Resorts Glossary

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Adventure tourism

Outdoor activities with an element of risk, usually somewhat physically challenging and undertaken in natural, undeveloped areas

Ancillary revenues

Money earned on non-essential components of the transportation experience including headsets, blankets, and meals


The action of taking something for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission

Authenticity of experience

Discussion of the extent to which experiences are staged for visitors

Average cheque

Total sales divided by number of guests served

Back of hous

Food production areas not accessible to guests and not generally visible; also known as heart of house

Beverage costs

Beverages sold in liquor-licenced operations; this usually only includes alcohol, but in unlicensed operations, it includes coffee, tea milk, juices, and soft drinks

Botanical garden

A garden that displays native and/or non-native plants and trees, often running educational programming

Carbon offsetting

A market-based system that provides options for organisations to invest in green initiatives to offset their own carbon emissions

Collaborative consumption

Also known as the sharing economy, a blend of economy, technology, and social movement where access to goods and skills is more important than ownership (e.g., Airbnb)


Business events that have specific themes and are held for smaller groups than conventions


Business events that generally have large attendance, are held annually in different locations each year, and usually require a bidding process

Culinary tourism

Tourism experiences where the key focus is local and regional food and drink, often highlighting the heritage of products involved and techniques associated with their production

Customer relationship management (CRM)

A strategy used by businesses to select customers and to maintain relationships with them to increase their lifetime value to the business

Destination mountain resorts

Large-scale mountain resorts where the draw is the resort itself; usually the resort offers all services needed in a tourism destination

Environmental accreditation or certification

A voluntary system that establishes environmental standards and regulates adherence to reducing environmental impacts


A happening at a given place and time, usually of some importance, celebrating or commemorating a special occasion; can include mega-events, special events, hallmark events, festivals, and local community events

Familiarisation tours (FAMs)

Tours provided to overseas travel agents, travel agencies, RTOs, and others to provide information about a certain product at no or minimal cost to participants — the short form is pronounced like the start of the word family (not as each individual letter)


Enables individuals or investment companies to build or purchase a business and then buy or lease a brand name under which to operate; also, can include reservation systems and marketing tools


An individual or company buying or leasing a franchise


A company that sells franchises

Fully independent traveller (FIT)

A traveller who makes his or her own arrangements for accommodations, transportation, and tour components; is independent of a group


The accommodations and food and beverage industry groupings

In country

A term to describe using a local-ownership approach for the wealth generated from tourism to stay in a destination

Inbound tour operator

An operator who packages products together to bring visitors from external markets to a destination

Incentive travel

A global management tool that uses an exceptional travel experience to motivate and/or recognise participants for increased levels of performance in support of organisational goals

Loyalty programmes

Programmes that identify and build databases of frequent customers to promote directly to them, and to reward and provide special services for those frequent customers

Meetings, conventions, and incentive travel (MCIT)

All special events with programming aimed at a business audience

Moment of truth

When a customer’s interaction with a front-line employee makes a critical difference in their perception of that company or destination

Nature-based resorts

Resorts where the motivator is immersion in the natural environment; the focus is often on wildlife and wilderness area

Off-road recreational vehicle (ORV)

Any vehicle designed to travel off paved roads and on to trails and gravel roads, such as an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) or Jeep

Outdoor recreation

Recreational activities occurring outside; generally, in undeveloped area

Private land

Any land where private property rights apply


Activities undertaken for leisure and enjoyment

Regional mountain resorts

Small resorts where the focus is on outdoor recreation for the local communities; may also draw tourists

Sport tourism

Any activity in which people are attracted to a particular location as a participant, spectator, or visitor to sport attractions, or as an attendee of sport-related business meetings


The practise of having front-of-house staff pool their gratuities, or pay individually, to ensure back-of-house staff receive a percentage of the tips

Tourism services

Other services that work to support the development of tourism and the delivery of guest experiences

Visitor centre

A building within a community usually placed at the gateway to an area, providing information regarding the region, travel planning tools, and other services including washrooms and Wi-Fi

Wine resorts

Resort experiences where exploration, consumption, and purchase of wine are key components
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