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Glossary of Terms

Every industry has a language or jargon that may can be difficult to understand. Here are some terms useful for you to know. This list has been adapted from a document provided by the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism.

Charrette: A meeting that brings together experts to develop ideas on how to improve a natural and/or cultural resource. The outputs of their efforts are maps and designs that offer solutions to such issues as preservation, access and use, interpretation, development, etc. The Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program uses this tool to create community consensus on projects. Visit their web site for more information.

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

Escort: A person, usually employed by a tour operator, who accompanies a tour from departure to return as a guide or troubleshooter; or a person who performs such functions only at the destination. The terms host-escort or host are often used, and are preferred, to describe this service.

Escorted Tour: A pre-arranged travel program, usually for a group, with host service. Fully escorted tours also may use local guide services.

Familiarization Tour ("Fam Tour"): A complimentary or reduced-rate travel program for travel agents, airline and rail employees, or other travel buyers, designed to acquaint participants with specific destinations and to stimulate the sale of travel. Familiarization tours are sometimes offered to journalists as research trips for the purpose of cultivating media coverage of specific travel products.

Foreign Independent Travel or Foreign Individual Travel (FIT): An international pre-paid, unescorted tour that includes several travel elements such as accommodations, rental cars and sightseeing. A FIT operator specializes in preparing FITs documents at the request of retail travel agents. FITs usually receive travel vouchers to present to on-site services as verification of pre-payment.

Geotourism: Focuses on preserving a destination's geographic "character"-the combination of natural and human attributes that make one place distinct from another. Geotourism encompasses cultural and environmental concerns, as well as the local impact tourism has upon communities and their individual economies and lifestyles.

Ground Operator: A company that provides local travel services, including transportation or guide services.

Historic Property: A site with qualities that make it significant in history, architecture, archaeology, engineering or culture; sometimes more specifically a site that is eligible for or listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or on a local or state register of significant sites.

Historic District: A defined geographical area that may be as small as a few contiguous buildings, or as large as an entire neighborhood, business district, or community. Within this district are historic properties associated with a particular time or theme in a community's history. Often the collective significance of the district is greater than any one building or archaeological site.

Hostel: An inexpensive, supervised lodging, particularly used by young people or elders.

Hotel Package: A sales device offered by a hotel, sometimes consisting of no more than a room and breakfast; sometimes, especially at resort hotels, consisting of ground transportation, room, meals, sports facilities and other components.

Incentive Tour: A trip offered as a prize, usually by a company, to stimulate employee sales or productivity.

Net Rate: Price of goods to be marked up for eventual resale to the consumer.

Packager: Anyone organizing a tour including prepaid transportation and travel services, usually to more than one destination.

Package Tour: Saleable travel products offering an inclusive price with elements that would otherwise be purchased separately. Usually has a pre-determined price, length of time and features but can also offer options for separate purchase.

Person-trip: The research term for one person taking one trip of 100 or more miles, one-way, away from home.

Preservation: The conservation of the qualities and materials that make historic buildings, sites, structures, objects and districts significant. Approaches to preservation include stabilization, restoration, rehabilitation, and reconstruction.

Rack Rate: The official cost posted by a hotel, attraction or rental car, but usually not used by tour operators.

Receptive Operator: A tour operator or travel agent specializing in services for incoming visitors, such as meeting them at the airport and facilitating their transfer to lodging facilities.

Retail Agency: Travel company selling directly to the public, sometimes a subdivision of a wholesale and/or retail travel organization.

Supplier: The producer of a unit of travel merchandise, such as a carrier, hotel, sightseeing operator, or cultural organization.

Sustainable Tourism: The primary concern of sustainable tourism is to support balance within the ecological environment and minimize the impact upon it by mass-market tourism. The use of this term is evolving as it is also used to describe the impact of mass-tourism on cultural and historic resources.

Technical Visit: Tour designed for a special interest groups, usually to visit a place of business with a common interest. The tour usually includes part business/part leisure and is customized for the group.

Tour: Any prearranged (but not necessarily prepaid) journey to one or more places.

Tour Leader: A person with special qualifications to conduct a particular travel group, such as a botanist who conducts a garden tour.

Tour Operator: A company that creates and/or markets inclusive tours and/or performs tour services.

Vouchers: Documents issued by a tour operator to be exchanged for accommodations, meals, sightseeing, admission tickets, etc.

Wholesaler: A company that creates and markets inclusive tours and FITS for sale through travel agents. Company usually sells nothing at retail, and does not always create his/her own product. Company also is less likely to perform local services.

 
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