How to Win Bookings and Revenue with a GDS

How to Win Bookings and Revenue with a GDS

If your hotel is struggling to attract enough attention from travellers, or you aren’t attracting the market that you want to, it’s worthwhile to gain assistance from a global distribution system (GDS).

Don’t know what global distribution systems is or how to use one to win more bookings and revenue? This article will help you answer all the questions you have.

More than 600,000 travel agents plug into a GDS every day to book flights, hotels, car rentals and destination activities.

Despite the growth of direct booking channels and large online travel agencies (OTAs), a GDS remains useful for ‘shopping’ your hotel to more customers globally. Here’s everything you need to know.

What is GDS in the hotel industry?

A GDS is a worldwide conduit between travel bookers and suppliers, such as hotels and other accommodation providers. It communicates live product, price and availability data to travel agents and online booking engines, and allows for automated transactions.

The GDS is often used to tap into the corporate travel market because it’s ability to link with hotels, flights, and car rentals in one simple interface makes it a very convenient. Many companies organising trips for their staff will use the GDS as their preferred booking method.

The history of global distribution systems dates back to the 1960s when a more sophisticated method was needed to keep track of flight schedules, availability, and prices.

As early as the 1970s GDSs were some of the first companies in the world to facilitate B2B electronic commerce. Airlines realised that by automating the reservation process for travel agents, they could make the travel agents more productive and essentially turn them into an extension of the airline’s salesforce.

Four of the major legacy GDSs are:

  • Amadeus
  • Galileo
  • Sabre
  • Worldspan

Hoteliers are always looking at how they can increase their global reach to attract more customers, increase revenue, and make a profit. It seems a global distribution system (GDS) is a valuable channel to achieve this. A GDS passes on hotel inventory and rates to travel agents and travel sites that request it and also accepts reservations.

How does a GDS work in travel?

The tangled web of databases has become even more of a labyrinth following the explosion of online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, and Wotif. Hotels and other travel entities can use technology solutions to capitalise on this trend, tapping into all GDSs, including the likes of Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, and Worldspan by Travelport.

Live rates and availability are sent from a hotel’s property management system (PMS) directly to the GDS and online booking websites via a channel manager. As soon as a reservation is made on the GDS or an online booking website, the channel manager instantly reduces inventory across all channels, including the hotel’s own website, and automatically delivers the reservation details back into the PMS or central reservation system (CRS).

Each global distribution system has it’s own set of connection fees and requirements to sign up if you do this independently, rather than through a technology solution.

What are the major GDS systems?

There are several major global distribution systems that house and process the majority of data from hotels, airlines, and other distributors. These include Amadeus, Sabre, Galileo, Worldspan, Apollo, and Pegasus.

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