Hospitality Glossary

The hospitality industry is an exciting and thriving business. From travel and tourism to management to food service, there are so many aspects of hospitality that require specific and unique vocabulary. To get the most out of your job in hospitality, you need to know how to communicate with others in the industry. This glossary of hospitality and tourism terms will help you understand the language used by your coworkers and colleagues.

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  • Affordable Luxury
    An alluring good or service with a steep but affordable price.
  • "Asset Light" Strategy
    A strategy enabling the hotel chain to focus on operations while an owner maintains the property.
  • Boutique Hotel
    A small hotel with upscale accommodations and unique decor. It is defined by its unique characteristics focusing on the lifestyles of its clients and a sense of exclusivity
  • Demand Management
    Dynamically managing demand for hospitality services to optimize profitability and customer relationships.
  • Destination Marketing Organization (DMO)
    An organization that represents destinations and helps develop their long-term travel and tourism strategy.
  • DRAM Shop States
    A statute that states where taverns, liquor stores, and other commercial establishments that serve alcoholic beverages are liable if any damage occurs after someone leaves the establishment.
  • Facility Programming
    A phase of the building planning process that provides architectural designers with information about building user needs and patterns of use of space.
  • Fast Casual Restaurant
    This type of restaurant does not offer full table service, but offers higher quality food than fast-food restaurants, with fewer frozen or processed ingredients. It is an intermediate concept between fast food and casual dining and is usually priced accordingly.
  • Fixed Cost
    A cost that does not change much, even if a business experiences changes in its sales volume or other activity (ie. Land, Building Taxes). As opposed to Variable Costs that fluctuate depending on volume or other activity.
  • Functional Obsolescence
    A term commonly used in real estate to describe the reduction of an object’s usefulness or desirability due to outdated design features that cannot be easily changed.
  • Gross Rent
    A numerical amount of rent that includes all of the building costs for the property.
  • Hotel Valuation Services (HVS)
    Supports clients with any aspect of the financing, developing, owning, or operating a hospitality property.
  • Meeting Architecture
    The discipline of designing and executing meetings and events based on measurable objectives in order to improve the learning, networking and motivation of participants.
  • micro-influencer
    Micro-influencers are individuals that have between 1,000 to 1,000,000 followers/audience members and are considered experts in their respective niche. They could be food bloggers, travelers, local fashionistas, or fitness gurus.
  • Modular construction
    A process in which a building is constructed off-site, under controlled plant conditions, using the same materials and designing to the same codes and standards as conventionally built facilities, then they are transported to the intended location and assembled on-site. This process can cut construction times in half.
  • Online Travel Agent (OTA)
    A travel website/app that specializes in the sale of travel products to consumers.
  • Opaque Model
    A term used to describe the market of selling unsold travel inventory at a discounted price. It is called 'opaque' because the hotel, remains hidden until after the reservations is complete.
  • Placemaking Campaign
    The intersection of digital media and technologies with the built environment for the purpose of communicating with the public, encouraging community interaction and even play, to promote destinations and cities.
  • Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)
    Real estate investment trusts, are companies that own or finance income-producing real estate in a range of property sectors.
  • Servicescape
    The non-human elements of the service environment.
  • Sharing Economy
    An economic system in which assets or services are shared between private individuals, either free or for a fee, typically by means of the Internet.
  • Sustainable Building
    A design philosophy which focuses on increasing the efficiency of resource use — energy, water, and materials — while reducing building impacts on human health and the environment during the building's lifecycle.
  • Trade Shows
    An event that brings together members of a particular industry to display, demonstrate, and discuss their latest products and services.
  • Yield Management
    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).



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