Terminology

Algorithm: In the web world an algorithm is the technology a search engine uses to deliver results to a query. Search engines utilize complex algorithms to deliver search results or keyword-targeted search ads.

Analytics: Web Analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of Internet data for the purposes of understanding and optimizing Web usage .

App: Shorthand for Application. Mainly currently used to describe mobile applications used by smartphones and tablets.

Average Daily Rate (ADR): Figure derived by dividing actual daily revenue by the total number of rooms sold

Best Available Rate (BAR):  The lowest non-restricted rate bookable by all guests. 

CRS:  The application used to manage a hotel’s distribution and hotel room bookings.  Typically will be used to reach guests via multiple distribution channels such as travel agencies (via GDS), online travel agencies (such as Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline and others), direct to the hotel website, and telephone (either via call center, direct to property or both).

Chain Code GDS: The two-character code used to identify hotel chains within a GDS. Chain codes may vary by GDS.

Channel Management: Controlling the allocation of hotel inventory and rates across all distribution channels including website, third parties, and the GDS. Effective channel management solutions should reduce labor costs and improve efficiency by providing a centralize way to control multiple channels.

Closed to Arrival:  A room inventory control function that prevents reservations from arriving on that date but not through the date.

Close out:  Hotel rooms made unavailable 

Cloud Computing:  refers to applications and services offered over the Internet which collectively are referred to as the Cloud.

Commissions:  A percent of the total reservation cost paid to travel agents. Industry standard for travel agents is 10%

Competitive Set: The group of competitive hotels within the market.  A hotel’s competition.

Connectivity:  The data communication process linking global distribution systems to hotel company central reservation systems. The most common mode is seamless connectivity.

Content Management System: CMS is a software allowing you to login over the internet and easily edit pages or add new ones to a website without the need for a web designer to help you

Consortia:  Marketing organizations that link together small to medium sized independent travel agencies to leverage purchasing power and marketing opportunities.

Distressed Inventory:  Hotel rooms normally discounted at the last minute to ensure that the property will fill to capacity.

Dynamic Packaging:  The ability to create packages based upon the components the customer selects.

Electronic Distribution:  Encompasses all the electronic channels of distribution, which includes GDS, Online Travel Agencies and Web Booking Engines. These distribution channels can be accessed through the Internet, an intranet or through an interfaced connection. 

GDS (Global Distribution Systems):  Sabre, Galileo, Amadeus and Worldspan offer a comprehensive travel shopping and reservation platform to travel agents worldwide.  Agents use one of these systems to book airline, car, hotel and other travel arrangements for their customers.  OTAs also use one or more GDS to power some or all of their content on their site.

Geo-coding:  The process of defining locations using degrees of longitude and latitude.
 
Group Rate:  Negotiated hotel rate for convention, trade show, meeting, tour or incentive group. 
 
Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA):  The organization of hotel marketing automation staff formed in 1991 to advance communication, procedures and technology for the sale of hotel accommodations through the Global Distribution Systems.

Interface:  A connection between two networks without intermediary.  Most often refers to a connection between a PMS/CRS and an OTA. Also known as Integration, Direct Connect and Interfaced Connections.

Internet Distribution System (IDS):  Distribution using the Internet, World Wide Web, Intranets, extranets and on-line services.

Inventory (relative to hotel distribution):  The rooms available that the hotel has to distribute/sell across all channels.

Last Room Availability (LRA): Usually used in conjunction with negotiated or consortia rates.  It allows agents to book the last room a hotel has available at the contracted rate.

Lead Time Restriction:  A room inventory control function that requires a reservation to meet or exceed a specified advance notice in order to complete the reservation.
 
Legacy Media: is considered “old,” such as radio, television, and especially newspapers. The customer does not contribute or interact with the content and remains totally passive.

Length of Stay (LOS): Figure derived by dividing the number of room nights by the number of bookings.

Merchant Rate Program:  A Net rate provided to travel sites such as Orbitz.com, Priceline.com, Travelocity.com, and Expedia.com. Commonly includes marketing and preferred placement for the hotel participant.

Negotiated Rate:  A term used in global distribution systems to describe rates negotiated by a hotel company with a specific client. Viewership of these rates in the GDS (by a travel agent or other GDS user) is restricted, and the rate may be booked only after entry of either the agent or client identification code.

Net Rate:  The rate provided to wholesalers and tour operators that can be marked up to sell to the customer. 

No Show:  A customer with a reservation who fails to show up and does not cancel. 

Occupancy:  A percentage indicating the number of bed nights sold (compared to number available) in a hotel, resort, motel or destination. 

Online Travel Agencies (OTA):  Websites offering comprehensive travel shopping and Reservations Solutions to consumers.  Examples include Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, and many local and regional sites.

Open Travel Alliance (OTA):  A non-profit organization working to establish a common electronic vocabulary for use in the exchange of travel information.

Organic Search Listings:  Organic search listings are those sites that appear on search results pages (SERPs) that have not been paid for as part of a pay per click or pay for position campaign.

Overbooking:  The practice of taking more reservations for a given date than there are hotel rooms in expectation that the number of cancellations and no-shows will bring the number of reservations to or below maximum occupancy.

Passenger Name Record (PNR):  The GDS file or record that contains information about a passenger’s travel plans, including flight itinerary, hotel booking segments, car rental booking segments, and related details.

Package:  A fixed price salable travel product that makes it easy for a traveler to buy and enjoy a destination or several destinations. Packages offer a mix of elements like transportation, accommodations, restaurants, entertainment, cultural activities, sightseeing and car rental. 

Preferred Placement:  Providing enhanced visibility for hotels on travel agent terminals (GDS) and Internet Travel Sites through ranking strategies. 

Property Management System (PMS):  The application used by the hotel to control onsite property activities such as check in/out, folios, guest profiles, room status, requests, etc. PMSs can have interfaces between other applications such as the hotel point-of-sale (POS) or central reservations system (CRS).

Pseudo-City Code (PCC): Identifier that distinguishes one travel agency location from another and can also be referred to as a Subscriber ID. A Pseudo-city code (PCC) is usually a three to five character code (alpha, numeric, or combination) depending upon the GDS. PCCs are necessary when adding negotiated rates, as these rates can be “defined” or secured to an agency by using their PCC.

Rack Rate: The standard publicly sold rate plan. (Traditionally the highest priced rate plan)

Rate Parity:  The strategy that all distribution channels of a hotel should reflect the same rate for the same conditions for a particular room type.  Rate parity strengthens customer loyalty and encourages guests to book directly with the hotel where terms/policies may be more flexible, given the same pricing as in other channels.

Reach:  The percentage of people within a specific target audience reached by an advertising campaign. 

Representation Company: An organization that provides reservation services, including processing of voice reservation requests and/or GDS connectivity for hotels or small hotel companies that prefer not to operate these services and systems themselves.

Request for Proposal (RFP):  A company’s formal solicitation for bids on business from suppliers such as travel agencies, hotels or car rental companies.

Revenue Management System (RMS):  The software application hotels to control the supply and price of their inventory in order to achieve maximum revenue or profit, by managing availability, room types, stay patterns (future and historical), etc.

Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR):  Calculated by taking the daily room revenue of a hotel and dividing it by the total rooms available at that hotel.

Run Of House (ROH): Refers to a basic room type with no guarantee of specific amenities.    

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):  The process of increasing the amount of visitors to website or page by ranking high in the search results of a search engine.  The higher a Website ranks in the results of a search, the greater the chance that that site will be visited by a user. SEO helps to ensure that a site is accessible to a search engine and improves the chances that the site will be found by the search engine users.

Sell Through: A hotel CRS inventory control function. Indicates that arrivals or short multiple night reservations cannot be confirmed for this date, but reservations with arrival on a previous date and a long length of stay can be confirmed.

Target Audience/Market:  A specific demographic, sociographic target at which marketing communications are directed. 

Walk:  Hotel industry term for placing an arriving guest at a substitute hotel due to lack of available accommodation at the initially reserved property. Often the oversold hotel will pay for the substitute room for the first evening as well as for taxi fare to the second property and one or two telephone calls.

Web Analytics: The process of analyzing visitor activity on a website. Web analytics also includes the measurement of metrics to determine site effectiveness.

Wholesaler:  Develop and markets inclusive tours and individual travel programs to the consumer through travel agents. Wholesalers do not sell directly to the public.

Yield Management:  Hotel Yield Management is the process of understanding, anticipating and reacting to consumer behavior to maximize revenue.  Yield Management is also referred to as Revenue Management.