Online Bookings and Online Distribution – Terms and Jargon

There are a lot of different terms used in relation to Online Distribution. Here are the definitions we use.

Term Definition Synonyms
Booking Outlet A website (or group of websites) where your inventory can appear. Distribution Outlet
Distribution Channel
Booking Exchange A website where you can register your inventory and make it available to a network of Booking Outlets. Distribution Management System
Distribution Exchange
Booking Transaction Engine Software that lets you accept a booking online – accepts payment, transfers funds and (sometimes) updates inventory. Booking Engine
Online Booking Engine
Online Booking System
Booking System A system (computerised or manual) that you use at your ‘front desk’ to record what inventory is available as well as record your own direct bookings. Front desk system
Liquid Inventory Tourism operator defines inventory availability once, this is shared across multiple Booking Outlets. Whenever a booking is made, available inventory is reduced and automatically flows to all other Booking Outlets to avoid over bookings.
Allocated Inventory Tourism operator manually allocates a level of inventry to a Booking Outlet. If a booking is made elsewhere, operators may have to manually the reduce allocation to avoid over booking.