour product or experience so they can promote or sell it to potential guests.

The majority of examples in this chapter so far have pertained to leisure travellers. There are, however, specialty organizations that deal specifically with business trips.

Spotlight On: Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Canada

“GBTA Canada is the voice of the Canadian business travel industry. We believe in providing the business travel and meetings community with a global platform to serve as a resource library for their peers, to implement world-class Conferences, workshops and virtual meetings, and to foster an interactive network of innovation and support.” The GBTA state that their economic impact contributes $23.5 billion CAD in Canadian business travel (Economic Impact Study) and “$435+ billion CAD of business travel and meetings expenditures represented globally.” Visit the GBTA website .

Business Travel Planning and Reservations

Unlike leisure trips, which are generally planned and booked by end consumers using their choice of tools, business travel often involves a travel management company, or its online tools. Travel managers negotiate with suppliers and ensure that all the trip components are cost effective and comply with the policies of the organization.

Many business travel planners rely on global distribution systems (GDS) to price and plan components. GDS combine information from a group of suppliers, such as airlines. In the past, this has created a chain of information from the supplier to GDS to the travel management company. Today, however, there is a push from airlines (through the International Air Transport Association’s Resolution 787) to dissolve the GDS model and forge direct relationships with buyers (BTN Group, 2014).

Destination Management Companies

According to the Association of Destination Management Executives International (ADMEI), a destination management company (DMC) specializes in designing and implementing corporate programs, and “is a strategic partner to provide creative local experiences in event management, tours/activities, transportation, entertainment, and program logistics” (ADMEI, 2020). The packages produced by DMCs are extraordinary experiences rather than general business trips. These are typically used as employee incentives, corporate retreats, product launches, and loyalty programs. DMCs are the one point of contact for the client corporation, arranging for airfare, airport transfers, ground transportation, meals, special activities, and special touches such as branded signage, gifts, and decor (ADMEI, 2020). The end user is simply given (or awarded) the package and then liaises with the DMC to ensure particular arrangements meet his or her needs and schedule.

As you can see, travel services range from online to personal, and from leisure to business applications. Now that you have a general sense of the components of travel services, let’s look at some examples in Canada and BC.

Under NAICS, businesses and functions that assist with planning and reserving components of the visitor experience.

Other services that work to support the development of tourism and the delivery of guest experiences.

A business that provides a physical location for travel planning requirements.

An individual who helps the potential traveller with trip planning and booking services, often specializing in specific types of travel.

A trade organization established in 1977 to ensure high standards of customer service, engage in advocacy for the trade, conduct research, and facilitate travel agent training.

A service that allows the traveller to research, plan, and purchase travel without the assistance of a person, using the internet on sites such as or

An operator who packages suppliers together (hotel + activity) or specializes in one type of activity or product.

An operator who packages products together to bring visitors from external markets to a destination.

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

Someone who represents the products of tourism suppliers to tour operators in other markets in a business-to-business (B2B) relationship.

Also known as a destination management organization; includes national tourism boards, state/provincial tourism offices, and community convention and visitor bureaus.

Tours provided to overseas travel agents, travel agencies, RTOs, and others to provide information about a certain product at no or minimal cost to participants. The short form is pronounced like the start of the word "family" (not as each individual letter).

A company that creates and executes corporate travel and event packages designed for employee rewards or special retreats.

Introduction to Tourism and Hospitality in BC - 2nd Edition Copyright © 2015, 2020, 2021 by Morgan Westcott and Wendy Anderson, Eds is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book

tourist company definition

  • Search Search Please fill out this field.
  • Corporate Finance

Corporate Business Travel: Everything You Need to Know

tourist company definition

Katie Miller is a consumer financial services expert. She worked for almost two decades as an executive, leading multi-billion dollar mortgage, credit card, and savings portfolios with operations worldwide and a unique focus on the consumer. Her mortgage expertise was honed post-2008 crisis as she implemented the significant changes resulting from Dodd-Frank required regulations.

tourist company definition

Corporate business travel involves the movement of individuals representing their organizations for work-related reasons. Whether it’s attending client meetings, industry conferences, or sealing business deals, this practice covers a range of activities essential for professional growth.

In the interconnected global business environment, where face-to-face connections matter, corporate business travel plays a central role in sustaining and expanding enterprises across borders. Businesses face challenges in optimizing this crucial element of their operations. Strategic considerations must be taken into account to use this element of business to its greatest potential.

Key Takeaways

  • Corporate business travel can unlock new opportunities for business growth, offering the possibility of reaching new markets, connecting with a wider pool of prospects, or developing brand presence and reputation.
  • Traveling for business has many benefits for individuals as well, providing them the chance to meet fellow employees, grow their career by participating in different opportunities, and network within the industry, not to mention experience new destinations.
  • Business traveler safety and security are top priorities during corporate travel.
  • To ensure that travel goes smoothly and stays within budget, companies should implement corporate travel policies and best practices for employees traveling on behalf of the company.

Importance of Corporate Business Travel

There are many business-related reasons to travel. It can encourage team building, promote learning, offer different perspectives, provide connection to a wider network, open up new markets, and drive sales. And whether or not the trip is for a specific purpose (such as a conference or a retreat), the benefits for employees and companies alike can extend beyond the stated intent of the trip, building confidence, cultural competency, relationships, and company reputation.

Many employees consider the opportunity to travel for work a desirable job perk, as it can offer the chance to venture somewhere that they may not ordinarily go, or to have a trip paid for by their company. And although expenses are associated with travel from a corporate perspective, they may be well worth the return on investment in terms of potential leads or sales—plus, many travel expenses are tax- deductible .

Types of Corporate Business Travel

Corporate travel can take many forms, including the chance for employees and executives to attend events, such as meetings, conferences, industry networking sessions, and fairs. Or a trip may take advantage of educational opportunities such as training sessions, seminars, and workshops. Retreats and guided trips can make for valuable team-building time in new contexts that unlock different perspectives and strengthen working relationships.

Businesses may send their employees to a different location to network, sell, teach, learn from, or generally connect with external contacts or internal employees in regional offices, or to act on behalf of the company in some way.

Additionally, from a client perspective, business travel may occur as a form of due diligence , ensuring that your vendors or suppliers are legitimate, legal, and compliant organizations—for example, traveling for regular audits to confirm that what you think is happening at your supplier organizations is actually happening.

Creating a Corporate Travel Policy

From a company perspective, travel can be a challenge to administer and manage . Costs can easily balloon out of control; travel logistics can be time-intensive to arrange; employees traveling on behalf of the company must be granted a great deal of trust; and like any form of travel, business travel can open up risks to safety, security, and health.

No matter the size of the business or the frequency or complexity of travel, a corporate travel policy can be a helpful tool for any company to set expectations for its employees, communicate guidelines and processes, keep expenses within budget, and streamline booking and logistics.

In creating a corporate travel policy, companies might consider the following for both domestic and international travel, as applicable:

  • Purpose(s) of travel
  • Which employees are eligible to travel
  • Booking and expense approval processes
  • Risks and liabilities of travel and how to manage them
  • Expectations for employee behavior, including acceptable and secure uses of technology, personal vs. leisure time, communication, and entertainment while traveling
  • Eligible expenses for employees while traveling, including per diem rates if applicable
  • Determine if employees will be reimbursed for their expenses or given a corporate credit card to use
  • Financial tracking, record-keeping, and reimbursement processes
  • Acceptable booking practices and costs, including preferred agents or vendors
  • Travel insurance

Of course, policies must also be communicated and enforced to ensure compliance and fairness. Including a travel policy as part of a corporate handbook or reviewing it in an onboarding or training module can be a good way to ensure that all employees receive and understand the information. Making it easily accessible for future reference on a shared drive or company portal will encourage employees to refer to it often.

Business travel managers estimate, on average, that spending on domestic and international corporate travel is at 77% and 74%, respectively, of where it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Setting a Corporate Travel Policy

tourist company definition

Corporate Business Travel Best Practices

There are many best practices that both employees and companies can keep in mind around corporate business travel to ensure that it is a successful experience. These encompass everything from administration and financing to employee behavior and well-being.

Booking Corporate Travel

Booking travel can be labor-intensive and time-consuming. To improve the booking process, save on costs, and streamline expense reporting, it can be helpful to designate preferred travel agencies, online platforms, vendors, and lodgings for employees and executives to book with. If the size of the company allows, it can also be helpful to hire an employee or team specifically to oversee and administer corporate travel, or designate this duty as part of an employee’s broader job description.

Managing Travel Expenses and Budgeting

There are many financial considerations when it comes to corporate business travel, and expenses and budgets must be carefully managed to keep costs under control. Many travel expenses are tax-deductible and can be written off, representing potentially significant savings for a company. Setting a budget and clear guidelines for employees about what can be an expense and what cannot is a must, as is creating and enforcing policies and procedures around tracking and reporting expenses.

Many corporate credit cards offer travel rewards and cost-saving opportunities for business travel, as do many other vendors and suppliers in the corporate travel industry. Businesses can take advantage of these to reduce inefficiencies and save on costs.

How to Manage Corporate Travel

tourist company definition

Ensuring Traveler Safety and Security

As with any trip, business trips are not without safety and security risks, including the potential for political or civil unrest, crime, illness, injury, accidents, emergencies, natural disasters, cybersecurity breaches, or theft.

To protect their employees against unexpected and undesirable circumstances, at a minimum, businesses will want to have a travel insurance plan in place. It’s also helpful for businesses and employees to undertake some form of travel risk assessment to aid them in navigating potential risks, and outline safety and emergency preparedness guidelines within a corporate travel policy.

Employees should also know how to call if something goes sideways, such as hotel booking issues. A travel agent? A supervisor? If there’s a hurricane, you don’t have a car, and your flight is canceled, can you book another last-minute flight to get around the weather to get home? These details should be planned ahead for.

Maximizing Productivity During Business Trips

The overlap of business and leisure, sometimes referred to as “bleisure,” is one of the main draws of corporate business travel. However, there can also be pitfalls associated with this gray area. It can be difficult to stay productive while working remotely, whether due to the many distractions of a new environment (positive and negative), or because the trip entails an increased workload or time spent away from day-to-day job duties.

Employees looking to manage their time efficiently while away should get clarity on the intended purpose and expected outcome of their trip, and their employer’s and teammates’ expectations for their workload and communication frequency. They can also plan ahead to make the most of their travel time and downtime, and anticipate time zone differences to ensure smooth communication and adjustment to jet lag.

It’s important for employees to maintain work-life balance while traveling on behalf of work. Researching food, entertainment, and fitness options and preparing accordingly can pay off in terms of mental and physical wellness, especially for frequent travelers.

Tips for Business Travel Etiquette

Traveling anywhere, whether domestically or internationally, comes with responsibilities and expectations regarding employee behavior. Perception is one of the most important factors to remember when traveling as a representative of your company. You represent your company out in the public, so you need to ensure you’re displaying any key values that your company represents when interacting with vendors, clients, and peers.

This applies to cultural sensitivity as well. Travelers should do research in advance of their trip to ensure that they can be mindful of local customs and professional etiquette and behave with awareness and respect. Even the basics, such as learning appropriate forms of greeting or how to handle money and payment, and committing a few common words or phrases to memory can go a long way toward demonstrating good intentions and building a new relationship across cultures.

Sustainable and Responsible Business Travel

Recognizing that corporate travel can have a negative impact on the environment, many businesses and individuals are reexamining their travel practices and policies to see where they can make improvements. One example is reducing emissions by booking different means of transportation when possible. In general, seeking out vendors or companies that promote sustainable travel practices and responsible tourism, and that support local communities and ecosystems, can be a good first step to reduce environmental impact.

Technology and Tools for Corporate Business Travel

Software and technology tools can be immensely useful across all aspects of corporate business travel. Travel management and booking platforms; apps for tracking expenses, navigation, or converting currency; and translation and communication tools are all things that employees and businesses alike can take advantage of before, during, and after traveling.

When it comes to technology, it’s important to account for cybersecurity risks and only bring what is necessary to reduce the potential impact of damage, loss, or theft.

Managing Business Travel Expenses

tourist company definition

What Is an Example of Corporate Business Travel?

There are many work-related reasons to travel, but many businesses will have their employees travel for conferences, events, sales and networking, seminars, meetings, team building, retreats, and to open up new business growth potential.

How Does Corporate Business Travel Work?

Corporate travel is simply travel for business-related purposes, so the nature of the trip will depend on its length and purpose. Companies whose employees travel frequently on behalf of the business should consider creating a corporate travel policy with information and guidelines for their employees.

Who Handles Corporate Business Travel?

Some businesses employ internal teams or individuals to manage corporate travel and business trips. At other times, employees are responsible for making their own arrangements within guidelines laid out by the company. There are also corporate travel agencies that businesses can leverage to streamline and optimize their bookings and costs.

The Bottom Line

Corporate business travel can be an invaluable path to both business growth and individual career development, building strong relationships and teams. No matter what form it takes, it’s prudent for companies to collect, implement, and communicate best practices for business travel to their employees in a company handbook or corporate travel policy. This should incorporate areas such as expense and booking management, safety and security, productivity, sustainability, technology, and employee behavior and etiquette.

Michela Buttignol / Investopedia

Internal Revenue Service. “ Understanding Business Travel Deductions .”

Global Business Travel Association. “ GBTA Business Travel Industry Outlook Poll .”

Harvard Business Review. “ How to Work and Travel at the Same Time .”


  • Terms of Service
  • Editorial Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Your Privacy Choices

UN Tourism | Bringing the world closer

Un standards for measuring tourism, share this content.

  • Share this article on facebook
  • Share this article on twitter
  • Share this article on linkedin

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.

Tourism Teacher

Stakeholders in tourism: Who are they and why do they matter?

Stakeholders in tourism. This is a phrase often used in both academia and the tourism industry, but what does it actually mean?

The word stakeholder is a term that often throws people. In fact, it is commonly confused with the term shareholder . Whilst the two terms are not entirely dissimilar, the two mean two different things. So, lets clarify this- what exactly do we mean by stakeholders in tourism?

Stakeholders in tourism: What does it mean?

Stakeholder theory in tourism, stakeholder analysis in tourism, tourism organisations and operators, small and medium enterprises, utilities and infrastructure, communities, stakeholders in tourism: conclusion, further reading on stakeholders in tourism.

In this article I am going to explain to you want is meant by the term stakeholder and who the stakeholders in tourism are…. but before you read on, take a look at this short video that I created on the topic (and don’t forget to hit the like button too- thanks a million!)

A stakeholder is quite literally anyone who is involved with a particular project, organisation or industry. To put it simply, they hold a metaphorical ‘stake’.

A stakeholder in tourism can be an individual person, such as a tourist or a taxi driver. They could be a group of people such as a student group or a family. They could be a company or organisation.

Stakeholders in tourism

A stakeholder is different from a shareholder . A stakeholder is a person, group or organisation who is in some way involved with a project. Whereas a shareholder is a person, group or organisation who owns part of the project (i.e. a share).

Therefore a stakeholder and a shareholder are two different things.

As such, when we refer to a stakeholder in tourism, we are NOT talking about somebody who is necessarily financially involved. Instead they could have a wide range of involvements, that are not necessarily related to ownership or money.

Stakeholder Theory is all about the way in which stakeholders should be taken into account when making business decisions.

Most of the world nowadays is built upon a capitalist society, within which there is a complex web of interconnected stakeholders. From customers through to suppliers, employees, investors and local communities, it is important that their needs and desires are taken into account in order to yield optimal results.

As such, Stakeholder Theory presupposes that an organisation should take into account and create value for all stakeholders when undertaking their planning and operational activities.

Stakeholder Theory was first introduced by R. Edward Freeman in 1984. Since this time businesses and organisations in a range of industries throughout the world have utilised Edward’s theoretical contributions in their operational plans.

Stakeholder Theory has become a key consideration in the research of business ethics and has served as a platform for further research and development in the area.

Stakeholders in tourism

In order to ensure that a business, whether in tourism or in another industry, is effectively considering stakeholders needs and requirements, the organisation must carry out some form of stakeholder analysis.

Stakeholder analysis is a process whereby key stakeholders are identified and grouped according to levels of participation, interest and influence. The organisation must then determine how best to work with and satisfy said stakeholders.

In the context of tourism this could involve considering how best to work with the host community or working with the Government on tax policies, for example. Or it could involve investigating what products would be most popular with the tourists and what working conditions must be provided to yield the best outcomes from company employees.

To put it simply, stakeholder analysis is a complex task where each person, group or individual must be assessed in terms of their value to the organisation and what their needs and requirements are.

Theoretically then, if the organisation operates with all of its stakeholders’ needs and requirements in mind, they are more likely to satisfy stakeholders and therefore to conduct successful business operations.

Here is a bit more on exactly what stakeholder analysis is-

Who are the stakeholders in tourism?

The tourism industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. This means that there are many individuals, groups and organisations who are involved at some level or another.

Stakeholders in tourism

As demonstrated in the diagram above, there are a number of key stakeholders who are commonly involved with the tourism industry. Through his work on the stakeholders in tourism, Peter Burns has classified stakeholders according to the type of engagement that they have: External, secondary or primary. This is demonstrated below.

stakeholders in tourism

I will provide a brief outline of the typical involvement that the above stakeholders are likely to have.

The Government plays in a key role in the tourism industry. Throughout the different levels of tourism policy and planning , the Government will dictate a variety of rules, requirements and practices.

From visa policies to the maintenance of public infrastructure, most tourism business will operate closely with Government.

There are a wide range of tourism organisations and operators.

From travel agents and airlines through to DMOs (Destination Management Organisations) and travel bloggers , to restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions, all of these organisations are key players in the tourism industry.

There are a wide range of businesses that are seen as stakeholders in tourism.

These may be directly associated with travel and tourism , such as an airline.

They may also be indirectly associated with tourism, such as a waste removal company (who deals with the waste created by tourism).

Stakeholders in tourism

There are also many NGOs (non-governmental organisations) that are associated with the tourism industry.

These might include charities or non-profit organisations. Examples include the Tourism Society and The Travel Foundation .

Tourists are at the very heart of the tourism industry. Without tourists there would be no tourism!

The tourism industry relies on a wide range of suppliers.

From factories producing bedding used in hotels, to farmers growing the vegetables served in restaurants, there are many suppliers who work either directly or indirectly with the tourism industry.

One of the key stakeholders in tourism is the workforce.

Some have argued that the travel and tourism industry employs more people, directly and indirectly, than any other industry in the world (see my post on the economic impacts of tourism for more details).

Employees in the tourism industry are commonly undertaking low-paid jobs in areas such as hospitality, catering and customer service.

The education sector is also a stakeholder in tourism.

Many educational courses will involve visits to tourism areas to enhance the educational provision offered. For example a school history trip to the D-Day beaches in France .

Education is also offered to many employees who work in the tourism industry in the form of training.

In order for the tourism industry to function, certain utilities and infrastructure is required.

This means that the local power plant is a stakeholder in tourism, because it provides energy.

It also means that the builders, road workers and engineers are stakeholders in tourism, because they provide and maintain the necessary infrastructure.

Read more: You might also be interested in the following posts – What is the sharing economy and how does this influence tourism? – Authenticity in tourism: Explained -What is McDonaldisation and how does it work? – Economic leakage in tourism explained – How to write an awesome literature review

There is a strong relationship between transport and tourism .

In fact, the very definition of tourism , prescribes that a person must travel away from the place that they live in order to be a tourist (although with the growth of virtual tourism I would argue that there is a need to revise this widely used definition).

As such, the method of transport between point A and point B is an integral part of the tourism system, thus making the transport providers (airlines, trains, taxi etc) important stakeholders in tourism.

The final stakeholder in tourism that is worth mentioning is the community. In fact, many would argue that this is one of the most important stakeholders in tourism.

In my post on the social impacts of tourism , I outline how important it is for tourism organisations to work with the local community and what the consequences can be if tourism operators do not listen to the needs and requirements of the host community.

Good tourism management often involves community-level briefings, consultations and ongoing communication in order to ensure that this important stakeholder is empowered throughout the process of tourism development planning and operation.

Hopefully this post has helped you to understand what is meant by the term stakeholders in tourism. You should also now be familiar with the concepts of stakeholder theory and stakeholder analysis. There are many, many stakeholders in tourism and in this post I have provided you with lots of examples. Want to learn more? I have suggested some key texts for additional reading below.

  • The 10 Major Types of Events
  • The 8 Major Types of Cruise
  • 150 types of tourism! The ultimate tourism glossary
  • 20 Popular Types of Hotels Around The World
  • 21 Types of Tourists Around The World

Travel, Tourism & Hospitality

Global tourism industry - statistics & facts

What are the leading global tourism destinations, digitalization of the global tourism industry, how important is sustainable tourism, key insights.

Detailed statistics

Total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP worldwide 2019-2034

Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide 1950-2023

Global leisure travel spend 2019-2022

Editor’s Picks Current statistics on this topic

Leading global travel markets by travel and tourism contribution to GDP 2019-2022

Travel and tourism employment worldwide 2019-2034

Further recommended statistics

  • Basic Statistic Total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP worldwide 2019-2034
  • Basic Statistic Travel and tourism: share of global GDP 2019-2034
  • Basic Statistic Leading global travel markets by travel and tourism contribution to GDP 2019-2022
  • Basic Statistic Global leisure travel spend 2019-2022
  • Premium Statistic Global business travel spending 2001-2022
  • Premium Statistic Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide 1950-2023
  • Basic Statistic Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide 2005-2023, by region
  • Basic Statistic Travel and tourism employment worldwide 2019-2034

Total contribution of travel and tourism to gross domestic product (GDP) worldwide in 2019 and 2023, with a forecast for 2024 and 2034 (in trillion U.S. dollars)

Travel and tourism: share of global GDP 2019-2034

Share of travel and tourism's total contribution to GDP worldwide in 2019 and 2023, with a forecast for 2024 and 2034

Total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in leading travel markets worldwide in 2019 and 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Leisure tourism spending worldwide from 2019 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Global business travel spending 2001-2022

Expenditure of business tourists worldwide from 2001 to 2022 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide from 1950 to 2023 (in millions)

Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide 2005-2023, by region

Number of international tourist arrivals worldwide from 2005 to 2023, by region (in millions)

Number of travel and tourism jobs worldwide from 2019 to 2023, with a forecast for 2024 and 2034 (in millions)

  • Premium Statistic Global hotel and resort industry market size worldwide 2022-2023
  • Premium Statistic Most valuable hotel brands worldwide 2023, by brand value
  • Basic Statistic Leading hotel companies worldwide 2023, by number of properties
  • Premium Statistic Number of hotels in the construction pipeline worldwide 2024
  • Premium Statistic Number of hotel rooms in the construction pipeline worldwide 2024
  • Premium Statistic Countries with the most hotel construction projects in the pipeline worldwide 2024

Global hotel and resort industry market size worldwide 2022-2023

Market size of the hotel and resort industry worldwide in 2022 and 2023 (in trillion U.S. dollars)

Most valuable hotel brands worldwide 2023, by brand value

Leading hotel brands based on brand value worldwide in 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Leading hotel companies worldwide 2023, by number of properties

Leading hotel companies worldwide as of June 2023, by number of properties

Number of hotels in the construction pipeline worldwide 2024

Number of hotels in the construction pipeline worldwide as of the first quarter of 2024

Number of hotel rooms in the construction pipeline worldwide 2024

Number of hotel rooms in the construction pipeline worldwide as of the first quarter of 2024

Countries with the most hotel construction projects in the pipeline worldwide 2024

Countries with the highest number of hotel construction projects in the pipeline worldwide as of the first quarter of 2024

  • Premium Statistic Airports with the most international air passenger traffic worldwide 2023
  • Premium Statistic Market value of selected airlines worldwide 2023
  • Premium Statistic Global passenger rail users forecast 2017-2028
  • Premium Statistic Daily ridership of bus rapid transit systems worldwide by region 2023
  • Premium Statistic Number of users of car rentals worldwide 2019-2028
  • Premium Statistic Number of users in selected countries in the Car Rentals market in 2023
  • Premium Statistic Carbon footprint of international tourism transport worldwide 2005-2030, by type

Airports with the most international air passenger traffic worldwide 2023

Leading airports for international air passenger traffic in 2023 (in million international passengers)

Market value of selected airlines worldwide 2023

Market value of selected airlines worldwide as of May 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Global passenger rail users forecast 2017-2028

Worldwide number of passenger rail users from 2017 to 2023, with a forecast through 2028 (in billion users)

Daily ridership of bus rapid transit systems worldwide by region 2023

Number of daily passengers using bus rapid transit (BRT) systems as of April 2023, by region

Number of users of car rentals worldwide 2019-2028

Number of users of car rentals worldwide from 2019 to 2028 (in millions)

Number of users in selected countries in the Car Rentals market in 2023

Number of users in selected countries in the Car Rentals market in 2023 (in million)

Carbon footprint of international tourism transport worldwide 2005-2030, by type

Transport-related emissions from international tourist arrivals worldwide in 2005 and 2016, with a forecast for 2030, by mode of transport (in million metric tons of carbon dioxide)


  • Premium Statistic Leading museums by highest attendance worldwide 2019-2022
  • Basic Statistic Most visited amusement and theme parks worldwide 2019-2022
  • Basic Statistic Monuments on the UNESCO world heritage list 2023, by type
  • Basic Statistic Selected countries with the most Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide 2023

Leading museums by highest attendance worldwide 2019-2022

Most visited museums worldwide from 2019 to 2022 (in millions)

Most visited amusement and theme parks worldwide 2019-2022

Leading amusement and theme parks worldwide from 2019 to 2022, by attendance (in millions)

Monuments on the UNESCO world heritage list 2023, by type

Number of monuments on the UNESCO world heritage list as of September 2023, by type

Selected countries with the most Michelin-starred restaurants worldwide 2023

Number of Michelin-starred restaurants in selected countries and territories worldwide as of July 2023

Online travel market

  • Premium Statistic Online travel market size worldwide 2017-2028
  • Premium Statistic Estimated desktop vs. mobile revenue of leading OTAs worldwide 2023
  • Premium Statistic Number of aggregated downloads of leading online travel agency apps worldwide 2023
  • Basic Statistic Market cap of leading online travel companies worldwide 2023
  • Premium Statistic Estimated EV/Revenue ratio in the online travel market 2024, by segment
  • Premium Statistic Estimated EV/EBITDA ratio in the online travel market 2024, by segment

Online travel market size worldwide 2017-2028

Online travel market size worldwide from 2017 to 2023, with a forecast until 2028 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Estimated desktop vs. mobile revenue of leading OTAs worldwide 2023

Estimated desktop vs. mobile revenue of leading online travel agencies (OTAs) worldwide in 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Number of aggregated downloads of leading online travel agency apps worldwide 2023

Number of aggregated downloads of selected leading online travel agency apps worldwide in 2023 (in millions)

Market cap of leading online travel companies worldwide 2023

Market cap of leading online travel companies worldwide as of September 2023 (in million U.S. dollars)

Estimated EV/Revenue ratio in the online travel market 2024, by segment

Estimated enterprise value to revenue (EV/Revenue) ratio in the online travel market worldwide as of April 2024, by segment

Estimated EV/EBITDA ratio in the online travel market 2024, by segment

Estimated enterprise value to EBITDA (EV/EBITDA) ratio in the online travel market worldwide as of April 2024, by segment

Selected trends

  • Premium Statistic Global travelers who believe in the importance of green travel 2023
  • Premium Statistic Sustainable initiatives travelers would adopt worldwide 2022, by region
  • Premium Statistic Airbnb revenue worldwide 2017-2023
  • Premium Statistic Airbnb nights and experiences booked worldwide 2017-2023
  • Premium Statistic Technologies global hotels plan to implement in the next three years 2022
  • Premium Statistic Hotel technologies global consumers think would improve their future stay 2022

Global travelers who believe in the importance of green travel 2023

Share of travelers that believe sustainable travel is important worldwide in 2023

Sustainable initiatives travelers would adopt worldwide 2022, by region

Main sustainable initiatives travelers are willing to adopt worldwide in 2022, by region

Airbnb revenue worldwide 2017-2023

Revenue of Airbnb worldwide from 2017 to 2023 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Airbnb nights and experiences booked worldwide 2017-2023

Nights and experiences booked with Airbnb from 2017 to 2023 (in millions)

Technologies global hotels plan to implement in the next three years 2022

Technologies hotels are most likely to implement in the next three years worldwide as of 2022

Hotel technologies global consumers think would improve their future stay 2022

Must-have hotel technologies to create a more amazing stay in the future among travelers worldwide as of 2022

  • Premium Statistic Travel and tourism revenue worldwide 2019-2028, by segment
  • Premium Statistic Distribution of sales channels in the travel and tourism market worldwide 2018-2028
  • Premium Statistic Inbound tourism visitor growth worldwide 2020-2025, by region
  • Premium Statistic Outbound tourism visitor growth worldwide 2020-2025, by region

Travel and tourism revenue worldwide 2019-2028, by segment

Revenue of the global travel and tourism market from 2019 to 2028, by segment (in billion U.S. dollars)

Distribution of sales channels in the travel and tourism market worldwide 2018-2028

Revenue share of sales channels of the travel and tourism market worldwide from 2018 to 2028

Inbound tourism visitor growth worldwide 2020-2025, by region

Inbound tourism visitor growth worldwide from 2020 to 2022, with a forecast until 2025, by region

Outbound tourism visitor growth worldwide 2020-2025, by region

Outbound tourism visitor growth worldwide from 2020 to 2022, with a forecast until 2025, by region

Further reports

Get the best reports to understand your industry.

Mon - Fri, 9am - 6pm (EST)

Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm (SGT)

Mon - Fri, 10:00am - 6:00pm (JST)

Mon - Fri, 9:30am - 5pm (GMT)

The Travel Glossary - find the best Terms, Definitions and Acronyms

Travel terms, glossary, definitions and acronyms of the travel industry from A – Z. Click on a letter to see the terms and descriptions in our glossary.

A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L     M     N     O     P     Q     R     S     T     U     V     W     X     Y     Z

Add-collect, adjoining room.

Average Daily Rate. A hotel industry term used to calculate average hotel room rate. Equal to room revenue divided by rooms sold.

advance purchase

The advance time before travel that a fare requires a ticket to be issued, normally 3,7,14 or 21 days.

Agent Error. An incorrect entry made by a consultant during the reservation process.

AEA (see “Association of European Airlines”)

A US based travel agency that has entered into an agreement with BCD Travel to use the BCD Travel trademarks and provide travel services to customers in the affiliate’s territory.

Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC)

An independent corporation jointly owned by most of the major United States airlines; ARC collects payments for tickets sold by travel agencies and distributes the monies to the airlines; ARC also governs appointment of travel agencies to sell domestic air transportation.

airport code

The three-letter code used by airlines and the air travel industry to identify airports around the world, e.g. LHR=London Heathrow, JFK=New York John F. Kennedy.

airport security check

Airport security checks are procedures and measures for screening passengers and baggage to ensure security against terrorist threats and other dangers.  Find out how to get through quickly

airport tax

Tax levied by certain airports throughout the world. In many cases this can be built into the total ticket price, although some airlines will not co-operate, thus making payable locally by the passenger.

On outbound journey’s, airside includes all those areas of the airport terminal after you have passed through passport control. On inbound journey’s, airside includes all those areas of the terminal before you pass through passport control.

A short-hop aircraft for up to 20 passengers, usually flying unscheduled services with a 200 / 500-mile range.


A hotel program which usually includes all meals, snacks, beverages and activities.

A joint partnership between specified carriers which may include, but not limited to, interlining, code-sharing, joint frequent flyer program participation, and even equity participation of stock ownership.

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, a government-subsidized corporation that operates all passenger train service in the United States.

Automatic Number Identification. A contact center term for a telephone network feature that passes that number of the phone the caller is using to the contact center, real-time.

American Plan. A hotel rate that includes breakfast and dinner, sometimes lunch.

Asia Pacific. A geographical term used interchangeably with ASPAC and often used in reference to the entire Asian market.

Advance Purchase Excursion Fare

applicable fare

The fare to be applied.

Accounts Receivable. Money which is owed by a customer to a company for products or services provided on credit.

ARC (see “Airlines Reporting Corporation”)

An eight-digit identification number issued by ARC to travel agencies who have met accreditation standards.

Arrival Unknown. An ARNK is added to a reservation when there is a break in the itinerary and continuity is not recognized; it does count as a segment when ticketing.


A continuous journey circumnavigating the globe in one general west-to-east or east-to-west direction in which both the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are crossed not more than once each.

ARR (see “Average room rate”)

Asia South Pacific. A geographic term used interchangeably with APAC.

Automated Ticket & Boarding Pass. IATA standard transportation ticket and combined boarding pass which features a magnetic strip containing passenger and journey details.

Average Ticket Price. The average price of all tickets purchased; domestic and international are sometimes calculated separately.


The total number of seats allowed to be sold at a particular rate.

average room rate (ARR)

Ratio of hotel’s sales revenue to the number of occupied rooms.

back-to-back ticketing

An against-the-rules practice whereby a traveler books a return ticket nested inside another return ticket to avoid minimum stay requirements for the purpose of saving money. For example, the traveler uses the first ticket to fly from origin to destination on Monday in week 1, then he uses the second ticket to fly from destination to origin on Friday in week 1 and back to destination on Monday in week 2, and then he uses the first ticket again to fly back to origin on Friday in week 2. The normal Saturday night stay requirement is then avoided. While this will sometimes save money, most airlines do not allow this practice and doing so might result in penalties.


Having to return to your original airport of entry in a country to make the return trip home. A time-consuming and costly procedure to overcome by arranging an op-jaw itinerary, which allows you to fly out to one point and return from another.

Carry-on-baggage and checked baggage have many restrictions. Most notable are the number and size of the baggage. Many airlines allow only 1 carry-on bag, plus one personal item (purse, back-pack, computer bag). For checked baggage restrictions and fees, refer to the carrier’s website for details.

banker’s buying rate (BBR)

Exchange rate used to convert from one currency to another; called the ‘buying rate’ because it is the rate used when banks purchase currency from an individual

banker’s selling rate (BSR)

Exchange rate used to convert from one currency to another; called the ‘buying rate’ because it is the rate used when banks sell currency to an individual

Best Available Rate. A hotel industry pricing method for yielding room rates (floating) based on demand while ensuring the best rate is presented for sale to agents, consumers.

A fare without tax.

Measurement of hotel occupency.

blackout dates

Certain dates or periods when travel on specific fares is not permitted (usually holidays).

blocked space

Multiple reservations, often subject to deposit forfeiture, which wholesalers or travel agents make with a supplier in anticipation of resale.

boarding pass

A permit to board a ship, plane, or other form of transportation. In the case of air travel, the card indicates boarding gate and aircraft seat number.

booking code

A letter code used to make an airline reservation at a particular fare level in a computerized reservation system. (CRS/GDS)

Bank Settlement Plan. Outside the USA, a system by which the travel agent community pays carriers for tickets it issues.

Business Travel Account. If a company has a corporate credit card program where certain purchases such as air, rail, and associated transaction fees are centrally billed to one “master” credit card number, this is referred to as the Business Travel Account (BTA). This account allows for the purchase of certain air travel expenses for corporate employees without the need to issue individual credit cards to each traveler for the designated expenses. Because the account has no physical card, it’s often called a “ghost card.”

BTC (see “Business Travel Center”)

Business Travel News. A travel industry publication that delivers news and research to the corporate travel population.

bucket shop

An unlicensed, unbonded travel agency used by some airlines to dispose of excess capacity seats that are available on certain flights.

buffer zone

For taxation purposes, an extension of the US border 225 miles north into Canada and 225 miles south into Mexico border; all cities within this area are assessed the 7.5% US domestic tax when tickets are purchased and sold in the US.

A net fare contract for certain number of seats. Similar to blocked space except that the tour operator, wholesaler, or travel agent usually contracts for airline seats at a low, non-commissioned price without the option of releasing space back to the airline.

A partition (usually a wall) on an airplane separating compartments.

Travel slang for the removal of a passenger from a flight through overbooking; usually applied to those holding concessionary tickets.

bundled pricing

A pricing proposal, always a transaction fee, where elements other than air (e.g. car hire, hotel, rail) are included in the fee with the air transaction.

business class

Level of airline service between First class and Economy class. On European routes business class has now replaced first class as premier service level. Most airlines have their own brand names. (e.g. British Airways – Club World and Club Europe: Air France – Le Club etc.)

Business Travel Center (BTC)

Standard full service and online service in a local call center, undedicated, team environment.

Business Travel Management

Business travel management is the process of planning, organizing, and overseeing business travel for an organization. This includes booking travel arrangements, managing expenses, and developing policies and procedures for business travel.

cancellation policy

The advance time a hotel requires a booking to be canceled by to avoid being billed for the room

carrier (CXR)

Another term for airline.

Credit Card. A system of payment whereby the issuer of the card grants a line of credit to the cardholder, to be used to make payment to a merchant or to withdraw cash.

Collision Damage Waiver. An industry term for optional insurance provided by car rental companies that eliminates all responsibility of the driver in an accident.

centralized billing

System under which a travel supplier, credit card company, agency or other supplier consolidates all costs/charges incurred by different employees or departments into one total invoice.

change of equipment

Also known as “change of gauge”. A single flight number used to represent flights on two different aircraft; usually on international destinations.

Notification to an airline or hotel that a traveler has arrived to take a flight or stay at a hotel; some airlines provide curbside check-in while others only allow check-in at the ticket counter.

Advice to a hotel that a guest is leaving the property and usually includes payment for the stay.

A traveler who has had his/her second birthday, but not yet his/her twelfth birthday (this definition may vary by carrier).

Churning refers to any repeated booking or canceling of the same itinerary in the same class or different classes of service in one or more PNRs or GDS.

circle pacific

Travel from IATA Area 1 (North and/or South America) to IATA Area 3 (Asia, Australia, South Pacific) by way of the North Pacific Ocean in one direction, via the South Pacific Ocean in the opposite direction, and at least one flight within IATA Area 3 that crosses the Equator.

circle trip (CT)

A journey from origin to destination with a return to origin in a continuous, circuitous route using two or more fare components

The orgin (from) and arrival (to) points of a trip, usually by air or train.

city terminal

Airline office, usually city center, where passengers may check-in, receive seating details and board special bus/ taxi/ helicopter/ rail/ shuttle services to the airport.

class of service

The interior of an aircraft is divided into sections, each with a different level of service and amenities; common classes of service are first, business, and economy.

Cruise Lines International Association. An association dedicated to the promotion and growth of the cruise industry.

Section of a hotel offering higher security and special facilities either for a premium payment or as an incentive/ privilege for frequent users.

club ticket

Fully flexible, redeemable business class ticket valid one year from date of issue. Phrase used primarily in the U.K.

Another term for bus.

Close of Business. A term meaning the end of the business day.

A marketing agreement between two airlines (very common amongst airlines that have an alliance) where a seat is purchased on one airline (the selling carrier), but the flight is actually operated by a different airline (the operating carrier).


Two or more fares shown separately in a fare calculation.

Computerized Reservation System

System used to book and process travel reservations, also known as a Global Distribution System (GDS).

A hotel employee who attends to guests’ needs for special information, theater and restaurant reservations, and any other special requests.

connecting flight

A flight which the passenger must change aircraft.

A stop in a given city for less than 4 hours (domestic US); less than 12 hours (domestic US as part of an international journey); less than 24 hours (international); continuing on the next applicable flight to an onward destination; designated by X/ in a linear fare construction line.

conjunction ticket

Two or more tickets concurrently issued to a passenger and which together constitute a single contract of carriage.

connecting rooms

Two rooms that are side-by-side that have a common connecting interior door.

consolidation fare

A group inclusive tour fare available to travel agents and other operators to construct packages to destinations which are inclusive of accomodation. Consolidation fares, although group fares, are for sale to individual passengers.


A person or company which forms groups to travel on charter or at group fares on scheduled flights to increase sales, earn override commissions or reduce the chance of tour cancellations.

A group of independent companies that join together to gain greater profits.

construction point

A city through which fares have been combined for the purpose of pricing an itinerary; a destination city or a turnaround point; a fare break shown on the ticket.

A contact center term for an individual who is calling or visiting your company by phone or through the website, and who is requesting an interaction with an agent.

contact center

An umbrella term that generally refers to reservations centers, help desks, information lines or customer service centers, regardless of how they are organized or what types of transactions they handle.

continental breakfast

A light breakfast of such things as coffee, pastry and sometimes juice.

contract fare / contract discount

A discounted fare agreed upon by the client and a carrier; contract fares require a client give the carrier a certain percentage of its business in all markets.

corporate fare

A discounted airfare for business travelers.

corporate rate

A special rate negotiated between a supplier (hotel or car for example) and a company.

corporate hotel rate

Learn how to get corporate hotel rates .

Corporate Travel Department (CTD)

A CTD (Corporate Travel Department) establishes a direct purchasing relationship between the company and its travel suppliers. The accrediting body, ARC (Airline Reporting Corporation) authorizes the company to function as its own “travel agency” and control it’s financial settlement.


A group of cities/airports considered to be the same point; example: JFK/LGA/EWR.

country of commencement (COC)

The country in which a journey begins; the base fare is converted from NUCs into the currency of the Country of Commencement by using the IATA ROE.

country of payment (COP)

The country in which a ticket is being purchased; the base fare is converted from the currency of the Country of Commencement into the currency of the country of payment using the Bank Rate if the countries are not the same.

Cost Per Mile. A calculation of the average price paid per mile.

Cost Per Transaction. A calculation of the total cost a company incurs for generating a customer transaction.

Customer Relationship Management. A term used for a database that is used to house and maintain customer information.

CRS (see “Computerized Reservation System”)

Corporate Social Responsibility . A concept whereby companies consider the impact to society and the environment of their actions.

Central Security Record. A hotel industry term for the name of the Viewership Management Table used to maintain a list of offices authorized to access a client’s negotiated hotel rates.

Central Standard Time. A time zone in the US, also known as Central Time or CT.

Corporate Travel Department. A company’s in-house travel agency that purchases air transportation and related travel services on behalf of its own employees.

Computer Telephony Integration. A contact center term for the software, hardware, and programming necessary to integrate computers and telephones so they can work together seamlessly and intelligently.

A checkpoint at which imported goods are verified for legality and value.

Data Release Authorization (DRA)

Under a DRA, Client instructs, as of the date specified, BCD Travel to receive, process, and/or transfer certain personal travel data from Client’s travelers, including, but not limited to, transactional ticket-level, segment-level, and traveler-level information, which may include, without limitation, traveler name and address, origination and destination, corporate and/or personal credit card number, passport number, drivers license, travel preferences, and other special needs or any other sensitive data as may be provided by or behalf of the travelers (“Travel Data”).

Decision Source (DS)

A BCD Travel product that allows our customers to interact with their reservation data.

delegate rate

An inclusive rate for meetings on a daily basis. Twenty-four hour delegate rate also includes accommodation. Phrase primarily used in the U.K.

denied boarding compensation (DBC)

Commonly called “bumping,” – When more passengers arrive to take a flight than can actually fit on the plane; although legal, the carrier is only responsible for providing compensation to a traveler if he/she has a confirmed reservation and is checked in and has arrived at the departure gate within a pre-determined time period; compensation may be in cash or in a voucher for future travel; passengers who voluntarily relinquish their seats are compensated with a cash payment or voucher towards a future trip and are then accommodated on the next available flight; if an airline delivers a bumped passenger to his/her destination within an hour of the originally-scheduled time, no compensation is required.


Originally applied to American air travel: in 1978, federal law phased out the civil Aeronautics Board and stopped government intervention or regulation of airline routes and fares.


The final stopping place as shown on the ticket; the furthest point on a fare component used to price an itinerary.

Destination Management Company

Company, possibly an incoming tour operator, who organizes local ground services at destination.


The difference between the fares for two different classes of service between two cities; this fare construction principle is only used internationally.

direct fare

The fare for one-way or half round-trip travel visa the shortest route operated between two cities.

direct flight

A flight from origin to destination that makes one or more intermediate stops, but passengers do not change planes.

directional fare

Fare valid only in a specified direction of travel.

discount fare

Transportation fare lower than the full published tariff for an airline’s route. A discount fare usually entails certain stipulations regarding purchase or travel (space availbility).

DMC (see “Destination Management Company”)

Domestic travel.

Travel wholly within any one country; typically used to designate intra-US travel.

A hotel room with two double beds and/or accommodating 2-4 people.

double booking

The practice of making reservations for two or more flights, cars or hotels as a type of backup; considered to be unethical.

double occupancy

The way in which almost all cruise fares and tour packages are quoted, that is, based on two people traveling together. Most hotel rooms are quoted based on two adults to a room, as well.

double open jaw (DOJ)

Travel in which the outbound departure point and arrival and the inbound point of departure and arrival are not the same.

To move a passenger to a lower class of service or accommodation.

drop-off charge

A fee charged for dropping a rental car at a different location from where it was picked up.

Being exempt from any import tax.

economy class

The rear area of the aircraft in which passengers having paid one of the lower fare types are seated.

electronic miscellaneous document – Associated (EMD-A)

Document that allows for the fulfillment of all flight related services and fees (such as bags, seats, meals, etc.). An EMD or EMD-A is linked to a specific eticket coupon in the airline’s database.

electronic miscellaneous document – Standalone (EMD-S)

Non-flight related services (such as lounge access or change fee collection) a stand alone EMD, a EMD-S is issued. To issue an EMD-S a manually created service segment must be in the PNR. Specific services that can be charged on an EMD-S is dependent on the airline’s own requirements.

electronic ticket (eticket)

An airline transportation ticket that is entirely in a GDS; no physical ticket is required for travel.

EMD (see “electronic miscellaneous document”)


Permission from the plating carrier, the ticketed carrier or the carrier losing air space for the traveler to use the flight coupon(s) for travel on another airline at no additional cost; usually only required for international tickets.

end-on-end combination

A special type of combination in which two round trip fares are combined to produce a complete itinerary.

In this example, the passenger buys a round trip ticket from AAA to BBB (Rule 1), and a separate round trip fare from BBB to CCC (Rule 2). The net effect is to travel from AAA to CCC, but breaking the fare at BBB, which may in some cases be less expensive than the round trip (through) fare from AAA to CCC.

equivalent fare paid

An amount converted into the currency of the country of payment when the published fare is in a currency other than that of the country of payment.

ERA (see “European Regions Airline Association”)

Eastern Standard Time. A time zone in the US, also known as Eastern Time or ET.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization. ESTA is a free, automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program. The ESTA application collects the same information collected on Form I-94W. ESTA applications may be submitted at anytime prior to travel, though it is recommended travelers apply when they begin preparing travel plans.

Estimated Time of Arrival. A measure of when an object is expected to arrive at a certain place.

Estimated Time of Departure or Delivery. The expected start time of a particular journey or the expected delivery of a good or service.

e-ticket (see “electronic ticket”)

Electronic Ticket Record.

European Regions Airline Association

Association which aims to identify, protect and promote the interests of regional air transport in Europe. Over 170 memebers including airlines, aircraft manufacturers and airports.

excess baggage

Baggage in excess of the allowable number, size or weight.

The process of reissuing a ticket due to a change of flight, fare basis, dates or routing.

excursion fare

Round-trip fare with restrictions, such as minimun and maximum stays and the need to purchase well in advance.

executive card

Types of privilege cards available to frequent users of airlines, hotel chains, car rental companies, etc. Most carry benefits and have their own brand names, e.g. British Airways Executive Blue, Executive Silver, Executive Gold and Premier.

executive room

Higher grade than standard room and usually slightly larger, the executive room often has additional facilities for the business traveler such as trouser press, desk etc. and may be located on a separate Executive Club Floor.

Expatriot (or expat)

An expatriate (in abbreviated form, expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person’s upbringing or legal residence.

explant/ outplant/ offsite

Branch office dedicated to serving a single client that is not located on the client’s premises, but rather operates as a separate part of a BTC.

familiarization tour

A complimentary or reduced-rate travel program for travel agents, airline or rail employees, which is designed to acquaint participants with specific destinations. Often known as “Fam-Trips”.

family plan

A hotel rate that allows children to stay free with adults in the same room.

A combination of letters and numbers used to identify a fare type which may also indicate the rules of the fare

fare component

A fare between two points.

fare ladder

A vertically-written fare construction that includes fare components, surcharges and additional amounts collected.

  • fee – bundled air transaction fee An air transaction fee that includes the costs associated with servicing air, hotel and car transactions. Therefore, hotel and car only bookings (not to exceed XX% of air bookings) are not charged a transaction fee.
  • fee – management fee Fee assessed in addition to direct costs. Covers primarily overhead and profit. Can be assessed as % of sales, per transaction or fixed amount.
  • fee – management fee structure (formerly cost plus offering) Client fee arrangement whereby direct expenses are passed through to the client in addition to management fee. Management fee could be % of sales, fixed fee, or per transaction.
  • fee – online booking tool fee (PNR fee) Charged per unique reserved PNR. Additional fees may be assessed for transactions booked on a website accessed via the online booking tool.
  • fee – online transaction fee (e-fulfillment fee) Charged per online transaction – that excludes any ‘flow through costs’ charged by the online booking tool provider.
  • fee – transaction fee structure Client fee arrangement whereby client is billed per transaction for all major program costs including direct expenses and contribution to overhead and profit, usually at POS.
  • fee – unbundled (menu) transaction fee Separately charged per each type of transaction, e.g. hotel, car, rail and air. AM and MIS costs might also be charged separately.

final destination

The last point on an itinerary/fare component.

first class

The cabin on an aircraft where there are fewer seats, more elaborate service and amenities.

FIT (see “Fully Independent Traveler”)

Flag carrier.

The airline that internationally represents a given country; sometimes financed or owned by the government.

flight coupon

A section of an airline ticket; one flight coupon is required to take each flight.

flight/time specific

A fare rule that requires a to fly on a specific flight or at a specific time of day.

FOI (see “Form of Indemnity”)

Form of Payment. The method of payment for a transaction.

form of indemnity

A form that needs to be completed by the passenger in order to claim refund in respect of an air ticket that has been misplaced or stolen.

frequent flyer number

Find out what a frequent flyer number is and how to get one

frequent flyer program

An airline loyalty program that provides awards to travelers who use an airline or its partners.

frequent guest program

A hotel loyalty program that provides awards to guests who use a hotel chain.

frequent renter program

A car rental loyalty program that provides services (such as fast pickup) to those who use a car rental vendor.

front office (FO)

An industry term used for products associated with customer-facing activities. The GDS is a front office system.

fuel surcharge

A surcharge assessed for fuel use applicable for travel between specified points and/or for departure from a specified city.

Hotel rate with accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

full economy

This is a fully flexible, fully refundable ticket which is valid for one year from date of issue in economy class.

full exchange

Change an already ticketed reservation, with no flown flight segments.

full to full exchange

Change to a ticketed reservation when no segments are flown and the change is to any segment other than the outbound flights. Or when a segment has been flown and there is a change to a remaining flight segment. In either of these instances, the FULL value of the original ticket must be exchanged for the ‘combined’ FULL value of the new ticket.

fully independent traveler

A traveler / tourist not part of a tour group.

One of the world’s CRSs (GDSs).

Area in an airport where passengers for a flight gather before boarding their flight or deplane on arrival.

gateway city

The last domestic city from which a passenger departs prior to arriving at an international destination; the first point of arrival in a given country (e.g., on the journey SFO-CHI-FRA-MUC, CHI and FRA are gateway cities).

GDS (see “ Global Distribution System “)

Gds operations (gdso).

An industry term for computer reservation systems that book and sell tickets for multiple airlines.

GEBTA (see “Guild of European Business Travel Agents)

In the credit card industry a system used by corporations whereby travel related charges made through designated travel agencies are centrally billed but no plastic card actually exists. Often referred to as “Lodge card” in Europe.

global distribution system

An industry term for computer reservation systems that book and sell tickets for multiple airlines.  Learn more

global indicator

Two-letter code used to identify the direction of travel applicable to a given fare.

governing carrier

The airline whose fares and rules are used on a given itinerary.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)

Solar based time in Greenwich, England, from which time in all other time zones in the world is based.

ground time

The time not flying.

A booking solution that allows the booking and managing of all ground transportation services, such as limousines, executive sedans, taxis, vans and parking services.

A fare that offers discounts to groups of varying minimum sizes in selected markets, with various conditions, and usually require round trip travel within a specified time limit.

guaranteed hotel reservations

This means that the hotel will hold the room all night. However if the room is not required, failure to cancel will result in a charge. Where reservations are made on an ad hoc basis, rather than through a regular account arrangement, a credit card number will be required to effect this guaranteed reservation.

Hotel rate for accommodation, breakfast and one other meal.

half round trip fare

Half of a fare designated for use on round-trip journeys.

Fee or tax some countries or cities levy on arriving or departing travelers.

Half of the globe; the North and South hemispheres are divided by the Equator; the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans divide the East and West hemispheres.

higher intermediate point (HIP)

A pair of cities within a one-way or half round-trip fare component that has a direct fare higher than the direct fare between the origin and destination of the fare component; this fare construction principle is only used internationally.

hotel sourcing

Hotel sourcing or procurement is the process of identifying, negotiating and contracting with hotels to secure accommodations for a specific group, event or organization.

An airport at which an airline centers many of its schedules, particularly connecting flights to smaller destinations.

(see “International Air Transport Association”)*

IATA Number (see “ARC Number”)

Iata rate of exchange (roe).

Rates of exchange designated by IATA to convert local currency to NUCs and to convert NUCs into the currency of commencement of travel.

ICAO (see “International Civil Aviation Organization”)

Interline e-ticket. An interline agreement between airlines that allow e-ticketing on each other’s flights. Interline agreement between airlines permitting travel service cooperation in areas such as: baggage transfer services, guaranteed connection times.

IGK (see “International Gatekeeper”)


Area at which a traveler’s documentation (e.g., Passport and Visa) are verified to ensure the traveler may enter the country.

implant (on-site)

Dedication operational team, based within an office of the client.


Phase of launching a new relationship, including e.g. opening a new location, training staff, installing technical equipment, and informing clients, travelers and travel arrangers.

inbound travelers

Travelers coming into a specified location are considered inbound. Travelers departing from the location are considered outbound.

A traveler who has not yet reached his/her second birthday.

Term used in the U.S. to describe an implant.

international departure taxes

Taxes levied on all travelers departing a country on an international journey that are, typically collected at the airport at the time of departure.

Between two airlines; TUS-HP-DEN-UA-LON is an interline journey.

interline baggage agreement

An agreement between two air carriers that a carrier will transfer baggage to the other carrier.

interline connection

When a passenger changes airlines as well as aircraft during a journey (same as off-line connection).

interline ticketing agreement

An agreement between two air carriers that permits air travel of one carrier to be on a ticket issued and/or ‘plated’ on another carrier.

intermediate point

A ticketed point of an international journey at which there is no fare break; an intermediate point may be a stopover or connection.

intermediate stop

An enroute stop at a city between the origin and destination (see also Direct Flight).

International Air Transport Association

The world trade association of international air carriers; appoints travel agencies to sell tickets; determines rules and regulations for international carriers.

International Civil Aviation Organization

Specialed agency of the United Nations with responsibility for civil aviation action in standardization, technical co-operation and the formulation of international aviation law.

A chronological plan showing a traveler’s booked arrangement.

A special through fare (usually only internationally) that permits travel on two or more different airlines.

The origin to final destination of a fare construction.

BCD Travel provides support for KDS. KDS provides an online booking platform for the confirmation of air, car, hotel and rail itineraries.

On outbound journeys, landside includes all those areas of the terminal before you arrive at passport control. On inbound journeys, landside includes all those areas of the terminal after you’re through passport control.

last date of purchase

The date by which a ticket must be issued – fares are not guaranteed until tickets are issued.

last room availability (LRA)

A hotel industry term for ensuring a negotiated rate is always available when standard inventory is available or when the room type negotiated is available.

LDW (see “Loss Damage Waiver”)

One flight; one part of an entire journey.

Lowest Fare Routing. The least expensive airfare available to a destination.

local currency fare (LCF)

See Country Of Payment (COP).

locator reference

Unique identifying booking number used within a computer reservations system as part of a booking file.

In the credit card industry a system used by corporations whereby travel related charges made through designated travel agencies are centrally billed but no plastic card actually exists. Often referred to as “Ghost Card” in the U.S.

Loss Damage Waiver

Additional insurance pertaining to car rentals, covering theft and vandalism in addition to accident damage.

low cost carrier (LCC)

An airline that offers generally low fares in exchange for eliminating many traditional passenger services.

lowest combination principle

Construction of a fare using a particular combination of sector fares to provide the lowest fare when there is no published fare between two points.

Marine Travel

Specialized travel services, available 24/7, provides travel arrangements (including helicopters and charter aircraft) for marine personnel.

Market Number (MK)

A code all online booking tools (OBTs) add at the time each reservation is made, as a way to track PNRs for online adoption and fulfillment purposes. It should never be removed once added to the PNR.

Married Segments

Two or more connecting flight segments joined, or “married,” meaning that these segments are inseparable and the subsequent rebooking or cancellation of any one flight segment must, at the same time, be applied to the connecting flight segment.

maximum permitted mileage (MPM)

The number of miles that may be flown on a published direct fare between origin and destination; this fare construction principle is only used internationally.

maximum stay

The maximum amount of time a traveler may stay at a destination before return is required.

MCO (see “Miscellaneous Change Order”)

Meetings, Incentives and Corporate Events. An industry term for a department within a company that offers meeting planning services to customers. BCD Travel’s department is called BCD M&E

midoffice (MO)

An industry term for the management information (MIS) portion of a travel agency’s system.

mileage fare

A fare based on the total miles flown from the origin to destination; this fare construction principle is only used internationally.

mileage surcharge

A percentage of fare increase applied to a fare because the routing exceeds the maximum permitted mileage; the percentage is in 5% increments to a maximum of 25%; this fare construction principle is only used internationally.

minimum connection time

The amount of time required to change planes; varies by airport and often varies by carrier.

minimum stay

The minimum time a travel traveler must stay at a destination (or be gone ‘away from home’ internationally) before return travel can commence.

miscellaneous charge order (MCO)

An accountable document issued by a travel agency or airline as proof of payment for a specific fee (such as pet service fee) or as residual amount of an exchange (higher priced ticket exchanged for a lower priced ticket) to be used on a future purchase.

Mountain Standard Time. A time zone in the US, also known as Mountain Time or MT.

National Business Travel Association

U.S. business travel association which is a member of IBTA.

NBTA (see “National Business Travel Association”)

New distribution capability. Read more

negotiated fare/rate

This is a term used by travel agents to descibe reduced airfares that have been negotiated by their air fare specialists on behalf of clients.

neutral units of construction (NUC)

An imaginary currency established by IATA that allows fares of different currencies to be added together; this fare construction principle is only used internationally.

Non Last Room Availability. A hotel industry term for restricting availability of a negotiated rate when occupancy levels are high. Negotiated room rate is not guaranteed to be available.

Net Operating Income. A financial term for the amount by which operating revenue exceeds operating expenses in a specific accounting period.


This expression often appears in the endorsements box of an airline ticket and it means that the flight coupon on which the worlds appear may be used only on the services of the airline indicated.


A ticket issued on a fare that does not allow for a refund; most non-refundable tickets can be changed for a fee and any difference in fare.

normal fares

The full fare established for first, business, economy or an intermediate class and any other fares published designated as normal fares.

normal open jaw (NOJ)

Travel from a country and return to the same country with a surface sector at either the origin or turnaround point (single open jaw – SOJ) or at both the origin and the turnaround point (double open jaw – DOJ).

An airline passenger or hotel guest who fails to use and/or cancel a reservation.

National Transportation Safety Board. An independent US government agency that investigates accidents including aviation, highway, marine, pipelines and railroads.

OBT and OBLT (see Online Booking Tool”)

Off-airport location.

Usually a car rental office serving an airport but physically located off the airport site (and often picking up renters at the airport in buses or taxis). When the office is located on-site, the term used is on airport location.

A destination that a carrier does not serve; see also Interline.

off-line connections

When a traveler changes airlines as well as aircraft during a journey (may also be referred to as interline connection). Changes of aircraft with the same airline are known as on-line connections.

offline transaction (traditional transaction)

A transaction that initated by an agent following a call/email request by a client.

Time of year or day of the week when travel is less common.

off-line point

Airline term to describe points (areas or cities) they do not serve.


This occurs when an airline has over-booked: that is, it has sold more seats on a particular flight than the aircraft has to offer. The passengers to be off-loaded are usually those who have paid the lowest fares. Off-loaded passengers will normally qualify for denied boarding compensation. Passengers may also be off-loaded at the captain’s discretion if they are unfit to travel due to drink, drugs, illness or for bad behavior.

BCD Travel is a re-seller of onesto. On-esto provides an online booking platform for the confirmation of air, car, hotel and rail itineraries.

Online Booking Tool

A web-based platform allowing travelers to make self-service reservations (e.g. Cliqbook, GetThere).

operating carrier

In a codeshare, the airline providing the plane, crew and ground handling services.

online or online point

On the same carrier; TUS-UA-DEN-UA-LON is an online journey.

online adoption

An account’s use of their predetermined online booking tool.

online high touch transaction

A transaction that originates via an online booking tool, but then requires more than one agent intervention (one touch).

online low touch transaction

A transacion that originates via an online booking tool, and then requires agent intervention or manual review/processing that is initated by the customer.

online transaction fee

(E-fulfillment fee) A fulfillment fee canged per online trasaction – that excludes any ‘flow through costs’ charged by the online booking tool provider.

A BCD Travel office located at/on/in a client’s location.

Term used to describe the principle of showing a client the complete cash-flow cycle, including commissions and overrides.

open date sector

Part of a journey for which no firm reservation has been made (usually owing to changeable plans on the part of the traveler) but for which the fare has been paid.

open jaw ticket

Where passengers fly out to one destination and return from another. Open jaw arrangements save backtracking and make a trip more cost effective.

Much-used term for unrestricted air services between several countries.

open ticket

A ticket valid for transportation between two points but has no specific flight reservation.

originating carrier

The first airline of a passenger’s journey and/or portion of a trip.

Other Service Information. A GDS entry that provides information to a carrier that does not require action for traveler action such as contract discount code, record locators of additional family members traveling together (TCP), age information for children/infants, etc.

Travel from the point of origin to the farthest destination.

outplant (off-site)

Dedication operational team, based within a BTC office.


Also known as bumping. Airlines and hotels can predict, with some accuracy, how many travelers/guests will show up for previously made reservations; when more people show up than what is expected, travelers/guests are re-accommodated; see also Denied Boarding Compensation.

Abbreviations for ‘passport and visa’ used in the U.K. Some affliates have a specialist team which advises on and acquires passports/visa on behalf of their clients.

Pacific Asia Travel Association

Association which aims to promote travel to Asia Pacific.

PAR (see “Passenger Account Record”)

Passenger account record.

In Galileo, the profile showing passenger information.

passenger facility charges

An airport-designated surcharge to raise funds for airport expansion, renovation, operating costs, etc.

passenger name record

Record held within a CRS/GDS which gives the personal details associated with a particular booking.

An official document issued by a government to its citizens that establishes an individual’s identity and nationality and enables travel abroad.

PATA (see “Pacific Asia Travel Association”)

Abbreviation for passengers.

Payment Card Industry. Security standards set to help protect account data information.

Time of year or day of the week when travel is most common.

A fee charged by a carrier or vendor for changing and/or canceling a reservation or ticket.

Per diem is a daily allowance given to an employee to cover business travel expenses such as lodging, meals and incidentals while traveling for the company. Learn more about per diem .

Penalty excursion fare. Public excursion fare are within minimum stay requirements, but which has no advanced purchase requirements.

PIR (see “Property Irregularity Report”)

Plate / plated.

See Validating Carrier.

PMS (see “Property Management System”)

Pnr (see “passenger name record”).

Purchase Order. A commercial document issued by a buyer to a seller that indicates the quantities and agreed upon prices for products / services.

point-to-point fares

De-regulation has led to a growing number of these on routes throughout the world. They are low fares in first, business, or economy class between two points by direct flights. Stopovers are usually, but not always, prohibited.

Point of Service or Point of Sale. The time and place in which a transaction is made.

prepaid ticket advice (PTA)

A form used when a person is buying a ticket that will be issued at the airport of the same or a different city. Example: A ticket purchased in Chicago to be picked up by the traveler in and for a departure from Buenos Aires.

pre-trip auditing

A product offered by travel management companies that allows for the review of travel itineries before departure to identify savings or prevent unnecessary expenditure.

pricing unit (PU)

A journey, or part of a journey which can be priced and ticketed as a separate entity; a round-trip, circle trip, one-way, normal open jaw or special open jaw; this fare construction principle is only used internationally.

pricing unit concept (PUC)

An alternative method of fare construction for multiple-stopover journeys that uses pricing units; this fare construction principle is only used internationally.

primary carrier

Airline flying the governing sector (prime segment).

prime segment

The first “true” international journey; often called the “over-the-water” segment; see also Gateway.

A computerized file containing company and traveler information.

promotional fare

A fare designed to attract passengers who would not otherwise travel.

proof of citizenship

Documentation that establishes nationality.

property irregularity report

Form submitted by passengers to ground handling agents at airports in the event of loss or damaged baggage.

property management system

Computer-based system for controlling hotel inventory, check-in and -out and billing.

Pacific Standard Time. A time zone in the US, also known as Pacific Time or PT.

PTA (see “Pre-paid Ticket Advice”)

Public fares (air).

Fares that anyone can obtain and is available in a regular fare display.

Quality of Service Index. An index developed by the Civil Aeronautics Board to provide a comparative rating of service offered by individual airlines.

A computer’s electronic filing system. Also a contact center term for the holding point for a number of calls or interactions that are waiting to be answered by an agent. The calls or interactions are usually assigned to available agents in a first-arrived, first-answered basis, but may also be assigned based on a company’s routing strategies.

queue group

A contact center term for a group of virtual queues. Also referred to as a DN Group or Group of Queues.

The official posted rate for each hotel room.

rate desk (see “International Rate Desk”)

Rate of exchange (roe) (see “iata rate of exchange”), rearden commerce.

BCD Travel is a referrer for Rearden. Rearden provides an online booking platform for the confirmation of air, car, hotel and rail itineraries.

reason codes (RC)

An industry term for codes used to document and report on traveler decisions and behavior.


Particularly on international flights, passengers are required to indicate their intention of using the next leg of their itinerary by contacting the appropriate carrier before departure; internationally, reconfirmation is requested 72 hours prior to departure.

record locator

A computerized number that identifies a Passenger Name Record – PNR or other reservation; when speaking to travelers, usually called a confirmation number.

red-eye flight

Usually an overnight flight that arrives early in the morning – great when you don’t want to lose precious sightseeing time at your destination.

If necessary for a passenger to change journey en route, the ticket must be reissued. The value of the original ticket will be offset against the new fare and any extra or refund, calculated. Settlement can be direct with airline or with referral to the issuing agent.

BCD Travel is a re-seller for ResX. ResX provides an online booking platform for the confirmation of air, car, hotel and rail itineraries.

return journey

A journey for which the fare is assessed as a single pricing unit using half round-trip fares.


If the passenger’s travel date or flight needs to be changed, without affecting the route, there is not always a need to reissue the ticket. The relevant flight coupon is simply revalidated by means of a revalidation sticker.

Revenue Per Available Room. A hotel industry measure that calculates room revenue divided by rooms available (occupancy times average room rate will closely approximate RevPAR.)

Rate Loading Instructions. A hotel industry term for the instructions provided to hotel properties for loading client-specific or TMC-specific rate codes as displayed in the GDS.

room with facilities

Describes a hotel room which has a bathroom en-suite. In some smaller two-star or three-star hotels facilities may refer to toilet and washbasin only.

round-the-world (RTW) (see “Around-the-World”)

A trip that begins and ends in the same city with no un-flown portions; internationally, with the same dollar amount on both portions .

route deal / route incentive

An agreement between a corporate customer and an airline. The agreement allows for an incentive payment to be made to the cient by the airline as a reward for loyalty.

The carrier and/or cities and/or class of service and/or aircraft type via which transportation is provided between two points.

routing fare

A fare based on a specified routing.

run-of-the-house (ROH)

A flat rate for which a hotel offers any of its available rooms.

Schengen Visa

A special visa that permits holders to travel to any of the 25 Schengen member countries on a single visa (rather than obtaining a visa for each country. It is only issued to citizens of countries who are required to obtain a visa before entering Europe for leisure, tourism or business travel. Schengen Visa holders are not permitted to live permanently or work in Europe. The following countries are currently active Schengen Visa members: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

A specific time of year for a fare; High Season is the most popular time of year to travel to a specific destination and fares are more expensive at that time; Low Season is the least popular time of year to travel to a specific destination and fares are less expensive at that time; Fares affected by seasonality are usually indicated as such by fare basis coding and/or seasonality details listed in the fare’s rules.

The distance between aircraft seats, measured in inches and commonly used to show a passenger’s legroom.

security surcharge

Surcharge assessed by a carrier to cover costs of airport and in-flight security.

secondary carrier

Airline(s) flying the sectors preceding and/or succeeding the prime segment.

A journey from one point to another.

A flight; see Leg.

self-service reservations

Situation where the traveler makes his/her own reservations. A reservation generated by the customer using an online booking tool.

selling carrier

In a codeshare, the airline offering the flight for sale, under their vendor code

service fee

A fee charged by a travel agency to a company/individual for travel services.

Service Level Agreement

An agreement stating measurable performance commitments made to our customers.

Regular or schedulable bus/van transportation such as from an airport to a downtown location; regular air service on heavily-traveled routes (e.g., BOS-LGA).

A journey from and/or to an enroute point of a fare component.

Accommodations designed for one person.

SLA (see “Service Level Agreement”)

Designated take-off and landing times allocated to airlines at certain airports.

soft opening

Period when new hotel is open for business although not entirely finished – some services of facilities may not yet operate.

Standard Operating Procedure. A set of instructions that define the official standard for a specific process or situation.

Scope of Services. A document that defines the number, type, and intensity or complixity of services to be provided.

space available

Confirmation of a reservation subject to availability at the last moment.

special needs

Atypical traveler needs such as a special meal or wheelchair service.

split ticket(ing)

Issuance of two or more tickets usually for the purpose of obtaining a lower fare; usually applied to international itineraries to take advantage of fare and/or currency conversion differences.

Spouse fare

This type of are applies to selected destinations on a round-trip only basis and offers a discount of 50% to the spouse of a full first class or business class passenger. Economy passengers also qualify where there is no business fare.

SSR (see “Self Service Reservation”)

Special Service Request. A GDS request for a carrier to provide additional action for a traveler such as special meal, ticket number transmission, wheelchair, etc.

standard room

The normal hotel room type, generally with television, and en-suite bathroom.

A passenger on waitlist or one prepared to travel if space becomes available at the last moment.

Interruption of travel for more than domestic US – 4 hours; domestic US as part of an international journey – 12 hours; international – 24 hours .

stopover charge

An additional fee assessed for making a stopover.

STP (see “Satellite Ticket Printer”)

Any extra literature included with the delivery of travel documents.


A self-contained pricing unit that is combined end-on-end with another self-contained pricing unit on the same ticket; this fare construction principle is only used internationally.

surcharge (Q)

An airline-imposed fee included in fare calculations; see also Excess Mileage Surcharge, Fuel Surcharge, and Security Surcharge.

surface sector

Travel from one point or another not by air (ARNK – which stands for Arrival Not Known).

Travel 24. A BCD Travel department that services customers 24 hours a day when their normal business office is closed.

Ticket Fulfillment Location. An industry term for a virtual ticket printer that is shared by various BCD Travel ARC ticketing locations on the same GDS.

through fare

A fare applicable for transportation via an enroute city(ies) between the origin and destination of the fare that allows for intermediate points of travel.

A contract of carriage for an airline to transport a passenger from one point to another.

ticket on departure

Transportation ticket collected at the point of departure such as an airline ticket counter at an airport.

ticketed point

A city for which a flight coupon has been issued.

time and mileage rate

Car rental rate based on fixed charge for the rental period plus a charge for each kilometer or mile driven during the period of the rental.

TOD (see “Ticket on Departure”)

Tourist card.

A registration form required by certain countries indicating a traveler’s intended stay; used in lieu of a Visa and common in Latin America.


A Ticket issued; defined as all airline and rail tickets (electronic and paper) issued by BCD Travel or reserved by BCD Travel through a third party, regardless of whether the ticket is subsequently used, refunded, or voided in whole or in part. Cancellation of a reservation before a ticket is issued is not considered a transaction. Optional: Hotel and car booking made, regardless of whether or not the traveler uses the hotel or car reservation.

transaction – domestic air

Domestic – travel between two destinations that are within the same country. e.g. Frankfurt to Berlin

transaction – regional air

Regional – Travel within the same continent. e.g. Madrid to London

transaction – international air

International – Travel between two continents. e.g. New York to London

transaction – offline – traditional

A transaction that is initiated by an agent following a call/email request by a client

transaction – online high touch

Transaction – online low touch.

A transaction that originates via an online booking tool and then requires agent intervention or manual review/processing that is initiated by the customer.

transaction – online no touch

“Touchless E-fulfillment transaction” An electronic transaction entirely processed through an online booking tool and BCD central fulfillment service, without any agent intervention and where invoicing is provided via email.

A point at which the passenger changes aircraft; if the change is to/from the same carrier, it is an online transfer; if the change is to/from different carriers, it is an interline transfer.

transit lounge

An area within an airport for the sole purpose of international flight connections; travelers do not clear immigration or customs to enter the transit lounge as it is considered to be an international point.

transit point

Any stop at an intermediate point which does not fall into the definition of a stopover whether or not a change of planes is involved.

Travel Management Company

A travel management company (TMC) is a company that provides corporate travel services to businesses.

A BCD Travel umbrella brand name for our technology suite, which includes a variety of products listed below. read more

  • TripSource:Active Itinerary A single point of access for traveler and travel arrangers for active and historical travel detail, including real time flight status, itinerary details, destination information and invoicing, billing and expense information.
  • TripSource:Flight Alert Keeps travelers informed & productive while on the road by providing flight status information, including delays and real-time gate changes, for BCD Travel bookings.
  • TripSource:Fulfillment Drive touch-less transactions with as little human intervention as possible while driving traveler contact behavior to minimize touches.
  • TripSource:Portal (TSP) A comprehensive global solution to address traveler needs, travel program and corporation objectives. Arming travelers with rich content, productivity tools and critical safeguards for business travel, TripSource:Portal empowers travel programs as a centralized communications vehicle to deliver relevant, timely information and critical alerts to targeted audiences. The Portal expands traveler services while aligning program needs to drive savings, support business objectives and avoid corporate travel program risks.
  • TripSource:Profile Manager (TSPM) Drives optimal data management by integrating profile management and online booking, and promoting secure web-based self-service maintenance of traveler-level detail.
  • TripSource:Quality Measurement (TSQM) Ensures a means to track and manage supplier & transaction quality in addition to resolution of client concerns.
  • TripSource:Rail Search (TSRS) BCD own rail booking tool for Deutsche Bahn only.
  • TripSource:Ticket Tracker BCD manages and recovers committed travel dollars. Based on markets and supplier rules, BCD communicates with travelers to prevent loss of committed funds and when to apply unused funds toward future travel.
  • TripSource:Trip Authorizer In response to growing concern for compliance, this module enables clients to implement pre-trip authorization requirements as well as post-ticketing compliance reporting.

Transportation Security Administration

twin for sole use

A twin-bedded reserved for sole occupency and charged out at a rate that falls between the single and double room price.

Two Factor Authentication

Also known as 2FA. Method of accessing a secure environment where a person proves their identity with two of three methods

User-Defined Interface Data. UDID remarks are standard and contain predefined reporting information such as lost hotel night reason codes, merchant billing codes or additional traveler data fields.

unlimited mileage rate

Car rental rate that covers all costs, other than insurance and petrol, for the duration of the rental, regardless of the distance driven.

Move to a better class of airline service, larger rental car or more luxurious hotel room.

validating carrier

Airline designated as the “owning” ticketed carrier; the carrier on whose “plate” the ticket is issued. The validating carrier is the carrier to which payment is submitted and is usually the first carrier on the itinerary (domestic) or the carrier on the first international flight (international). If a ticket is issued on multiple carriers or is validated on a carrier not on the itinerary, the validating carrier is responsible for payment to the other airlines on the ticket.

The process of stamping an air ticket or other airline document, at the time of issue, with the issue date, name and location of the issuing office and its IATA code number. Tickets not bearing such a stamp re invalid and will not be accepted by airlines.

value-added tax (VAT)

A general tax that applies, in principle, to all commercial activities involving the production and distribution of goods and the provision of services.

VAT reclaim

Value-added tax, or VAT, is included in hotel, dining and car rental bills and more when travelers go to countries that assess the tax. It can be a significant expense: VAT rates can be as high as 25%. The good news is most T&E-related VAT is eligible for reclaim. The bad news: In the past, it’s been hard to collect. But automation has made VAT reclaim for European Union transactions much easier. BCD Travel has partnered with VAT-recovery firm Taxeo to automate the process.

virtual credit card (VCC)

A VCC isn’t a physical card, but it has many of the same features as plastic corporate cards.

virtual payment

A virtual payment is a terminal-based payment method where the payment is delivered through a virtual card (VCC) instead of by check or cash.

An endorsement or stamp placed into a passport by officials of a foreign government giving a traveler permission to visit; not all countries require visas.

VCC (Virtual Call Center)

A network of call centers where the client calls one phone number, regardless of where they are based, that will be routed through to an available agent. For multi-national accounts this service would be multi-lingual as appropriate.

Virtual Multiple Purpose Document. A document issued by a travel agency or airline, working with BSP, as proof of payment for transactions and services, either related to an eticket already issued (example: rebooking fees) or for services other than flights (for items like surface transportation, transfers, and excess luggage charges).

A traffic document which has been spoiled or canceled.

Documents issued to confirm arrangements or used to be exchanged for services.

A list of people seeking a travel service that is sold out; generally, as other travelers cancel, waitlisted individuals are confirmed in the order in which their waitlist request was received – sometimes prioritized by frequent traveler membership.

When a hotel is sold out and there are no rooms available for a person who has a confirmed reservation, the hotel provide alternate accommodations at a different hotel.

an agreement to pay to use an aircraft with a crew , fuel, and insurance

wide-body aircraft

Aircraft with wide passenger cabins and seating configurations that require more than one aisle. Current models include Boeing 747, 777 or Airbus A380, A350

system that checks hand luggage at an airport, without damaging, for example, light-sensitive film material or laptops.

Yield Management

is a variable pricing strategy, based on understanding, anticipating and influencing consumer behavior in order to maximize revenue or profits from a fixed, time-limited resource (such as airline seats or hotel room reservations).

Zulu Time Zone (Z) has no offset from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Zulu Time Zone is often used in aviation and the military as another name for UTC +0. Zulu time, also known as Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), is the time zone used by the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England. It is the basis for all other time zones in the world.

2FA, or two-factor authentication, is an extra layer of security used to protect online accounts. In addition to a password, users are also required to enter a code that is sent to their mobile device. This makes it more difficult for hackers to gain access to an account, as they would need to have both the password and the code.

  • Credit cards
  • View all credit cards
  • Banking guide
  • Loans guide
  • Insurance guide
  • Personal finance
  • View all personal finance
  • Small business
  • Small business guide
  • View all taxes

You’re our first priority. Every time.

We believe everyone should be able to make financial decisions with confidence. And while our site doesn’t feature every company or financial product available on the market, we’re proud that the guidance we offer, the information we provide and the tools we create are objective, independent, straightforward — and free.

So how do we make money? Our partners compensate us. This may influence which products we review and write about (and where those products appear on the site), but it in no way affects our recommendations or advice, which are grounded in thousands of hours of research. Our partners cannot pay us to guarantee favorable reviews of their products or services. Here is a list of our partners .

What Is a Tourist Tax?

Profile photo of Tiffani Sherman

Tiffani Sherman is a Florida-based freelance writer and producer who works to support her travel habit. After many years producing television newscasts and training videos, she realized working for herself gave her more time to travel and explore the world. She has taken more than 30 cruises and has visited more than 80 countries.

Profile photo of Giselle M. Cancio

Giselle M. Cancio is an editor for the travel rewards team at NerdWallet. She has traveled to over 30 states and 20 countries, redeeming points and miles for almost a decade. She has over eight years of experience in journalism and content development across many topics.

She has juggled many roles in her career: writer, editor, social media manager, producer, on-camera host, videographer and photographer. She has been published in several media outlets and was selected to report from the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

She frequents national parks and is on her way to checking all 30 Major League Baseball parks off her list. When she's not on a plane or planning her next trip, she's crafting, reading, playing board games, watching sports or trying new recipes.

She is based in Miami.

tourist company definition

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money .

Some tourist towns have a love-hate relationship with the tourists themselves. The towns need the tourists and the money they pump into the local economy, but sometimes there are too many people and things get a bit too crowded.

Several destinations have ways to charge visitors a fee, sometimes called a tourism tax, to both generate income from visitors and help offset overtourism.

What is a tourist tax, and how does it work?

A tourist tax is a fee someone visiting a city pays. It can be a fee for simply entering the city or country, or — more often — it takes the form of a fee that hotels and other accommodations charge overnight guests.

For example, Orange County, Florida, where most of the Walt Disney World Resort and Universal Orlando Resort parks are, has a 6% Tourist Development Tax (TDT) on stays at any hotels and short-term rentals that are less than six months. In March 2024, that tax brought in more than $40 million, the highest monthly collection ever.

Florida law allows county governments to impose such taxes. Some localities call the lodging tax a city tax, often on a bill payable at checkout.

Another way to collect a tourism fee is upon entering a city or jurisdiction. Venice, Italy, for example, began charging a fee of $5.35 (5 euros) for each person entering the city for the day and not staying overnight. It is an experimental program for specific days between April 25 and July 14, 2024.

During the first 11 days of the tax, the city raised $1.05 million (977,430 euros), which is less than it cost to set up the system.

Other cities are looking at the day-tripper tax experiment in Venice to see if it might be an option for them.

Australia has a Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) of $40 (60 AUD) for people leaving Australia for another country. It’s part of every ticket a transportation company sells, and it goes to the government. New Zealand, meanwhile, charges inbound rather than outbound. It has the International Visitor Levy, a fee of $21 (35 NZD) that visitors must pay when entering the country.

Other countries have similar arrival or departure taxes.

One of the highest tourist taxes was in Bhutan, where visitors had to pay $200 per person per night in what it called the Sustainable Development Fee. That fee went down to $100 per person per night in 2023.

Tourist tax amounts can fluctuate. The city or country can adjust the tax seasonally or implement it during peak times like during festivals or outside of shoulder seasons . Taxes outlined in city, county or other types of ordinances can change annually or during government sessions.

» Learn more: The best travel credit cards right now

Why do places have tourist taxes?

When tourists visit a place, they visit areas where people live and work. An increase in visitors can strain infrastructure, damage the environment, increase traffic and even raise the cost of living.

The term overtourism describes this phenomenon, when the number of visitors negatively impacts the quality of life in an area, especially for locals.

Overtourism can cause rents and other prices to increase in some areas visitors frequent, sometimes causing a backlash with the locals.

Pre-pandemic, an anti-tourism movement was getting a lot of attention in cities such as Barcelona, Spain, a popular tourist destination with overnight guests and cruise ships, which bring thousands of visitors to the city each day.

The city recently increased the tax tourists pay for staying overnight.

Who has to pay tourist taxes?

In general, visitors to a city or area have to pay tourist taxes; however, there are often some exemptions, depending on the jurisdiction and the type of tax.

Children sometimes pay nothing or a reduced rate. The same goes for people with a disability.

For example, for the Venice day-tripper tax, people who live in Venice or were born in the city, minors under 14, people with a European Disability Card along with one person accompanying them, and members of the armed forces, police and other public safety entities are exempt from the fee.

Taxes for tourists are prevalent

Chances are, you already pay a tax for being a tourist. Many accommodations charge a bed or lodging tax as part of the nightly rate at a hotel or vacation rental.

Other fees are part of airline tickets. Tourists pay the fee when booking the ticket and then the company pays the appropriate government entity. They're sometimes called departure charges, arrival charges or something similar.

No matter how and how much tourists pay, the money is intended to go back into the communities.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are some of the best travel credit cards of 2024 :

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

On a similar note...

tourist company definition

The Daily Show Fan Page

Experience The Daily Show

Explore the latest interviews, correspondent coverage, best-of moments and more from The Daily Show.

The Daily Show

S29 E68 • July 8, 2024

Host Jon Stewart returns to his place behind the desk for an unvarnished look at the 2024 election, with expert analysis from the Daily Show news team.

Extended Interviews

tourist company definition

The Daily Show Tickets

Attend a Live Taping

Find out how you can see The Daily Show live and in-person as a member of the studio audience.

Best of Jon Stewart

tourist company definition

The Weekly Show with Jon Stewart

New Episodes Thursdays

Jon Stewart and special guests tackle complex issues.

Powerful Politicos

tourist company definition

The Daily Show Shop

Great Things Are in Store

Become the proud owner of exclusive gear, including clothing, drinkware and must-have accessories.

About The Daily Show


  1. Travel agency

    Travel agency in Taiwan. A travel agency is a private retailer or public service that provides travel and tourism -related services to the general public on behalf of accommodation or travel suppliers to offer different kinds of travelling packages for each destination. Travel agencies can provide outdoor recreation, arranging logistics for ...

  2. Travel Agency

    Travel Agency. A travel agent is a person who has full knowledge of tourist product - destinations, modes of travel, climate, accommodation, and other areas of the service sector. He acts on the behalf of product providers/principles and in return gets a commission. Technically, a travel agent is an owner or manage r of an agency, but other ...

  3. What is a Destination Management Company (DMC)?

    A destination management company is an enterprise that manages a range of products and services at a popular travel destination. Put very simply, they're the companies that make travel experiences work. Whether you're looking for someone to provide a safari trip, coach tours, cruises, catering or just about any other travel service you can ...


    TRAVEL AGENCY definition: 1. a company or shop that makes travel arrangements for people 2. a company or shop that makes…. Learn more.

  5. Travel agency Definition & Meaning

    travel agency: [noun] an agency engaged in selling and arranging transportation, accommodations, tours, and trips for travelers — called also#R##N# travel bureau.

  6. What Does A Travel Agency Do?

    Independent travel agents. An independent travel agent is the type you'll see on Instagram or with their own Facebook pages, their feeds full of snaps from Amsterdam, Bali, or New York City.They tend to partner with a 'host agency', who will take a portion of the agents' commission themselves in exchange for letting them use the company software and access their commission.

  7. Tourism Industry: Everything You Need to Know About Tourism

    Tourism Industry: Everything You Need to Know About Tourism. What is the tourism industry? What is a tourist? What are the benefits of tourism?

  8. What is a travel management company? A short guide

    A travel management company is essentially a travel agent or travel agency for corporate travel needs. As technology evolves, we're beginning to see more. providing so much more than the ability to only book travel. Business travel programs need TMCs that are more tech-savvy than ever before.

  9. What is a Travel Management Company?

    The Definition of a Travel Management Company (TMC) A Travel Management Company (TMC) is a travel agent that fully manages the business travel requirements delegated by an individual, company or organisation to fundamentally save clients both time and money. A TMC is also commonly known as a business travel agency or corporate travel provider.

  10. TRAVEL AGENCY definition

    TRAVEL AGENCY meaning: 1. a company or shop that makes travel arrangements for people 2. a company or shop that makes…. Learn more.

  11. What is business tourism and why is it so big?

    Business tourism represents one of the oldest forms of tourism, man having travelled for the purpose of travel since very early times" (cited in Bathia, 2006, p.272). To elaborate, business tourism is a means of travel that takes place for the primarily importance of a work-related activity. Often the term 'business tourism' is described ...

  12. Travel and Tourism Industry; A Complete Overview of All Activities

    Learn more about the travel and tourism industries, their differences, and the sectors within those industries.


    TRAVEL AGENT definition: 1. a person or company that arranges tickets, hotel rooms, etc. for people going on holiday or…. Learn more.

  14. Tourism

    tourism, the act and process of spending time away from home in pursuit of recreation, relaxation, and pleasure, while making use of the commercial provision of services.As such, tourism is a product of modern social arrangements, beginning in western Europe in the 17th century, although it has antecedents in Classical antiquity.. Tourism is distinguished from exploration in that tourists ...

  15. What Is Tourism Managment

    Tourism management involves overseeing and coordinating various aspects of the tourism industry, including marketing, planning, development, operations, and customer service. It aims to provide a positive and enriching experience for tourists, while also benefiting the local communities and preserving the environment.

  16. Market Segmentation in Tourism (What It Is & Why It Matters)

    The four main tourism market segments include: Demographic segmentation in tourism: Dividing customers based on age, gender, income, education, and other demographic factors. Geographic segmentation in tourism: Segmenting customers based on location, such as country, region, or city. Psychographic segmentation in tourism: Dividing customers ...

  17. Business tourism

    Business tourism or business travel is a more limited and focused subset of regular tourism. During business tourism (traveling), individuals are still working and being paid, but are doing so away from both their workplace and home. Some definitions of tourism exclude business travel. However ...

  18. 7.1 Components of Travel Services

    A travel agency is a business that operates as the intermediary between the travel industry (supplier) and the traveller (purchaser). Part of the role of the travel agency is to market prepackaged travel tours and holidays to potential travellers. The agency can further function as a broker between the traveller and hotels, car rentals, and ...

  19. Corporate Business Travel: Everything You Need to Know

    From a company perspective, travel can be a challenge to administer and manage. Costs can easily balloon out of control; travel logistics can be time-intensive to arrange; employees traveling on ...

  20. Glossary of tourism terms

    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.

  21. Stakeholders in tourism: Who are they and why do they matter?

    A stakeholder in tourism can be an individual person, such as a tourist or a taxi driver. They could be a group of people such as a student group or a family. They could be a company or organisation. A definition os a stakeholder according to Project Manager. A stakeholder is different from a shareholder.

  22. Global tourism industry

    Globally, travel and tourism's direct contribution to gross domectic product (GDP) was approximately 7.7 trillion U.S. dollars in 2022. This was a, not insignificant, 7.6 percent share of the ...

  23. find the best Terms, Definitions and Acronyms

    fee - bundled air transaction fee. An air transaction fee that includes the costs associated with servicing air, hotel and car transactions. Therefore, hotel and car only bookings (not to exceed XX% of air bookings) are not charged a transaction fee. fee - management fee. Fee assessed in addition to direct costs.

  24. How One Company Is Changing Luxury Travel

    How the Luxury Travel Industry is Changing. High-quality accommodations are a cornerstone of luxury travel. Five-star hotels and resorts dominate the landscape where guests expect a consistent ...

  25. What is a Tourist Tax?

    Tourism has its pros and cons. Some popular locations impose a tax to mitigate the downsides. Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences ...

  26. The Daily Show Fan Page

    The source for The Daily Show fans, with episodes hosted by Jon Stewart, Ronny Chieng, Jordan Klepper, Dulcé Sloan and more, plus interviews, highlights and The Weekly Show podcast.