Glossary

Glossary

ADS (Alternative Distribution System)

This means hotel distribution via third party websites without having an explicit agreement with them. Examples: Tablet hotels, Expedia, orbitz…

AdSense (Google)

AdSense is a service by Google which allows targeted, context-related advertising on websites. This results in increased click rates and the website’s owner receives interest of profit for advertisements. AdSense is the counterpart of Google’s AdWords (s. definition).

AdWords (Google)

AdWords is a Google service which allows targeted keyword-advertising. Advertisements are subject to special requirements, e.g. the headline should not exceed 25 characters and the text should not have more than 35 characters. AdWords advertising campaigns can be found on Google search, Google advertisement network and Google network display.

Allocations Management

Allocations management refers to the assignment of a certain allotment of rooms that are held for a customer. Those rooms can be used and released based on specific terms and conditions. Typically, allocations are granted to foreign inclusive tours wholesalers’ packages and programs. This allows hotels to increase exposure in foreign markets and gives tour operators the opportunity to propose programs to their preferred clientele market at fixed rates.

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

Total room revenue divided by number of rooms sold per day.

Average Length of Stay (ALOS)

Total number of room nights divided by number of reservations.

BAR (Best Available Rate)

Is the lowest non-restricted public rate available for all bookers. General practice is to change this rate regularly, from several times a week to regular daily changes.

Bounce Rate

This rate shows the percentage of visitors who leave the website right after having been directed to the landing page.

Channel Management (also Multi-Channel-Management)

Hotels have to manage several distribution channels today. To make the management of those distribution channels more efficient, Channel Managers can be used. Channel Management includes content management as well as rate and availability management. This allows a coherent display of information and rate parity.

CMS (Content Management System)

Content Management Systems are used to edit and manage different content types and data, for example for websites or distribution systems.

Consortia Rate

Consortia are corporations, syndicates, franchises or business travel agent chains such as American Express, Carlson Wagonlit, BCD Travel or HRG. The consortia rate is negotiated between the hotels and travel agencies and is only available to contracted consortia.

Consortia

Consortia are primarily marketing companies which negotiate preferred pricing with suppliers on behalf of their member agencies. Their members generally consist of independently owned and operated agencies which join the consortia to acquire marketing tools, negotiated supplier pricing and services such as 24 hour reservation support.  The Consortia do not own their member agencies, they simply suggest and market their supplier members to their agency members.  Examples of consortia programs include ABC, CCRA, THOR, TRAVELSAVERS, etc.

Content Management

The action of revising content such as hotel description and real-time information such as rates and sales terms on different distribution channels

Conversion Rate

This rate describes the percentage of website visitors (lookers and shoppers), which actually turn into buyers after using a website clicking on an advertisement.

CPC (Cost Per Click)

Stands for “Cost Per Click,” and is used in online advertising. CPC defines how much revenue a publisher receives each time a user clicks an advertisement link on his website. For example, a publisher may place text or image-based ads on his website. When a visitor clicks one of the advertisements, he or she is directed to the advertiser’s website. Each click is recorded by the advertiser’s tracking system and the publisher is paid a certain amount based on the CPC.

CPL (Cost Per Lead)

Stands for “Cost Per Lead,” and is used in online advertising. CPL defines how much revenue a publisher receives when he creates a lead for an advertiser. For example, the publisher may place an ad for an investment site on his website. If a user clicks on the advertisement link, she is directed to the advertiser’s website where she can sign up for an investment account. If she chooses to sign up, a lead has been created and the publisher is paid a certain amount based on the CPL.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

CRM is an information industry term for methodologies, software, and usually Internet capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships in an organized way. For example, an enterprise might build a database about its customers that described relationships in sufficient detail so that management, salespeople, people providing service, and perhaps the customer directly could access information, match customer needs with product plans and offerings, remind customers of service requirements, know what other products a customer had purchased, and so forth.

CRO (Central Reservation Office)

A CRO is a system that allows reservation agents to receive reservation requests by phone and to handle them immediately. CROs display availability of hotels and allow reservation agents to easily and fast find the suitable property for the client they have on the phone. Therefore, sophisticated search options have to be included. The reservation itself is usually confirmed via a CRS and/or PMS.

CRS (Central Reservation System)

A CRS is a system containing information about availability, rates, and related services, and through which reservations can be made. The term commonly used within the travel industry refers to a hotel company’s central reservation system.

Commission

Travel agencies charge commissions (usually in % of the room rate) for selling hotel rooms

Direct Connect

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

Dynamic Packaging

This method combines inventory (rates and availability) from multiple sources e.g., hotels, rental cars and flights in one online application. It allows the customers to create and book a customized itinerary resulting in a higher flexibility compared to pre-packaged holidays.

Dynamic Pricing

A revenue management strategy, based on a specific rate model for revenue optimization (e.g., by changing room rates daily) and offering goods at a price that changes according to the level of demand, the type of customer, or the state of the weather. Specific rates and restrictions are combined for one product. Consortia/negotiated rates are no longer fixed (in some cases), but linked to the Best Available Rate which itself changes regularly having attached rates change at the same time according to a predefined pattern.

E-Commerce

E-commerce (electronic commerce or EC) is the buying and selling of goods and services on the Internet, especially the World Wide Web. In practice, this term and a newer term, e-business, are often used interchangeably. For online retail selling, the term e-tailing is sometimes used.

Elite Agency Programs

The Elite Agency refers to a select group of well-known, top-rated Regional Agency Groups which have developed their own unique hotel programs as a way to generate revenue and show case a select set of suppliers which represent value to their owned and affiliated agency members.  These programs are generally by invitation only.   The Elite Agency will mandate their agencies utilize their proprietary program first then follow with their consortia program partnerships.  Examples of these Elite Agency programs include: TZELL, ALTOUR, TRAVEL LEADERS, ULTRAMAR etc.

E-Marketing

e-Marketing or electronic marketing refers to the application of marketing principles and techniques via electronic media and more specifically the Internet. The terms e-Marketing, Internet marketing and online marketing, are frequently interchanged, and can often be considered synonymous.

e-Marketing is the process of marketing a brand using the Internet. It includes both direct response marketing and indirect marketing elements and uses a range of technologies to help connect businesses to their customers.

By such a definition, e-Marketing encompasses all the activities a business conducts via the worldwide web with the aim of attracting new business, retaining current business and developing its brand identity.

Extranet

A distribution channel which is administered externally in a specific, usually internet-based system, e.g. HRS (OTA for hotels) prefers rates and availability to be updated by logging into HRS’s extranet system.

Follower

An online community user that follows a special profile (e.g. person or company) on Twitter. A person liking a company profile on Facebook, however, is referred to as fans

GDS (Global Distribution System)

GDSs were formerly used as international reservation systems by the airline industry in collaboration with travel agencies. Today, the GDSs 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. All licensed travel agencies have access to the GDS via computer terminals. The main revenue drivers for hotels are travel agency consortia, using the GDSs predominantly for corporate travel bookings.

GOPPAR (Gross Operating Profit Per Available Room)

Gross operating income of a hotel per available room.

IBE (Internet Booking Engine)

An Internet booking engine (IBE) is an application which helps the travel and tourism industry support reservation through the Internet. It helps consumers to book flights, hotels, holiday packages, insurance and other services online. This is a much needed application for the aviation industry as it has become one of the fastest growing sales channels.

An internet booking engine allows a customer to specify their travel requirements such as city of departure, destination, departure date, return date and class of travel. Once this information is received, the IBE will offer a list of available air tickets, hotels and excursions which the customer can then book.

The real value of an IBE is in the business rules and processes that package the content and provide the capability to shop and purchase. This includes packaging and pricing rules, customized displays for different customers and channels, business rules, and check out and payment processes.

IDS (Internet Distribution System)

This term is generally used to express the hotel sales via the Internet. It is also known as a synonym for distribution via 3rd party websites and ADS (see also ADS).

Interface

The crossing point or technical connection between different IT systems, one function e.g. could be downloading reservations from a hotel’s CRS to the PMS via a 1-way interface (see direct connect)

LCR (Local Company Rate)

Local corporate contracts that are negotiated between hotels and companies, e.g. fixed corporate rates exclusively for a certain company (usually valid for one year).

Look to Book Ratio

Determines how many people who are visiting your website actually make a booking on it. If, for example, you have 100 website visitors and 5 bookings, the look to book ratio is 5%

LRA (Last Room Availability)

Guaranteed availability until the last physical room is sold out (e.g. often requested by corporations and/ or travel agency consortia).

Market Segments

Differentiation of customer segments to organize target group-specific sales activities, e.g. IND=individual traveler.

MaxLOS (Maximum Length of Stay)

Maximum length of stay defines how many nights a guest can stay maximum at a certain rate, in a certain room and at a certain time. This is a function of revenue management to control room availability or revenue.

Merchant Model

A number of 3rd party websites (e.g. Expedia) contract merchant rates where the hotel usually obtains a preferred ranking displayed on the intermediates’ website – this is achieved via special rate and allocation agreements. Thus, hotels provide net rates to e.g. OTAs or tour operators which then add their markup, forming the end price for consumers.

Metasearch Site

A metasearch website specializes in e.g. travel content and filters flight and hotel availability (among others) according to user-defined search criteria. It compiles rates from multiple 3rd party websites and displays the result on a single site. The user is transferred to the selected 3d party site to complete the booking (examples are kayak.com and trivago).

MinLOS (Minimum Length of Stay)

Minimum length of stay defines how many nights a guest has to stay at least at a certain rate, in a certain room and at a certain time. This is a function of revenue management to control room availability or revenue.

Negotiated/ Secured Rates

Negotiated rates are contracted rates with corporations, associations, state organizations etc. They have restricted access and are only visible to the organization who contracted them. Negotiated rates are usually booked by travel agencies over GDS, but can also be available on IBEs and call centers. In order to access the rate, the person booking has to identify itself (PCC for GDS bookings) and mention the secret access code (NRAC for GDS bookings).

NGS (Next Generation Seamless)

Next Generation Seamless integrates CRS and/or PMS information directly with the GDS, which exactly match the hotel’s own data. Thus, avoiding delays and errors and providing real time information to travel agents.

OBE (Online Booking Engine) = IBE = WBE

Occupancy

Defines the percentage of all occupied rooms at a given time. The occupancy rate is calculated by total rooms sold divided by number of total rooms available, e.g. 250 rooms sold / 400 rooms available = 62.5 % occupancy.

ODD (Online Distribution Database)

A digital database of hotel and lodging information created and maintained by Pegasus.

This includes text, images, geo-coding, contact information etc. from hotels in multiple languages. It is most commonly used together with the Pegasus Ultradirect switch, which delivers rates and availability for hotel rooms. The ODD is typically used to transmit content in a customized way to OTA websites eliminating the need for the hotel to maintain content manually in the Extranet. Hybrid-models are common as well.

Opaque Sites

An OTA website that offers a certain product category (e.g. a 4 star hotel room) for a certain price. The shopper only sees the category offered, but not the specific product (e.g. hotel name or brand) – product details are only disclosed after the purchase. Examples are Hotwire, Secret Hotels at Lastminute or Travelocity.

OTA (Online Travel Agency) = ADS = IDS

OTA are websites offering comprehensive travel shopping and Reservations Solutions to consumers. Examples include Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, Priceline, and many local and regional sites.

OTA  (OpenTravel Alliance)

Open Travel Alliance is a trade group developing a common standard for the exchange of information in the travel industry. (http://www.opentravel.org/).

PCC (Pseudo City Code)

Is a GDS code, which identifies the location of a travel agency. This code is important to insert Negotiated Rates.

PMS (Property Management System)

A PMS is 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).

Private Label Chain Code

Refers to an individual 2-letter code of a hotel chain which is used within the GDSs, e.g. SR for Steigenberger Hotels & Resorts.

Public Label Chain Code (Umbrella Chain Code)

Refers to one general 2-letter code for all represented hotels and hotel chains, example: Hotels & Preference = IW

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.

Representation Company (Distribution Partners)

Distribution and marketing companies such as The Leading Hotels of the World, Top International Hotels, Utell or Worldhotels which support the hotels with their international distribution. A uniform market representation under a common GDS chain code is typical for this marketing strategy.

Revenue Management (Yield Management)

Revenue Management is the application of disciplined analytics that predict consumer behavior at the micro-market level and optimize product availability and price to maximize revenue growth. The primary aim of Revenue Management is selling the right product to the right customer at the right time for the right price. The essence of this discipline is in understanding customers’ perception of product value and accurately aligning product prices, placement and availability with each customer segment.

RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room)

RevPAR is an important metric for the hotel industry in order to compare hotels of different sizes. It is measured by total room revenue divided by total rooms available.

RFP (Request for Proposal)

A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that an organization posts to elicit bids from potential vendors for a product or service. For example, a new business or a business moving from a paper-based system to a computer-based system might request proposals for all the hardware, software, and user training required to establish and integrate the new system into the organization. Another business might draft an RFP for a custom-written computer application they wanted to outsource .

RMS (Revenue Management System)

Software or system solutions for Revenue Management, supporting real time analysis of supply and demand patterns, and administrating particular pricing strategies by providing automated price calculations and recommendations.

RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

Technology used to send content or parts of messages to subscribers via “Feeds“. RSS is either a software application, which is able to read feeds or a small plug-in, required to read the feed. New information is automatically sent to the subscriber. This also allows to distribute posts on one social media site to others simultaneously.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility insearch engine results pages (SERPs) through optimization (both on-page and off-page) as well as through advertising (paid placements, contextual advertising, and paid inclusions).[1] Depending on the context, SEM can be an umbrella term for various means of marketing a website including search engine optimization (SEO), which adjusts or rewrites website content to achieve a higher ranking in search engine results pages, or it may contrast with SEO, focusing on only paid components.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO aims to reach a high organic (non-paid) ranking on the search result page of search engines and to achieve the highest possible customer perception. The idea behind SEO is to optimize and structure website content, best meeting the search criteria of search engine algorithms including technical elements of a website such as meta information or actual content within the site (text, pictures, videos, links). This can be done complimentary to SEM or separately as an alternative.

SMM (Social Media Marketing)

Defines a community form of online marketing. Companies seek to reach online marketing goals by communicating directly on social media platforms.

SMO (Social Media Optimization)

Social media optimization (a.k.a. SMO) is the process of optimizing your company’s social role on the web in order to increase business, boost sales, and enhance visibility, traffic, and overall web presence.

SMO differs from SEO in that the underlying goal of SMO is to generate company awareness from channels other than search engines. SMO seeks to generate company success by stimulating a social buzz about your website through a variety of social media tools, services and platforms.

Some of the most popular methods of SMO include content distribution through blogs, vlogs, social networks, RSS feeds, and third-party applications or widgets.

(GDS) Switch

A switch is a system component in the worldwide electronic distribution infrastructure which serves as a link between all GDSs and the CRS of a hotel chain. The switch transfers data (primarily rates and availabilities) from the CRSs to the GDSs and back. Reservation data are being sent from the GDSs through the switch company to the hotel CRS. Only two systems are available: Wizcom and Ultraswitch both owned by Pegasus.

Third (3rd) Party Websites

A third party website is typically a website company that provides an auxiliary product or service not supplied by the primary manufacturer to the end user (the two principals). Example: Expedia

TMC

Travel Management companies refers to a company which generally owns and manages their agencies and they directly mandate the suppliers their agencies utilize.   Generally these TMC’s are global organizations managing 95% corporate travel.   Examples of a TMC include:  American Express, Carlson Wagonlit, BCD Travel, HRG and Radius.

Travel Agency Consortia

Travel agency chains or franchise organizations such as American Express, BCD Travel, HRG, Carlson Wagonlit or Radius. A distinction is made between internationally and nationally operating consortia.

Unique Visitor

A count of how many different people access a Web site. For example, if a user leaves and comes back to the site five times during the measurement period, that person is counted as one unique visitor, but would count as five “user sessions.”

Unique visitors are determined by the number of unique IP addresses on incoming requests that a site receives, but this can never be 100% accurate. Depending on configuration issues and type of ISP service, in some cases, one IP address can represent many users; in other cases, several IP addresses can be from the same user.

Visit

A website visit by a user who is identified by his or her IP address.

Voice

Distribution channels based on telephony, Call Center and CRO.