Just as no man is an island, neither is your property. In our increasingly digital world, we rely on inter connectivity. Bookings, airlines, and car services need to be able to communicate with one another so the hospitality industry can run efficiently. Hotels need to be recognized and connected to markets beyond their local reach to remain relevant in such a competitive industry.
Global Distribution Systems have stepped up their game in recent years and become a major player in how hotels manage reservations. A GDS connects travel agencies –both traditional and online –to airlines, hotels, car rental companies and other travel service reservation systems. A seamless connection between a central reservation system and the GDS allows agents to have access to your hotel content 24 hours a day, which ensures that information is up-to-date and reliable.
A one-way GDS is far less common now, but it blocks off a portion of rooms to be reserved for GDS bookings that cannot be filled with other bookings. A more efficient two-way GDS works with the traditional booking methods to fill rooms, not in a separate block. This allows hotels to fill rooms by any booking means available. A GDS can also be integrated into a larger property management system for a comprehensive interface that is easy to use and saves on labor costs and valuable time.
There are many brands of GDS to choose from. The major four are:
- Sabre Travel Network is the American GDS developed in the 1950s between IBM and American Airlines. It has global access to more than 400 airlines, 100,000 hotel properties, 13 cruise lines and 25 car rental brands.
- Galileo, also known as the Apollo system, is run by Travelport, which merged with Worldspan. Its competitive strengths include market share, global presence and relationships with diverse groups of travel vendors.
- Worldspan is a browser-based desktop that gives agencies control over travel management. Its worldwide market share is 15 percent.
- Amadeus is owned by Amadeus IT Group. This is the youngest of the four. Its database is among the largest of its kind in Europe. Amadeus serves the largest number of countries worldwide.
Even with the excess of technological resources these days, a GDS remains the most comprehensive and most reliable platform for agencies and hoteliers to connect with travel bookings around the world. Don’t alienate your property, get connected and choose a GDS that will work well for you.