As I’m sure you all know already, GDS (Global Distribution System) is a computerised reservations system originally used by airlines to do flight bookings, but later extended for the use of travel agencies. One of GDS’s main weaknesses has been its reliance on chain hotels and its lack of access to independent hotel inventory. But that’s starting to change, thanks to GDSs partnering with some of the world’s largest hotel aggregators. Here are the highlights…
- North American GDS subscribers will not only have increased access to non-chain hotel inventory but also a simpler way to comparison shop.
- In January, Amadeus and Germany’s Hotel Reservation Service (HRS) made a deal that will add 250,000 hotels to Amadeus’ distribution system, including more than 50,000 independent hotels previously not available through any GDS.
- This partnership will enable agents to shop hotels from both the GDS and HRS on a single screen.
Hugo Ehrnreich, head of hotel distribution for Amadeus, points out that the integration of such hotel content into the GDS delivers efficiencies to both leisure and business travel consultants: “For a large [travel management company], for example, this cuts by up to almost 50% the time it takes to complete the booking process […] The integration also brings efficiencies throughout agency mid- and back-office processes with additional benefits in terms of customer information, tracking and reporting.”