We have a handful of facts and the most important information about GDS for you, which will help you understand what they are and how they can positively affect the achievement of your goals.
What GDSes are
GDS or Global Distribution System allows agencies, both tourist and corporate, to obtain information on a hotel’s rates and availability. They are most often used for business travel planning. Through the GDS system, agencies can book all services related to travel (flight, hotel, car rental).
GDSes are usually perceived as a solution for large chained-brand hotels. One couldn’t be more wrong! In recent years, more and more suppliers of this type of tools are also opening up to independent facilities, thus responding to the needs of the modern business guest.
What benefits can there be for independent hotels in integration with GDS?
- Expanding guest segments with a corporate guest. Integration with GDS opens your facility to cooperation with a completely new segment of guests, i.e. employees of companies who need to use specific booking systems.
- Reaching out to guests from all over the world without having to invest huge amounts in marketing.
- Start of cooperation with global corporations which create GDS systems, negotiate rates with hotels and then make them available to their clients.
Who uses GDS
GDSs have four main stakeholders, each of them having a slightly different goal:
- A company (customer) who wants to optimize business travel costs. To this end, he reports to
- ...an online travel agency who wants to meet the needs of the client (company) by providing the best rates and availability while negotiating the best possible commission with
- ...a hotel which wants to maximize occupancy and RevPar by reaching at a larger scale to
- ...a business guest for whom the price of the room (which the company pays) is not that important, but the quality of the service, the added value of the object and the personalization of the offer is.
Therefore, it is necessary to list the goals and needs of all these four groups to fully understand the functionality and potential of the GDS.
The first stakeholder is a company, a customer, or in other words - a corporation sending its employees on business trips. For a company, important elements are:
- Time savings - searching for flights and hotels, especially when limited by a specific budget, it can be very time-consuming. In case of large companies, which employees travel from several to several dozen times a month, such manual work means a huge costs - not only in the form of invoices but also dedicated to human resources. Using the services of Travel Agencies and Corporate Agencies (DMC) significantly limits the time allocated for the organization of business trips.
- Cost optimization - companies that don’t use Travel Agency services do not have access to preferential rates, which increases the cost of each booking. That is why so few companies allow their employees to book individual facilities of their choice and use agential services.
- Travel cost analysis - GDS reservations allow the company to control the budget allocated for business trips on an ongoing basis and forecast further expenses and savings.
Travel agency (Tourist and DMC) is yet another stakeholder in the booking process. Agencies receive orders from corporations and search for the best booking options using GDS.
A survey carried out by TravelClick among 900 Travel Agents shows that only in the years 2013-2015 the use of GDS by Tourism Agents grew by as much as 51% and is constantly growing! Why?
- Time is money - an agent must make the booking as soon as possible. According to Saber research, booking an account outside of GDS takes an average of 8.7min, while in Saber - just 45 seconds. The use of Global Distribution Systems means huge savings for travel agencies.
- 3 in 1 effect - thanks to GDS, it is possible to book a flight, hotel and car in one place. It means time savings for the agent and satisfaction of a potential guest from a comprehensively booked stay.
- Transparency of prices and availability - GDSs give agents an overview of all rates. The more data an agency has, the more it has the ability to offer the best terms to its customers. And that gives them a strong negotiation base and the opportunity to work out attractive commissions.
- Personalization - having access to all rates, conditions and offers, the agency is able to better tailor the offer to the customer's needs.
- Security - immediacy, booking automation and the use of the most modern technology reduces the risk of errors. And every mistake in the reservation means reduced trust of the client (company) in relation to the agency.
The hotel, as another party interested in the booking process, also has its goals. They are:
- Increased visibility - more visibility means more reservations. If your hotel is not available via GDS, at the moment you are simply invisible to the corporate segment.
- Gaining foreign guests - if you do not invest huge amounts in marketing, then as a city hotel you have no chance to break through on your own. GDS helps you to reach out to guests from outside the country.
- Building guest loyalty - thanks to the increased opportunity to personalize the offer, your hotel has a better chance to hit the needs of a business guest.
Business guest is the last stakeholder of the booking process. For him/her, the following aspects are important:
- A secure and transparent booking process that reduces the risk of errors.
- The speed of booking and immediate confirmation allow for maximum time savings
- Access to a wide range of hotels of different types and categories. Nowadays, preferences as to the type of accommodation have evolved considerably. Increasingly, guests are giving up homogenous chained-based hotels for their boutique alternatives or smaller facilities. The use of GDS by independent hotels gives business travellers a much wider choice than before.
GDSs implement practically all the needs of all four parties involved in the booking process, ensuring fast and efficient operation of the agencies, while saving guests' time. They reduce business travel costs and enable the most efficient use of the exit budget. Hotels gain access to a foreign and corporate client at a low cost.
The most popular GDSes
If you appreciate the possibilities offered by GDS and you are considering integrating with them, you probably still need to know which GDS to choose. We have three hints for you. We chose the three most popular options, the cooperation with which you will benefit the most.
iHotelier GDS by Travelclick
Since Ampen's purchased of Travelclick, it’s been the largest GDS provider in the world. It is the only one that supports the 4 largest suppliers:
- Amadeus: the largest ranges in EMEA countries (Europe, Middle East, Asia), used by 67,000 Travel Agents
- Saber: the largest ranges in North and South America, used by 50,000 Travel Agents
- Galileo: the largest ranges in EMEA and North America, used by 67,000 Travel Agents
- Worldspan: the greatest ranges in North America, used by 16,000 Travel Agents
An additional advantage is the marketing campaigns available for hoteliers available in the GDS system. The promoted offers in the system are always displayed first, providing the hotels with greater visibility.
One of the oldest GDS providers, used by 57 thousand Travel Agents and over 400 airlines. At Saber GDS, the hotelier also has the opportunity to promote the object's offer to increase visibility within the Saber GDS.
Classic International Hotels (CIH)
Popular portal that gives the opportunity to implement the offer in GDS. As part of its services, it is not possible to optimize the offer in GDS as well as its promotion. The portal offers:
- integration with Saber, Amadeus, Galileo, Wordspan,
- bringing together private facilities, giving them access to international distribution channels available so far only for hotel chains.
Ready to integrate with GDSs? Profitroom Channel Manager gives you the opportunity to integrate with the biggest players! Contact us and we will choose an offer tailored for you!
Author: Sara Antoszewicz, Revenue Specjalist