Whether you are new to travel management, are seeking solutions to optimize your hotel program or simply can’t remember what “LRA” and “NS” stand for, American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) has put together this special glossary to decode terms and acronyms often being tossed around in the hotel industry.

ARR: average room rate (aka “average daily rate”); a widely used KPI that is calculated by dividing the total room revenue by the total number of rooms sold

BAR: best available rate (aka “best guaranteed rate”); the lowest room rate that is available for all guests to book on a given day; the rate can change several times a week, or even several times a day, depending on demand

blackout dates: a period when the corporate rates/discounts a company has with a hotel do not apply

corporate rate: a special rate extended to corporate guests, on business, under terms negotiated by their employer

dynamic pricing: under this fluid pricing model, a hotel will offer a corporate client a fixed discount/percentage off the BAR

fixed pricing: under this static pricing model, a hotel will offer a corporate client a set discounted rate that is not affected by BAR; when a company negotiates rates based on fixed pricing, it usually will need to meet a minimum volume level for the discount to apply

folio: an overview of a guest’s transactions (i.e., the charges and payments made)

GBT Property Hub: GBT’s collection of hotel properties and rates available to clients that includes GDS and non-GDS hotel content and additional inventory from key hotel partnerships

GDS: global distribution system; a computerized reservation network used to book airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel-related items by travel agents, online reservation sites and large corporations

GDS rate audit: a process that checks the application of discounted rates suppliers (i.e., hotels, airlines, rental car agencies) have extended to corporate clients have been loaded properly to the GDS

GDS rate loading: when a supplier uploads the corporate rate it is extending to a company to the GDS; sometimes issues can occur and the discounted rates are not loaded properly, which means companies may not be receiving the correct negotiated rate

hotel attachment: when a hotel booking is attached to an airline or rail reservation (as opposed to when a traveler makes a hotel reservation directly via the hotel supplier’s website or an online travel agency); for a managed travel program, a high hotel attachment rate is desirable, boosting the volume of data for supplier negotiations and risk management governance

Hotel Re-shop Expert: a GBT tool that monitors hotel prices and automatically rebooks less expensive rates as they become available

Hotel Track Expert: an automated auditing tool from GBT that identifies client-negotiated hotel rates that have been loaded incorrectly and works to resolve the issue

incidental charges: additional costs of services and amenities that are not part of the main hotel bill (e.g., parking and Wi-Fi service)

leakage: when a business traveler books a hotel outside the preferred channel as defined by the company’s travel policy that can lead to missed cost-savings opportunities and weaken duty of care capabilities

LRA: last room availability; as long as a hotel has even just one room for sale, parties with an LRA contract have the right to buy it in accordance with the contracted terms and prices

NS: no show; a hotel guest who has made a reservation or booking but neither keeps nor cancels it

occupancy: a KPI used in the industry that shows the percentage of available rooms that were sold during a certain time period; it is calculated by dividing the number of rooms sold by the rooms available

OTA: online travel agent/agency: a third party that sells inventory on behalf of the hotel, such as Expedia or Hotels.com; in a managed program, booking hotels via OTAs should be discouraged

parity: the practice of consistent rates across all distribution channels; commonly associated with rate parity, but can include room type and content parity

Preferred Extras: a GBT program offering special savings on flights, hotels and additional perks, such as complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi

rack rate: the official or advertised price of a room before any discounts or promotional rates are applied

RFP: request for proposal; a formal solicitation by a company to potential hotel suppliers for procurement of services (i.e., hotel rooms)

resort fee:  a mandatory daily charge imposed by a hotel to cover a variety of services and amenities, such as a business center, a pool, a gym or in-room coffee

ROH: run of house; a basic room type with no guaranteed specific amenities

shoulder season: time between the peak and off-peak season when hotel rates are relatively low, usually in the spring and fall

shoulder night: a night where there typically is less hotel occupancy on either side of peak nights, usually Mondays and Thursdays

Trip Recommender™: a GBT solution that automatically sends business travelers who have reserved a flight, but not a hotel, a message with booking links for up to three properties based on their corporate travel policies and past trip behaviors; includes at least one company-preferred option among the recommendations

Virtual Payment Expert (VPE): a GBT solution, powered by Conferma Pay, that creates a virtual card number that business travelers, who are not on a corporate credit card or centrally billed account, can use for hotel transactions

walk: when a hotel cannot accommodate a guest’s reservation, usually because it has oversold its rooms, and sends the guest to stay in a hotel within close proximity

yield management: aka “revenue management”; the practice of raising or lowering hotel rates based on anticipated demand to maximize hotel revenue