One of the oldest distribution platforms, a GDS is an intermediary that connects your hotel with travel agents looking for the right accommodation for their clients. Feeding real-time rates and availability is important on this highly competitive platform that attracts high-value guests.
But is it still relevant in 2023?
Yes. Hotel marketing experts are unanimous in their opinion that the value that GDS (Global Distribution Systems) brings to a hotel’s distribution mix cannot be ignored.
What benefits does GDS bring to hotels?
Top of the list of GDS benefits is the exposure a property provides to high-value, higher-volume guests, including corporate and government segments. The nature of the travel bookings generated by these segments is last minute and very specific with the requirements and locations. As corporate travel returns to normal, GDS is definitely very important for hoteliers in 2023
GDS also ensures that you have a effective channel mixone who is not limited to seasonality. Tourists are less likely to splurge on an off-peak vacation compared to businesses. So having them in your channel mix becomes important to ensure you have year-round bookings and also an opportunity to increase your RevPAR (revenue per available room).
How do GDS systems work?
The GDS services are only available to authorized users who are licensed and registered, as the GDS hotel reservation system allows businesses, such as travel agencies and corporate reservations, to book travel on behalf of others.
Typically, a GDS is connected to your property management system (PMS) through your channel manager to have real-time access to available inventory. Hotel owners can upgrade two rates for GDS: 1) public rate, which any travel agent can book, and 2) negotiated rates, which are only available to a handful of agents. HeThe dashboard, for example, allows you to manage these and other rates from a single view, instead of logging into multiple platforms to make updates.
What are the types of GDS?
There are three main types of GDS: 1) Amadeus, which is probably the most flexible for hoteliers, serving more than 770,000 hotels worldwide; 2) Sabre, which is associated with airline automation but has vastly increased its hospitality portfolio for the 440,000 travel agents registered with them; and 3) Travelport (Galileo, Worldspan and Apollo).
STAAH’s Channel Manager easily connects to your chosen GDS. This approach is not only seamless, but also saves you the potential additional costs to configure each GDS individually. STAAH’s simple solution connects you to a system that connects to the big three GDSs, allowing you to manage all your GDS accounts from one platform.
Like all other platforms and the travel industry in general, GDS is evolving. It’s not entirely clear how it will serve hotels in the future. However, in the near future, it is a platform that connects you with high-value business guests and should be part of your channel mix.