Navigating the travel industry can sometimes feel like deciphering a secret code. With a plethora of abbreviations and jargon floating around, it's easy to get lost in a sea of unfamiliar terms. That's why we've put together this handy glossary of travel industry abbreviations to help demystify the language of the trade.
Whether you're a budding travel enthusiast looking to get your start as a travel advisor, new-to-the travel industry and learning or an experienced travel advisor, this guide will shed light on commonly used abbreviations and terms. Understanding these key words will not only enhance your knowledge but also empower you to make informed decisions when planning your next adventure or interacting with travel professionals.
Glossary of Travel Industry Terms
ADR (Average Daily Rate)
ADR is a common metric used in the hospitality industry, particularly in hotels and resorts, to measure the average price at which rooms are sold per day. ADR is calculated by dividing the total revenue generated from room sales by the number of rooms sold during a specific period.
ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation)
ARC provides a platform for travel agencies to report and settle ticket transactions with airlines. It also offers data and analytical services to help airlines and travel agencies track sales, manage revenue, and make informed business decisions.
ASTA (American Society of Travel Advisors)
ASTA is the leading trade association representing travel advisors in the United States. It provides educational resources, advocacy, and networking opportunities for its members, and works to promote the value and professionalism of travel advisors.
In the travel industry, amenities refer to additional services or benefits provided by the partner to enhance a guest’s experience and make them feel like a VIP. Travel advisors can often secure additional amenities for their clients through their affiliation with their host agency or consortium.
Amenities can vary depending on the type of travel accommodation or service, and may include perks such as complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi access, personalized welcome gifts left in their room, access to special areas or lounges, credits to be used on-site towards things like spa services or dining, etc.
In the travel industry, B2B often refers to partnerships, agreements, or sales between travel agencies and travel suppliers. For example, a travel advisor may collaborate with a tour operator to plan an itinerary, but the tour operator won’t work directly with the clients. And clients wouldn’t be able to book directly with that tour operator as they only work with travel advisors.
In the travel industry, B2C refers to transactions or relationships between businesses and individual consumers. In the travel industry, B2C refers to the direct sale of travel products or services from travel agencies or suppliers to end consumers.
BDM (Business Development Manager)
Business Development Manager refers to a person employed by a travel partner that works directly with a travel agency to develop new business opportunities, build relationships, and educate about their companies ’products or services. BDMs often work closely with travel advisors to provide support, training, and assistance in selling their company's offerings.
In the travel industry, "blocked space" refers to a pre-reserved or pre-allocated number of seats, rooms, or cabins that are held by an advisor for a specific group or event. The purpose of blocking space is to ensure availability and secure a certain number of seats or accommodations for a particular group or client.
CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association)
CLIA is an organization that represents the interests of cruise lines and travel advisors specializing in the cruise industry. CLIA provides resources, training, and accreditation to travel advisors, and works to promote the cruise industry and advocate for its members.
In the travel industry, consortium refers to a group or association of travel agencies that join together to gain collective buying power, access preferred supplier agreements, and share resources and knowledge.Consortia often negotiate special rates and amenities with travel suppliers on behalf of their member agencies, allowing them to provide added value to their clients. Gifted Travel Network is a member of Virtuoso, a consortium that focuses on luxury travel.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
A CRM is a technology system or software used by travel agencies to manage their interactions and relationships with clients. It allows agencies to store customer data, track bookings, manage communication, and analyze customer preferences to enhance customer service and marketing efforts.
CTA (Certified Travel Associate)
CTA is a professional designation awarded by The Travel Institute to travel advisors who have completed a comprehensive training program and passed an exam. It signifies a certain level of knowledge and expertise in the travel industry.
CTIE (Certified Travel Industry Executive)
CTIE is a professional certification offered by The Travel Institute. It is awarded to experienced travel professionals who have completed a comprehensive education program, and who have demonstrated advanced knowledge in various areas of travel management, including sales, marketing, operations, finance, and leadership.
DMC (Destination Management Company)
A DMC is a professional service provider that specializes in travel-related services and logistics within a specific destination or region.DMCs are local experts who have in-depth knowledge of their destination's attractions, accommodations, transportation, and other aspects of the travel industry.
FAM (Familiarization Trip)
A FAM trip is a promotional trip organized by travel suppliers or tourism boards to familiarize travel advisors with a destination, hotel, cruise ship, or other travel products. These trips allow travel advisors to experience firsthand what they will be selling to their clients.
FIT (Fully Independent Traveler / Foreign IndependentTraveler)
FIT refers to a type of travel arrangement where individuals or small groups plan and book their own travel components separately, rather than purchasing a pre-packaged tour. FIT travelers have more flexibility in customizing their itineraries according to their preferences.
In the travel industry, the term Festive (or Festive Season) refers to a period of time around major holidays and celebrations when there is typically an increase in travel and tourism. During the Festive Season, hotels, resorts, and popular destinations often offer special packages, decorations, themed events, and entertainment to attract travelers seeking holiday experiences. Festive travel is usually in high-demand, and is often booked many months in advance to guarantee availability.
A host agency is an organization that provides support and resources to the independent travel advisors that operate under them. Host agencies act as a bridge between the travel advisors and travel suppliers, offering a range of services that assist independent advisors in running their travel businesses more effectively. The primary role of a host agency is to provide a framework for independent travel advisors to operate under, allowing them to leverage the host agency's industry relationships, preferred supplier agreements, technology platforms, marketing tools, and administrative support.
IATA/IATAN (International Air Transport Association /International Airlines Travel Agent Network)
IATA is a global trade association representing airlines worldwide. In the travel industry, IATA plays a crucial role in setting standards for airline operations, issuing airline codes (such as two-letter airline designators), and facilitating the distribution of airline tickets through travel agents.
IATAN is a subsidiary of IATA and provides recognition and benefits to travel advisors. To become accredited by IATAN, travel agencies must meet requirements related to financial stability, business ethics, and compliance with industry regulations. IATAN accreditation provides several benefits and opportunities to travel agencies, as well as helps them establish credibility and demonstrates their commitment to professionalism and quality service.
IC (Independent Contractor)
IC refers to a travel advisor who operates as an independent contractor under an established agency brand rather than being their own independent brand under a host agency. ICs usually have the flexibility to manage their clients and business independently, but under the umbrella of someone else’s business. Many of our advisors will bring on an IC to help them scale their business and increase the number of clients they can manage.
OTA (Online Travel Agency)
Online platforms allow users to search, compare, and book travel products such as hotels, cruises, flights, and car rentals online.Examples of well-known OTAs include Booking.com, Expedia, and Hotels.com.
Wave Season is a term commonly used in the cruise industry to describe a specific period of time, typically from January to March, when there is a surge in cruise bookings. During this period, cruise lines often offer promotions and incentives to encourage travelers to book with them.