Business English Vocabulary: Tourism

If you are looking to pursue a career in the exiting and varied industry of tourism, then good grasp of English, the global language of the field, is an absolute must, even if you are not relocating to an English-speaking country. To get you started, we have collected some key terms for you to memorize.


Types of tourism

Travellers can be divided into categories based on the aim of their trip or activities they participate in:

Business travel – A trip undertaken for work or business purposes. Typically people on business trips are still working and being paid for their time. Business travel usually includes activities such as attending meetings, conferences or exhibitions related to one's professional field.

Leisure travel – The opposite of business travel. It’s a trip undertaken for pleasure and relaxation, a break from everyday life. 

Students Bournemouth
Did you know there are beautiful beaches in England?


Travel seasons

In the tourism industry, a year is divided into three main seasons that depend on the destination and type of vacation:

Peak season (High Season) – the most popular time of a year to visit a particular destination, resort, or hotel. It usually corresponds with school or public holidays, such as Christmas or Easter, and with times when the weather is the best for a particular type of holiday. E.g. for beach holidays in Europe, peak season lasts from June to September, while ski resorts are most crowded in December and January. 

Off-peak (Low Season) – the opposite of peak season; time of a year when the tourist numbers and prices are the lowest.

Shoulder Season – travel period between peak and off-peak seasons, usually spring and fall.

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Accommodation types

Accommodation is a place where travellers can sleep and find other services. There are two types of accommodation:

Serviced accommodation – means that alongside an overnight stay other amenities are provided, such as meals, cleaning, spa, entertainment etc. A hotel is an example of serviced accommodation. 

Non-serviced accommodation – also know as self-catering, means that travellers are responsible for preparing their own meals. This type of accommodation is usually cheaper and more popular among young people. 


Tourist Attraction

A tourist attraction is a place of interest popular with tourists. Usually something becomes an attraction due to its historical or cultural value, or it can be something exceptionally beautiful or amusing. A tourist attraction can be either natural or human built. For example, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe are Eiffel Tower in Paris, Buckingham Palace in London and the Colosseum in Rome.

Eifel Tower
Know where all the important landmarks are so you can visit them when you go abroad



Heritage is something valuable and inherited, of special cultural or natural significance. It can be a monument, a building, a whole city, a national park, or a forest inhabited with rare species. There are various organizations around the world that strive to preserve such places, for example UNESCO Word Heritage Centre. Natural heritage is often preserved in national parks, while cultural heritage is conserved via traditions and practices passed from generation to generation.


Package tour

A package tour is a fixed price holiday that includes different elements and makes the whole journey easier for a traveller. Usually a ‘package’ contains airplane tickets, hotel, and a meal plan, but it can also include entertainment, cultural activities and sightseeing. Package tours are arranged and sold by companies called tour operators.


Bed & Breakfast

This type of accommodation is offered by a hotel or a private family home, and it consists of a room for the night and breakfast the following morning.


All-inclusive resort

All-inclusive means that accommodation, entertainment, three meals per day and beverages are included in the price of your stay. 



This is a reservation, usually for a room in a hotel, table in a restaurant, or seat on a train, airplane, etc. It is important to make your booking in advance during peak season


Airport transfer

An airport transfer is a pre-arranged pick up and drop off service to and from the airport, usually arranged by tour operator or a hotel for an additional cost.



Sightseeing means visiting interesting places that tourists usually go to. It can be a sightseeing tour of the city, covering the main tourist attractions.

Sightseeing Bus
Many cities have hop-on, hop-off sightseeing buses that will take you to all of the popular destinations


Mode of travel

Modes of travel are the types of transport used to reach a destination. These includes aviation, ships, rail, cars, as well as walking and cycling. You can use a number of modes of travel to get to your final destination.



This is another word for the money used in a country. When you just arrive to a new country, you will usually look for a currency exchange – an office where you can change your currency into the local one.

The tourism industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, so demand for new employees is likely to be increasing in the following years. Looking to improve your English for better career prospects? Check out variety of our English language courses around the globe!

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