Hotel Jargon Buster

Don’t know your ADRs from your FITs? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This handy A to Z hotel jargon buster will help get you up to speed with the language of the hospitality industry!

ADR (or ARR) – Average Daily Rate, or Average Room Rate (calculated by dividing revenue generated from income from hotel rooms sold by the total number of rooms sold)

ADS – Alternative Distribution System.  The Internet and other non-GDS electronic channels of hotel distribution. Also known as IDS (Internet Distribution System)

Advance Rates – Generally discounted rates to encourage guests to book in advance.

AGOP – Adjusted Gross Operating Profit (equal to the gross operating profit minus the hotel management base fee and any additional expenses)

AI – Artificial Intelligence.

Allocation – usually refers to an ‘allocation of rooms’ (e.g a conference may have an allocation of rooms at an agreed rate)

Alternative Availability – Displaying other available properties when the requested property is unavailable for sale.

ARI – Average Rate Index.

ATL – Above the Line (generally refers to mass marketing campaigns to drive awareness)

ARI – Availability, Rates and Inventory.

ARR – Average Room Rate (Total room revenues divided by the number of rooms occupied, excluding any rooms offered complimentary)

B2B – Business to Business.

B2C – Business to Consumer.

B&B – Rates that include Bed and Breakfast.

Back of House – Area of the hotel that is generally off limits to guests (eg: kitchens, offices, storage, etc.)

BAR – Best Available Rates (typically rates that are the ‘best available’ at the time of booking, often these are short lead bookings)

Base Fee – Agreed upon hotel management fee earned by the hotel operator.

BDE – Business Day End.

Benchmarking – comparing your hotel against competitors. This could include benchmarking by product/service, room rate, quality etc.

BOB – Business on (the) Books.

Boutique Hotels – Generally refers to smaller, luxury hotels that differentiate themselves by their service and product offering. For example, a boutique hotel may have different, themed rooms etc.

BSC – Balanced Scorecard. A performance management tool for managers.

BTL – Below the Line (generally refers to niche marketing campaigns focused on return on investment)

Cache – A method to temporarily store information. Types of information cached often includes HTML pages, images, rates and inventory. Can reduce the volume of direct system queries by allowing requests to be satisfied by extracting information from the cache (speeding up processes for guests)

C&B (or C and B) – Conference and Banqueting.

C&E (or C and E) – Conference and Events.

C&I (or C and I) – Conference and Incentive bookings.

CDP2 – Current Day Processing.

Chain Code – A two letter code used in distribution systems to identify a hotel chain. A property needs to be associated with a chain code to be listed in a GDS (Global Distribution System). HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Networking Association) administers the list of available chain codes.

Channel Management – The process a hotel uses to update ARI (Availability, Rates and Inventory) in various distribution channels.

Check In – The process by which a guest registers their arrival at a hotel and receives their key/key cards.

Check Out – The process by which a guest settles their bill and hands back any key/key cards.

Channel Management – The process a hotel uses to update ARI in various distribution channels.

CMP – Certified Meeting Professional – an internationally recognised credential conferred upon an individual by the Convention Industry Council.

CMP – Complete Meeting Package – a per person charge, usually with a conference center, that includes the individual’s room, food and beverage, and proportional share of all other charges (room rental, technology, etc.)

CMS – Content Management System (used to update websites) or Contract Management System (keeps track of contracts and agreements)

Comp – Complimentary

Competitor – A rival hotel group or individual property.

Competitor set – A list of hotels / hotel chains that are direct competitors.

Corkage – charge placed on beer, liquor, and wine brought into the facility but purchased elsewhere. Such charges may also be applied to other products or services the hotel offers i.e. audio visual but are contracted elsewhere.

Corporate Rates – Rates negotiated by corporates/companies with a hotel or sales team. Typically, these are lower than standard consumer rates as corporates/companies can offer a high volume of annual bookings.

COS – Cost of Sale.

Cover – Refers to diners within a restaurant, eg. A hotel restaurant achieved 30 covers (30 people dined)

CRM – Customer Relationship Management. Commonly automated to include pre and post stay elements, along with loyalty programmes etc.

CRO – Central Reservations Office – the central ‘hub’ that handles bookings of behalf of a hotel (or chain).

CRS – Central/Computerised Reservations System. The system that facilitates the booking of rooms, conference etc. This might be via telephone, website, email etc.

Day Guests – Guests that arrive and depart the same day.

DBB – Rates that include Dinner, Bed and Breakfast.

DDR – Day/Daily Delegate Rate (per person rate for conference room hire, refreshments, catering etc.)

DMO – Destination Marketing Organisation. A company/group responsible for the promotion of an area (this could be regionally, nationally or town/city specific).

DMP – Data Management Platform, used to better understand your hospitality/travel business data, often to achieve a single customer view.

DND – Do Not Disturb.

DOSM – Director of Sales and Marketing

EcoTourism – socially responsible travel. Guests may opt for ‘green hotels’ who operate with sustainable practices.

EPO / IPO – Each Pays Own, Individual Pays Own.

ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival.

Extranet – A secured connection between two or more intranets between two companies. Commonly used by OTAs (online travel agencies) to allow hotels to maintain their rates and availability and to receive delivery of reservations.

F&B (or F and B) – Food and Beverage. Refers to restaurant and bar business.

FF&E – Furniture, Furnishings and Equipment.

FIT – Free and Independent Traveller.

FOH - Front of House. Generally refers to guest facing staff within the reception area of the hotel. These may include receptionists, concierge and room porters.

Full Board – Rate that includes bed, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

GDS – Global Distribution System. Network of electronic reservation systems used globally by travel agents booking hotel rooms (and airlines). Common GDS include Sabre, Galileo and Amadeus.

Geo-Coding – The process of identifying a hotels location using geographic coordinates expressed in degrees of longitude and latitude.

GM – General Manager.

GOP – Gross Operating Profit (Total revenue less expenses)

GOPPAR – Gross Operation Profit Per Available Room.

GOR – Gross Operating Revenue.

Group Rates – Negotiated rates (usually discounted against standard rates) for group travel. This can include guests attending conferences, meetings and tours etc.

GS – Guest Services.

GSM – Guest Services Manager.

Half Board – Rate that includes bed, breakfast and either lunch or dinner.

HCD – Hotel Content Database. Content management system used to distribute static information about hotels to 3rd parties including GDS (Global Distribution Systems), OTA (Online Travel Agents), IDS (Internet Distribution Systems) and others.

HOD – Head of Department

Holdover – When a hotel may hold your room for a night, or more, should you require a broken night stay (e.g. Stay Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and room held on Wednesday). Can also refer to squatters, see Squatters.

House Count – The total occupancy of the hotel at any given moment.

IBE – Internet Booking Engine.

IDS – Internet Distribution System.  The Internet and other non-GDS channels of hotel electronic distribution. Includes the Internet, World Wide Web, Intranets, Extranets and online services. Also known as ‘ADS’ (Alternate Distribution System)

Independent Hotel/Property – An individual hotel that isn’t part of a chain/group.

IPO / EPO – Individual Pays Own, Each Pays Own.

KPI – Key Performance Indicator. A target against which success can be measured. For example, an occupancy rate of 90%, an ADR of X etc.

L2B / L2B Ratio – Look to book. The ratio of people who visit your website or CRS (Central Reservations System) divided by the number of reservations received.

Late Arrival – Guests that advise they will be later than the agreed time of arrival.

Late Charge – Charges that may be passed on to a guest after their departure from a hotel. For example, telephone calls or mini bar charges that weren’t determined before the guest left.

Late Check Out – When a guest leaves the hotel later than the agreed time of departure. This may be at an agreed ‘Late Check Out’ fee.

Late Show – A guest who arrives later than the agreed time of their reservation.

LBA – Local Business Agreement.

Lead Time – The length of time between when a booking is made and the actual stay date. Typically, hotels prefer long lead times as it allows them to plan room inventories/rates.

Limited Service – A hotel that may not offer the full range of services typically expected of a hotel.

LOS (or Length of Stay) – The duration of a guests visit. eg 3 nights.

Loyalty Programme – A rewards programme for those that stay at the hotel regularly. Rewards can vary, but typically include free stays, dining vouchers etc.

Market Parity – Process of evaluating your product/service offering against a competitor set to determine your market price and ensure competitiveness.

MCI – Meetings, Conventions and Incentives.

Meta-Search Engines – A search engine where different sites are consolidated so that offerings can be compared.

MICE – Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions.

MLOS – Minimum Length of Stay.

MOD – Manager on Duty

MOM – Month on Month.

MPI – Market Penetration Index.

MPI – Meeting Professionals International

MTD – Month to Date.

Mystery Guest – A quality control measure whereby an undercover employee (usually of an external organisation) poses as a guest to evaluate the performance of a hotel.

Net Rate – A wholesale rate to allow a third party markup.

NS (or No Show) – A guest who doesn’t show up, despite having a reservation.

Occ (or Occupancy) – The rate of occupation of a hotels total rooms, at any given time. For example, an occupancy rate of 95% would mean that 95% of a hotels room inventory is presently occupied.

OOO – Out of Order.

Operator – Could refer to a hotel management company managing a hotel under a management agreement.

OTA – Online Travel Agent/Agency. A 3rd party who often sells a hotels room inventory on their behalf (and is paid a commission for any bookings referred) Examples of some of the main OTA’s include Expedia,, etc.

Over Set – number of covers set and prepared for over the guarantee.

Parity – The policy of providing consistency between all sales channels. Commonly associated with rate parity, but can include room type, content parity etc.

Pax – Number of people/passengers. eg. 6 pax would be 6 people/passengers.

PDQ – Payment terminals that allow merchants to ‘Process Data Quickly’

PIP – Property Improvement Plan (refurbishment)

PMS – Property Management System.

POS – Point of Sale.

PPL – People

PP – Per Person

PPPN – Per Person, Per Night.

QA – Quality Assurance.

Rack Rate – The standard or default rate for a room, before any discounts (for example, advance purchase discounts) are applied.

Rate Parity – The policy of providing consistency of rates between all sales channels.

RDR – Residential Delegate Rate (per person rate for conference room hire, refreshments, catering including overnight accommodation)

Refurbishment – The process of restoring, renovating or modernising a hotels rooms or public areas to bring them up to a certain standard.

Res – Reservation.

RevPAR – Room Revenue, Per Available Room. The gross room revenue is divided by the amount of rooms to calculate the RevPAR – a common figure used to benchmark performance (based on rates and hotel occupancy levels)

RGI – Revenue Generator Index.

RMS – Rate Management System.

RO – Room Only (rate is for accommodation only).

ROH – Run of House. No room has been allocated to a guest before arrival, so they will get any room available on arrival OR a flat rate for which a hotel agrees to offer any of its available rooms.

ROI – Return on Investment.

Room Night(s) – Essentially refers to an occupied room. E.g) Guest A has booked 5 room nights (they are staying for 5 nights) or Corporate Guest B accumulated 20 room nights last year (they stayed for a total of 20 nights)

Room Inventory – the volume of rooms available to be sold.

Room Only – A rate for the room only, no extras included.

Rooms Yield – Average revenue of all rooms, divided by the number of rooms in a hotel, divided by 365 nights.

SEO   search engine optimisation

S&M (or S and M) – Sales and Marketing.

Short Lead – refers to bookings made at short notice (eg. on the day of arrival or within a few days of arrival).

Snag List – Generally refers to a list of problems/issues that need addressed (usually as a result of a new hotel launch).

Soft Launch/Opening – Partial launch of a hotel property, perhaps at a reduced service level, usually to test the service offering prior to launching in earnest.

SOP – Standard Operating Procedure(s).

SRP – Special Rate Plan.

TA – Travel Agent (or can sometimes be used to refer to TripAdvisor).

TAC – Travel Agents Commission.

Upgrade – Process by which a guest is offered a better room than he/she booked.

Upsell – Process by which a guest is offered (at a cost) additional services or upgrades (often at the point of purchase or upon arrival to the hotel).

Walk In – A guest that hasn’t pre-booked, but simply walks in and reserves a room. Often, they’ll pay a higher rate (even Rack Rate) accordingly.

WBE – Web Booking Engine.

Wholesale – The bulk sale of rooms, usually at a discounted rate.

WTM – World Travel Market.

WTO – World Tourism Organisation.

WTTC – World Travel & Tourism Council.

Yield – Hotel’s profit margin when a room is sold (less any commissions etc.)

Yield Management – The practice of raising or lowering prices based on demand.

YOY – Year on Year.

YTD – Year to Date.