Vacation Rental Glossary

Home Vacation Rental Glossary

Vacation Rental Glossary

You need some clarifications about a specific vacation rental term? Have a look at the Xotelia glossary. We provide you with a complete list of hospitality related definitions and terminology.

For additional information about the Xotelia solution, don’t hesitate to consult our FAQ.

#

1 way XML connection

A 1 way XML connection will update the rates and availability coming from the channel manager but will not retrieve the bookings made by a client on the Online Travel Agency (OTA).

2 way XML connection

  • It pushes rates, availabilities, min stay, check in / check out.
  • Retrieves new reservation, cancellation and modification.

A XML connection is really fast and very reliable.

A

Actual Share (AS)

The actual percentage of the room nights or revenue (based upon competitive set) that an accommodation captures during a particular time frame. Calculated by dividing the total room nights or revenue sold at the rental vacation by the total room nights or revenue sold within the competitive set inclusive of the subject accommodation.

Agency Model (AM)

In accommodation revenue management when talking about an AM, we are referring to the commercial model of an OTA (Online Travel Agency). The main characteristic of the Agency Model OTA is that the guest pays the vacation rental owner directly when the stay is consumed and the accommodation pays the OTA commission after the stay has occured.

Allocation

Allocation is the number of rooms a vacation rental owner has available for sale.

Allotment

The term Allotment is used in the accommodation rental industry to designate a certain block of pre-negotiated rooms which have been bought out and held by a third party (such as a travel organizer, wholesaler, tour operator, hotel consolidator, travel agent, OTA).

Average Daily Rate (ADR)

Calculated by dividing actual daily revenue by the total number of rooms sold.

Average Lenght Of Stay (ALOS)

Calculated by dividing the number of room nights by the number of bookings.

Average Room Rate (ARR)

It is a hospitality KPI (Key Performance Indicator) which measures the average rate per available room – similarly to ADR.

Availability

Availability is the amount of vacant rooms a property owner has to sell.

B

Best Availability Rate (BAR)

Best Available Rate is the lowest rate of the day that is available for guests to book. The BAR rates are available to the general public, does not require pre-payment and does not impose cancellation or change penalties and / or fees, other than those imposed as a result of a hotel property‘s normal cancellation policy.

Best Rate Guarantee (BRG)

The vacation rental owner makes a promise that the room prices found on their website are the best rates compared to any other sites.

Booking

Booking is an act of reserving an accommodation, a table, a seat, a flight, a trip etc. in advance.

Booking Curve (BC)

A Booking Curve is a tool that can visually show bookings over a certain period of time. It includes data like room pickup, bookings, and availability.

Booking Pace (BP)

Pace – the rate at which reservations are made for a particular date – is important to control and also to monitor. Why? Because if you can see a pattern forming as reservations build for a certain date, weekend, week or even an entire month each year, this can be immensely helpful when it comes to forecasting: trying to accurately foresee and calculate projected demand and therefore revenue in future years. An accommodation can pre-empt a swell of interest (i.e. a noticeable rise in bookings) towards a particular forthcoming date, and manage their finances and other areas of business accordingly, with the ultimate aim of maximising revenue.

Boutique Hotel (BH)

A Boutique Hotel is a small and intimate hotel, held in a stylish design decor with a personal note. It has a unique character and distinguishes itself from other hotel brands.

C

Channels

A term that refers to Distribution Channels and that describes the different methods / purchaising platform buy which / in which bookings for a vacation rental owner are made. A Channel can be an accommodation’s booking engine, a direct phone reservation or a specific stream of revenue such as a 3rd party website, an OTA, etc.

Channel Management (CM)

Channel Management (also Multi-Channel-Management) refers to the techniques and systems used by vacation rentals in line with their distribution policy. This management method includes content management as well as data reconciliation in various distribution channels. It means the updating of the vacation rental information, of room rates and availabilities across all distribution channels, such as accommodations website, third parties (OTAs, IDS (Internet Distribution System), ADS (Alternative Distribution System)) and the CRS (Central Reservations System/GDS (Global Distribution System).

Close To Arrival (CTA)

An inventory technique that prevents reservations from arriving on a date.

Close To Departure (CTD)

A restriction where an accommodation owner can restrict any checkouts on a specific day.

Commission

That payment that a travel agent receives from a supplier for selling transportation, accommodation or other services.

Complementary

Complementary services or products are those given to an audience / a customer without charge. This term is often used in the tourism and hospitality industry.

Content Management System (CMS)

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

D

Demand

By Demand, we mean the level of consumer interest and need: demand for beds, demand for family rooms, demand for conferencing, event space, rentable scuba diving gear…

Demand Based Pricing (DBP)

Applying strategies to move rates based upon demand within the marketplace and what the market will bear.

Demand Generator (DG)

Strategies or programs (think social media, promos) that attract or drive demand to a specific accommodation.

Dynamic Pricing (DP)

Dynamic Pricing will maximize your bookings and stay one step ahead of your competitors. Here’s some benefits of implementing a dynamic pricing system for your vacation rental website:

  • real-time pricing
  • maximize bookings
  • promote special offers
  • maintains professionalism

Distribution Strategy (DS)

Distribution Strategy determines when and through which channels to sell accommodation rooms based upon an analysis of the costs of acquisition of the individual channel.

Any acquisition costs of acquisition of each individual channel will be considered and calculated before the hotel finalise the list of channel distribution they will be using.
Accommodations can maximise their profitability by using the right channel of distribution and driving business to more cost-efficient channels during high demand periods.

E

Early Bird Discount (EBD)

Vacation rentals owners can increase advanced bookings by offering an Early Bird Discount. This is a type of promotion that many accommodations across the world use to increase revenue.

Extranet

An Extranet is a website that allows controlled access to partners, vendors and suppliers or an authorized set of customers. In other words it is a channel which can be externally administered via a login into the system.

F

Flash Sales (FS)

A promotional sale by an establishment that is available for purchase by the customers for a limited time only.

G

Group Rate (GR)

Vacation rentals’ owners that frequently accept bookings from groups can offer reservations at a specially negotiated rate.

I

iCal

An iCal allows you to update a calendar on an online travel agency.
  • iCal does not manage price, min /max stay, day of check in / out.
  • The frequency of the updates can be different depending on the website (2-6 hours).
  • iCal does not retrieve reservation / modification / cancellation.

Interface

Interface is the crossing point or technical connection between different IT systems. In other words it is the direct communication / connection between two (or more) networks / applications / systems that can be interlinked together without any intermediary.

Inventory

The number of rooms available for an accommodation to sell or distribute across all channels is called an Inventory.

K

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

KPI includes a set of ratios and formulas that help calculate and indicate the performance and progress of a vacation rental accordingly to their plans and actions.

L

Last Room Availability (LAR)

At the contracted rate, an agent can book the last available room of an accommodation, by right. Some people may be surprised by this, thinking that an accommodation has complete control over room booking decisions at their premises, at all times. But, because of LRA, this is not necessarily always the case!

M

Margin

Within revenue management in the accommodation industry, Margin is often used to refer to the commission or fee OTA are making on your room rate.

Market Intelligence (MI)

Vacation rental Market Intelligence is the gathering, analysis and dissemination of relevant information to vacation rentals markets. This information’s purpose is to help you make effective decisions concerning the distribution of your accommodation’s room nights.

Mark Up (MU)

The difference between the hotel’s selling and the merchant’s price offered to the consumer.

Maximum Lenght Of Stay (MaxLOS)

Sometimes, in an accommodation the number of nights an individual guest, couple or family can stay has to be limited, even if the vacation rental owner is intensely focused upon maximising revenue! This can apply to a group booking, too, particularly if arrival is planned for a certain date and where a group booking discount has been offered and availed of.

Minimum Lenght Of Stay (MinLOS)

In hospitality, the number of nights a guest can stay is not necessarily always up to the paying customer, even if he / she has a lot of money to spend on both rooms and in-house serves, such as food, beverages and recreational activities! A vacation rental owner will often seek to control the number of nights an individual, couple, family or group book in for, various reasons.

N

Night Audit (NA)

A Night Audit is a reconciliation of the previous 24 hours of transactions.

No Show (NS)

If a guest fails to arrive on a certain date to fulfil a booking (as it so happens!) and does not cancel; that does not necessarily mean the accommodation will lose money. Vacation rentals owners can cover themselves for this eventuality by integrating into their pricing structure something called a No-Show fee. In the Hospitality Industry, a person who does not arrive where and when they should at an accommodation or bed&breakfast, and makes no explanatory contact, is called a No-Show.

O

Online Booking Engine (OBE)

It is an online application which allows to choose from a wide range of travel products (accommodations, air tickets, conference halls etc.) and book them on the Internet.

On Request Booking (ORB)

On Request Bookings allow you to decide whether to accept or decline each booking. This style of booking suits hosts who are not comfortable with an instant confirmation booking system. Inventory is reserved at the time of booking and is returned if the booking is declined. You may choose this style of booking for last minute or special period bookings.

Occupancy

“Fill” measure of an accommodation calculated by dividing the total number of rooms occupied by the total number of rooms available times 100, e.g. 75% occupancy.

Online Travel Agency (OTA)

OTAs are online companies whose websites allow consumers to book various travel related services directly via Internet.
They are 3rd party agents who resell trips, accommodations, cars, flights, vacation packages and so on, provided / organised by others.

Overbooking

Practice by vacation rentals owners of confirming reservations beyond their capacity (100% occupancy) in expectation of cancellations, no-shows or errors.

P

Property Management System (PMS)

An application used by the accommodation to control onsite property activities such as check in / out, folios, guest profiles, room status, requests, etc.

Payment Terminal (PT)

A device capable of capturing and encrypting Payment Card data from the Payment Card presented by the Customer (either by swipe or keypad entry or both).

Property

A Property is an accommodation. It can be a chalet, a guest house, an apartment, an igloo etc.

R

Revenue Management (RM)

Running a successful vacation rental does not simply involve selling as many rooms as possible in any given trading gear, in a kind of random first-come-first-served way with a ‘hope for the best’ atmosphere surrounding things. No. The key to achieving sustained success in the Hospitality Industry is to be hard working, organised and to work to a well-orchestrated strategy formulated and managed by experienced professionals.

Room inventory (RI)

The set of rooms available for stays for a particular date or range of dates.

Room block (RB)

A Room Block is a group of rooms. Room Blocks may be created to organize rooms in various configurations to aid in planning and sales or other management tasks. Examples of RBs might include: associating rooms with a single fixed price, a single guest, a channel, or a single team of Staff Members that manages or maintains the rooms in the block.

Room type (RT)

A Room Type represents some form of categorization, set, or collection of rooms with some common element at the accommodation that must be managed for marketing purposes within the accommodation. For example, a RT might be a suite or a single room with a double bed, poolside or ocean-side. A room can belong to multiple RTs.

S

Source of business (SOB)

Provides a vacation rental with a breakdown of how the business arrived at the hotel or through which Channel the business arrived.

Static pricing (SP)

Charging one price for a product regardless of the time of year or the demand in the marketplace.

Stay

The period of time that a customer is a guest of an accommodation.

Stay record (SR)

A record of a guest who previously visited your vacation rental.

Stay restriction (SRes)

The key to successful accommodation revenue management is control. Control over bookings is important in achieving full occupancy as many weeks as possible across a complete 12-month period and into the future. At a vacation rental, a reservation or booking control is known as a restriction.

T

Total revenue per available room (TrevPAR)

Calculated by taking the Total Revenue of a Property (not just room revenue) and dividing by the total number of available rooms.

V

Vacancy

One or more available rooms to accommodate guests.

Vouchers

Voucher is a ‘coupon’ given to a guest for a specific prepaid service (accommodation in a vacation rental) handheld out by a travel agency. As a form of a ‘receipt’ the traveler can then claim the service he paid for.

Y

Yield management (YM)

Vacation rental Yield Management is the process of understanding, anticipating and reacting to consumer behavior in order to maximize revenue. Yield Management is also referred to as Revenue Management.