What should I know about tourism merchant category codes?

Merchant category codes (MCC) are used to classify a business by the types of goods or services it provides. Learn how MCCs are used in your ZDOS®.

Affinity Spending Data:  

Our credit card data is provided by Affinity Merchant Solutions, a provider of merchant reward solutions to over 3,000 financial institutions. Each business is categorized by the types of goods or services it provides. Our goal is to provide the clearest view of the visitor economy, so we take several key steps in processing the Affinity data to ensure we bring the cleanest signal into our OS and analyses.


Tourism MCC Categories: One step is to remove spending from Merchant Category Codes (MCC) categories that are not commonly associated with visitor spending, which could include unmarked online or mail-order activities. These include professional services, banking, printing, and commercial services and many others. This also includes a filter to remove all of the MCC codes associated with airline travel. This was done to prevent online, or phone-based reservations from being attributed back to the airline’s corporate headquarters (e.g. United Airlines in Chicago). Of the 982 MCC codes used by the industry, we filter out more than 500 categories for a clearer visitor signal.


How do MCCs help within the ZDOS®?

Merchant Credit Codes can provide various interesting and valuable data on the type of spending habits visitors have within your destination. MCC codes we use help you answer questions such as "What type of spending is included in x category?" or "Why is there a crazy amount of spend going to one industry (or one community) within my destination?".


Here is a list of the Merchant Credit Categories with descriptions... 


Categories used in our tourism signal: 

Accommodations Hotels/Motels/Inns/Resorts
Attractions Gambling & Casino
Motion Picture
Video Rental
Theaters & Ticket Agencies
Sport Tickets & Events
Tourist Attractions
Amusement Parks
Recreation Services

Business & Professional

Personal Services


Misc. General Merchandise


Grocery Stores, Supermarkets
Meat Provisioners-Freezer and Locker
Candy, Nut, and Confectionery Stores
Dairy Products Stores
Misc. Food Stores-Convenience Stores and Specialty Markets
Eating places and Restaurants
Fast Food Restaurants (including vending machines)


Drug Stores and Pharmacies


Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages), Bars, Taverns, Cocktail lounges, Nightclubs and Discotheques
Dance Halls, Studios and Schools

Outdoor Recreation

Sporting and Recreational Camps
Trailer Parks and Camp Grounds
Golf Courses-Public
Membership Clubs (Sports, Recreation, Athletic), Country Clubs, and Private Golf Courses


Duty-Free Store
Discount Stores
Department Stores
Package Stores-Beer, Wine, and Liquor
Health and Beauty Shops

Antique Shops-Sales, Repairs, and Restoration Services
Used Merchandise and Secondhand Stores
Antique Shops
Antique Reproductions
Bicycle Shops-Sales and Service
Sporting Goods Stores
Book Stores
Stationery Stores, Office and School Supply Stores
Watch, Clock, Jewelry, and Silverware Stores
Hobby, Toy, and Game Shops
Camera and Photographic Supply Stores
Card Shops, Gift, Novelty, and Souvenir Shops
Leather Goods Stores
Sewing, Needle, Fabric, and Price Goods Stores
Glassware/Crystal Stores
Artist´s Supply and Craft Shops
Art Dealers and Galleries
Stamp and Coin Stores-Philatelic and Numismatic Supplies
Religious Goods Stores
Cigar Stores and Stands
News Dealers and Newsstands
Miscellaneous and Specialty Retail Stores

Transportation Car Rentals
Taxicabs and Limousines
Cruise and Steamship Lines
Airports, Airport Terminals, Flying Fields
Travel Agencies and Tour Operations
Transportation Services (Not elsewhere classified)
Recreational and Utility Trailers, Camp Dealers
Gas & Service Stations

Gas Stations

Service Stations (Merchants that may not also have a convenience store, car wash, or automotive repair shop on the premises)

Automated Fuel Dispensers (Merchants that sell automotive gasoline using typically unattended Automated Fuel Dispensers)

Truck Stops