GDS was invented a way to automate the travel reservation and booking process for travel agents so that they could more efficiently access information about flight schedules, fares and seat availability. Before this system, travel agents had to refer to lists of airline fares that were published annually in a book of tariffs each time that a customer wanted to book a trip.

Hotel agents around the world use the Global Distribution System (GDS) as their major booking channel, which is also responsible for the significant growth of the travel industry. If you are a newbie travel agent or consultant, you will be probably wondering what is GDS is and why It is important.

What is GDS?

Global Distribution System (GDS) is the brain of the travel industry. It is a computerized network system that provides real-time information to companies such as airlines, hotels, car rental and travel agencies. These sectors use GDS to view real-time inventory of services offered in the travel industry.

For example, using GDS, a travel agency can find the availability of hotel rooms, flight seats or cars on behalf of their clients and book through the same GDS. 

Major GDS

Sabre, Travelport, and Amadeus represent the leading GDSs.

Benefits of GDS

There are several major benefits when it comes to global distribution systems within the hotel industry. Here are five ways they make hoteliers’ jobs more efficient and effective.

1. Increased Access to Travel Agents

Many hotels still rely on travel agents to book arrangements for their hotels instead of having someone on staff take care of individual reservations. There are now more than 600,000 travel agents who use a global distribution system searching to find and complete hotel reservations online.

2. Efficient Booking Process

These systems help to alleviate some of the administrative burdens on hotel staff in booking room reservations. The instant access to bookings online means that hotels are simply notified after a reservation is complete instead of having to accept them manually. This prevents the hotel from the need to increase its reservation intake staff in order to receive additional reservations.

3. Bundling Options for Travel

The advantage of using a global distribution system for hotel room bookings is that travel agents are able to bundle travel deals for the same trip. For example, they can book the hotel room, flight, rental car or any other ground transportation from the same system. This makes it more likely that a travel agent or customer will select a hotel that is included in a bundling option.

4. Less Expensive than Marketing

There is an initial fee in setting up a global distribution system for a hotel, but it is less than what you have to invest in marketing costs to see the same increase in bookings. This will help hotels to immediately access a bigger share of the travel reservation market by signing up with a global distribution system to get in front of more travel agents.

5. Integration with Property-Management Systems

Many of the leading distribution systems are capable of complete integration with the property management system, which helps manage the daily operational tasks of a hotel. It means hotels can automate the tasks associated with taking on room reservations without having to manage individual components, such as the room cleaning schedule, staff availability, current booking and availability information, event calendars and supply levels

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