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Demystifying Online Booking Terminology

Consumers today are presented with a range of options when it comes to sourcing and booking their travel. They can deal directly with a bricks-and-mortar agency or take to the internet and find a broad array of booking options. It's little wonder that these options can sometimes be confusing, and the travel terminology used within the industry can also lead to bewilderment. So, if you've always wanted to decipher some of those travel terms, here's some explanation.


The aggregator takes a lot of the hassle away from booking travel today, especially if it is multimodal. Now, it is possible to reserve flights, hotels, car rentals, trains and even cruises through one portal and with relative ease. The aggregator will present options side by side for easy comparison, but it will typically send the client to the travel supplier or online travel agency to finish the booking and buy the appropriate ticket.

Some aggregators take full advantage of online search history and may offer users different solutions based on their browsing history. Aggregators will usually generate their revenue from commissions or website advertising.


Consolidators aim to offer bargain-priced tickets that are not available elsewhere. To do this, they will buy blocks of seats or rooms from the provider and then add a markup before selling on to agents or end-users. These seats may be heavily restricted, and the user will have to adhere to the rules or lose the privilege. While travel booked this way may not be very flexible, it should be much cheaper.

Global Distribution System

A global distribution system (GDS) is a sophisticated computerised reservation system designed for booking (primarily) airline seats, but it can also feature rental cars, hotel rooms and other travel solutions. There are several of these systems around the world, with the most well-known being Amadeus and Sabre, which was originally founded by American Airlines. These systems are designed to connect multiple inventory sources, and a user can generate a variety of search parameters. Pricing is provided by the supplier and often at discounted rates. Real-time search capability allows the agent to book the best hotels or flights available according to the needs of the client.


SBT stands for "self-booking tool." It's essentially the entry point for a corporation or travel body and will link to certain parts of a global distribution system. Some major travel agencies have their own self-booking tools and will use a solution to brand their operation as having direct access to the best rates.

TMC — Travel Management Company

A TMC is a travel management company. It is generally an umbrella term for a group of agencies that operate according to the same policies. As a conglomerate, these companies can take advantage of economies of scale and frequently market themselves to larger national or multinational clients.


A wholesaler in travel industry terms is an organisation that sells tours or travel programs via a travel agent. The wholesaler will provide net rates to the agent, who will then add their margin before communicating the rates to the client. Most wholesalers will not sell directly to the public, which gives a marketing advantage to the independent agent.

Online Travel Agencies (OTA)

In the world of travel terms and phrases, web-based agencies are known as OTAs. These online travel agencies include some of the biggest names, such as Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity. They can command a lot of attention from travel providers due to their reach and scale. These websites give comprehensive shopping and reservation solutions to clients from around the world.

Online Booking Engines

Global distribution systems can provide online booking engines to major corporations. These companies will then take full control over their travel spending and ensure that any policies and rules are adhered to. They can access special rates from preferred suppliers, helping to keep their overall travel costs low. The specific online booking engine will interface with the GDS system.

Booking Solutions from ROAVER

Consumers are now moving towards the use of aggregate websites as they search and compare within the travel market. This has led to a raft of new options, such as the solution provided by ROAVER.

This new service brings together options from within the motorhome and campervan industries. These options are presented in a unified platform to showcase them in one place, making it a lot easier for either seasoned travellers or newcomers to access motorhome or campervan rentals.

Often, ROAVER's solution will be seamlessly integrated into an independent travel agency's website, making it easy for the consumer to sort out their campervan or motorhome holiday with as little hassle as possible.

Less Segmentation

Before ROAVER came along, motorhome and campervan holiday options were segmented or widely scattered. Consumers would find it difficult to come to a conclusion, as they may have been forced to look in various places in order to gather the right information. Now, these travellers can scan all the information from within the market in one place as they prepare for their motorhome or campervan holiday.

The ROAVER solution uses a state-of-the-art booking engine, creating search results in short order and in real time. This makes it a lot easier for the agency to manage bookings, generate savings and make life a lot easier for the end consumer.

Looking for More Information

If you are an agency owner and always looking for the best solutions for your customers, get in touch with ROAVER. You can then seamlessly integrate the solution into your online travel agency website and sell under your own brand through the white label capability. You can also take full advantage of the back-end CRM integration for easier customer management.

Reach out to ROAVER today for more information.

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