Terms and Definitions

Some of the key concepts, terms and definitions used throughout the site. Tourism is an industry of industry, bringing together many sectors that each have their own operational definitions for the terms they use. These are our working definitions.


Adventure and Experiential Travel

Adventure: Adventure is about doing things that are new and different for each of us, doing things that can be a little scary but that also make us curious to explore further.

Experience: Memorable activities that create connections with place and people.

Adventure Travel: Travel that combines nature, culture and activities with a sense of adventure. It often involves some physical or mental exertion and a willingness to step outside of one’s comfort zone.

Experiential Travel: A broader concept than Adventure Travel focusing on active and meaningful engagement with the places visited, including its history, people, culture, food and environment.

Guest Experience: The result of all the interactions between a guest and the organization, measured against the guest’s expectations.

Adventure Guide: A facilitator who’s role is to create memorable guest experiences by combining:

  • a coaching approach to ensure the guests have the technical skills required for the activity;
  • an interpretive approach to create a sense of place and connection;
  • a safety first approach to create a safe and inclusive environment; with
  • sustainable practices, attention to details and great customer service.

The Visitor Economy

Visitor Economy: The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) defines it as any direct, indirect, and induced economic activity resulting from visitors interactions with their destination. It includes everything that makes a place special and attractive to a visitor.

Tourism: The United Nations Word Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines tourism to include the activities of persons traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes. Typically a one-way travel of 40 to 80 km is required for an activity to be considered tourism.

Demand Generators: The attractions, activities and things to see and do in a region that are the primary motivator for a visitor to travel to that region.

Demand Supporters: The attractions, activities and things to see and do in a region that are not the main motivator for visiting but contribute to the overall appeal of the destination and can be added to an itinerary.


Hidden Gems: may not be something you would consider part of your destination’s tourism offering but have potential to add value to your visitor’s experience.


Destination Marketing / Managing Organizations

Destination Marketing/Management Organization (DMO): An organization that promotes and supports the development of a destination.

Destination Canada: The crown corporation, owned by the Government of Canada, responsible for the promotion of tourism in Canada.

Travel Alberta: The crown corporation, owned by the Government of Alberta, responsible for the promotion of tourism in Alberta.

Tourism Red Deer: A member based organization that promotes and supports the development of tourism in Red Deer and Red Deer County.


David Thompson Country: The tourism brand for Clearwater County, the Town of Rocky Mountain House and the Village of Caroline.

Central Alberta Tourism Alliance (CATA): A group of Economic Development Officers from Central Alberta municipalities working together to develop tourism within the region.

Travel Trades and Business Development

Travel Trade: The distribution network for the sale of travel experiences and products.

Travel Agencies: Retail companies that sell tourism products directly to consumers.

Online Travel Agencies (OTA): An e-commerce website selling tourism products directly to consumers.

Tour Operators: Distribution companies that purchase travel products in bulk from suppliers (tours and activity providers, hotels, airlines, attractions) for sale to travel agencies, other tour operators or directly to visitors.

Receptive Tour Operators: Canada based tour operators that specialize in distributing Canadian travel products on the international markets.

Net Rates / Pricing: The wholesale rate offered to tour operators, travel agencies and packaging partners.

FAM Tour: Familiarization tours provided to members of the media and travel trades for them to obtain first hand experience of the travel product, itinerary or destination. FAM tours are free or offered at a discounted rate.

Visitor Ready: A business that has permits, licenses and insurance in place requried to operate legally. Also refered to as Traveller Ready.

Market Ready: A business that has the processes in place to market their products on the regional markets.

Export Ready: A business that has the processes in place to market their products on the national and international markets.

Your Ideal Guest

Explorer Quotient (EQ): A market segmentation tool from Destination Canada that looks at the travellers beliefs, attitudes and values to better understand their travel motivations.


Responsible and Sustainable Tourism

Responsible Tourism: Responsible tourism is any form of tourism that can be consumed in a more responsible way.

Sustainable Tourism: The UNWTO defines it as tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities.