We created a D-travel Agency glossary for you. The travel and tourism industry is full of jargon and acronyms that confuse many travelers. We hope this glossary will help you understand how we define some travel and touring concepts.
We aim to expand our glossary as we grow. For any travel terms, you would like to know today, contact us at [email protected].
Tour Operator / Supplier
A tour operator typically combines tour and travel components to create tour packages. They design tours and make arrangements for transport, site visits accommodation, activities, meal plans, and schedule to include a tour conductor, local guides, and sometimes interpreters. Tour operators sell different kinds of tour packages and offer guide services. Large tour operators or companies often have their own brand coach bus, boat and/or plane for tour services. And they have a larger operation system that often includes tour directors, conductors, and a network of local guides.
A tour operator is also referred to as a tour supplier. Though a tour supplier may be more geared to specialized guide services by experts such as mountaineering, safaris, cycling road trips, special interest tours like culinary, religion or sign language tours, and many more other kinds.
Tour operators and suppliers often work with travel agencies who will promote and sell tours to persons beyond their reach.
A travel agency is a private retailer that provides travel and tourism-related services to anyone on behalf of the accommodation, travel, and tourism industry. Travel agencies may open a storefront or do business online with a website selling outdoor recreation and leisure activities, vacation packages, flights, car rentals, cruise, hotels, railways, travel insurance, and tour packages. They do not normally keep inventory in-hand but unless they have pre-booked hotel rooms or cabins on a cruise ship for a group travel event.
Travel agencies can also serve as general sales agents for tour operators or tour suppliers that do not have offices in a specific region. They may also work in partnership with tour suppliers to host a tour with their travelers.
Many travel agencies target their services and products to specific interest groups like to youths, education, business, the LGBTQ, or gear services to a linguistic community.
In many countries, travel agencies are required to be licensed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and be bonded by a national and/or international travel trade association.
Travel Agent / Advisor
A travel agent or advisor is a person engaged in advising and assisting individuals, groups, and organizations with their travel plans. And they organize their travel schedules, purchase tour packages, and book flights and hotels.
Travel agents work with travel engines on computers or call airlines, cruise lines, resorts, and rental companies in order to secure travel arrangements for their travelers. Travel agents must be familiar with the process and technicalities of flights, hotel and tour reservations
And they research information on their traveler’s trip and relay important information including weather conditions, travel advisories and required documents for their destination. Safety is also a factor in international travel, so travel agents keep abreast of the latest news, ensuring that each planned destination is safe for their travelers.
Travel agents may conduct research to uncover new destinations, travel information, and travel to meet with new tour suppliers. A travel agent may agree to host tours with new tour suppliers and work with them in the development of a tour.
The term “Travel Agent” can be used interchangeably with “Travel Advisor”, “Travel Consultant” or “Travel Counsellor”.
A tour conductor is an employee or an independent contractor to a tour operator or supplier who accompanies a group of travelers on a tour and administrates the travel and tour itinerary.
The tour conductor in charge of a tour usually escorts a group of traveler to their next destination, meet-up with local guides, check-in the group at hotels and manage for group’s admission to attraction sites. On many occasions, the tour conductor may be an interpreter or the guide in parts of the tour.
A tour guide is a person who provides information on cultural, historical, and contemporary heritage to people on organized tours. There are usually two types of tour guides,the local tour guide and licensed tour guides. First, the local guides are the local people who know the place well enough to show tourists around. A licensed tour guide is those people who have a relevant degree, usually in history or archeology.
Tour operators often include tour guides in their tour itineraries. The guides are responsible for developing a day’s plan with site visits and activities. Tour guides aim to familiarize travelers with the locality and ensuring that the group remains safe at all times.
An experienced guide is a guide who has great knowledge or skill in an area of popular sport or interest. There are different kinds of experienced guides,like outdoor adventure guides who organize and conduct expeditions for adventurers or there are guides who organize food tours, conduct Safaris and there are many kinds of wildlife guides who specialize in different areas such a bird watching or whale watching.
Most experienced guides have professional certifications or licenses in what they do when they give tours.