GDS connections

A GDS is a large collection of hotel prices, flight tickets and car rentals from which travel agencies can compose the most complimentary trip for their clients. When you distribute (part of) your rooms via a GDS, about half a million travel agencies worldwide can sell your hotel rooms to both leisure and business travellers.

What you need to know about GDS:

A GDS is an old, colossal computer network that transmits the availability and prices of airlines, car rentals and hotels to travel agencies. Connecting a hotel directly to a GDS is very difficult; this is why hotels usually connect via a GDS provider. A GDS provider will connect the hotel directly to all major GDS systems and will also take care of the sales and marketing activities. These providers integrate with Channel Managers and CRS’s, so maintaining this channel costs little effort.

It is important to distinguish GDS systems from GDS providers. To adequately explain this difference, we take Apple as an example. You can see the largest GDS systems (Amadeus, Sabre, Travelport) as the Apple headquarters. But to buy Apple products, you go to an Apple store or retailer; in this case, the GDS providers (HotelREZReconlineSHR). You can’t just go to Apple headquarters to pick up a new iMac. The largest GDS systems are Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport.

Large or small, independent or part of a chain; any hotel can use GDS. But if you want to consider GDS, note that this is not the cheapest channel. To set up a connection with the GDS systems, you need one or multiple intermediaries (connectors) that charge set-up costs and also expect a percentage of your bookings. On the other hand, these parties do take the responsibility to sell your rooms profitably. Do you doubt whether GDS is a useful distribution channel for your hotel? Try to find out through the following characteristics:

  • Your hotel has more than 20 rooms
  • You want to be bookable through traditional travel agencies
  • Your hotel is close to an airport
  • You would like to attract the business market
  • Your hotel is suitable for the business market

If you cannot find yourself in any of these characteristics, it’s probably not worth selling your hotel rooms through a GDS provider.

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