For hoteliers, nothing is more important than selling more rooms to increase occupancy and revenue. While platforms like Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) and online booking engines help you drive bookings, you can’t ignore another prominent booking or room distribution source – Global Distribution System (GDS). Today, we will see what you need to do to see more out of your GDS investment and how a channel manager assists you with this.
What is GDS for hotels?
When you work with GDS, you are empowered to attract more guests to get more reservations beyond your target region or market. GDS can be beneficial if you are looking at selling more rooms via globally leading travel agents.
A GDS system transmits your hotel’s live inventory availability, rates, and packages to travel agents. And in turn, travel agents sell your room to their clients – primarily big corporations. In this context, it wouldn’t be wrong to state that connecting your hospitality property to a GDS system is the most appropriate step you will take to widen your global reach.
Some more information about the GDS system
We have already said this. But then we don’t mind doing it again. As a hotelier, you must know about these leading GDS systems –
- Wordspan, Galileo, and Apollo by Travelport
About 70,000+ global travel agents rely on GDS systems to locate and book accommodations for their clients. Plus, let’s go a little deeper to understand how hoteliers across the globe are looking at these inevitable distribution platforms –
- Amadeus connects over 770,000 hotels to travel agents
- Sabre supports over 175,000 hotels to get more bookings via travel agents
- Owned by Travelport, three other GDSs – Worldspan, Galileo, and Apollo serve over 650,000 hospitality properties
So now you know why it is exceptionally operationally essential for you to feature your property on one of these GDS systems. Choosing the right one completely depends on what you want to achieve. It would help if you kept in mind some factors, including its presence in the region and its connectivity. Oh, we almost forgot to say this – cautiously examine and understand GDS fee/rates/commission as the slightest mistake can derail your distribution plan.
Two valuable tips to keep in mind while working with a global distribution system –
Think about your travel agents: Yes, you heard it right. They see your availability, rates, and packages first before selling them to their customers. So you have to do whatever it takes to attract them.
Carefully update the hotel description page: Room and rate descriptions should be transparent. Don’t forget to mention your USP. Also, prominently mention some of the nearest landmarks in the description section. For example – “Just 15 minutes drive from the airport”, “in the heart of the business district”, or “close to the IT hub”.
You must add other important information about your property –
- Property rating
- Rates – Public and negotiated rates
- Directions from key locations
- Policies – deposit/guarantee/cancellation/pet
- Terms and conditions
- Additional services and fees
- Room name – in 43 characters
- Room description – in 47 characters (including spaces) per line, up to two lines
- Widen your hotel’s reach, uncover new market segments
- Be present where leading travel agents are scouting for accommodation
- Get more corporate bookings for increased room revenue
The role of a Hotel PMS and Channel Manager
This is quite important. The GDS system you select should integrate with your hotel property management system and channel manager solution. The channel manager solution for AxisRooms does a fantastic job by instantly updating the GDS platform with real-time rates and availability. It eliminates confusion that may arise due to discrepancies around what you have in reality and how much is up for sale. For example, if your availability stands at 20 after two are sold, our channel manager promptly reduces it to 20. Thus, the connected travel agents can see only 20 available rooms. Plus, when cancellation happens, the channel manager updates the GDS accordingly. Such real-time updates reduce double booking and overbooking situations that can hurt your guest experience and business.