So, what is a GDS?

February 6, 2020

What is a GDS? A GDS (Global Distribution System) is a worldwide computerized network used as a single point of access with real-time inventory for reserving airline seats, hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel related to travel agents and corporate companies.

They are owned and operated as joint ventures by the airlines, hotel groups and car rental companies and can be known as an Automated Reservation System (ARS) or Computerised Reservation system (CRS).

GDS systems, such as Galileo, Sabre and Amadeus CRS are heavily relied on to instantly link services, rates and bookable products across various travel sectors in one location to the consumer.

A GDS holds no inventory, there is a real time link from the hotels Property Management System (PMS) to the GDS via a channel manager such as Siteminder or Levart. As soon as a booking is made through the GDS the channel manager instantly updates inventory across all channels and delivers the booking details back into the PMS.

Global Distribution Systems differ from a Computer Reservation System (CRM) as a mirror image of the passenger name record in the hotel/airline reservation system is maintained in the GDS. Therefore, if a passenger books an itinerary containing air segments from multiple airlines through a travel agent, the GDS system will hold information on the entire journey.

Do I need a GDS? Yes, a GDS is an important tool in the distribution of your product and the best source to attract the business traveler to your hotel. More than 600,000 agents plug into a Global Distribution system daily on behalf of a company.

Believe it or not but despite the massive growth of online travel agents the GDS remains the top way to promote your product to the corporate travel market globally.

Integrating with a GDS is a low cost and effective means to facilitate global reach utilizing existing networks. In today’s busy and evolving world, the GDS is a quick and easy source for an agent to make a booking with rates and inventory live and all in one place.

Hotels and car rental companies especially are continuously benefitting from connecting to a GDS, especially with last minute inventory disposal to bring additional operational revenue.

Global Distribution Systems are also an effective and unique direct marketing tool. It can pass on savings to the agent and in turn to their customers through promotional messaging that alerts the agent to special rates/fares/packages.

GDS’s are looking at becoming a very important tool in the corporate market with many travel management companies looking to use these instead of their own exclusive system. The technology can refine and tailor engines to target specific markets i.e. corporate or leisure.

What are the benefits of connecting to a GDS?

  • The GDS can increase hotel revenue and reservations by distributing the product globally!
  • Whilst direct bookings are increasing, there are still more bookings generated through the GDS
  • Hotels generate increased revenue through a GDS as rates, inventory and information is all live and easy for a travel agent to find.
  • Corporate travel agents use a GDS to book their “time poor” clients quickly and efficiently.
  • Hotel managers, through the GDS, are discovering market segments they could never previously reach
  • Once a hotel description is completed comprehensively, the GDS improves search positioning and can display your brand messaging through the entire booking process.

Contact Koncept Konnect today for more information today and to find out how we can help you.


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