What is Global Distribution System

What is a Global Distribution System (GDS) for Hotels?

AxisRooms Marketing
AxisRooms Marketing

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In today's digitally driven world, hotels leverage cutting-edge technology to expand their market reach and boost sales. The Global Distribution System, or GDS, plays a key role in this context. In this blog, we will explain what a global distribution system is, how it works, and how you, as a hotel, can benefit from it. 

Global Distribution System (GDS) is a network that enables transactions between hotels and travel agencies, making it easier for hotels to distribute their inventory. A GDS amplifies a hotel's visibility and simplifies the booking process for travelers worldwide. By integrating with a GDS, hotels can significantly boost their exposure and attract a diverse clientele and revenue streams. 

Exploring the origin of global distribution systems

Before the 1960s, contacting airlines or hotels via telephone was among the quickest ways to secure a flight or book accommodations. Yet, as the travel demand surged, an electronic system capable of simplifying and expediting the booking procedure emerged. This necessity led to the conception of the Global Distribution System.

American Airlines and IBM took the lead and developed a reservation system to address this. This was done mainly to enhance the efficiency of booking agents. By 1970, Westin was the first hotel to adopt an electronic reservation system. 

In the following years, numerous companies emerged dedicated to connecting travel agents with a comprehensive network of hotel and airline reservation channels. This development fundamentally altered travel bookings and set the stage for the advanced global distribution systems we rely on today.

Leading Global Distribution Systems

There are currently three leading GDSs covering hotels across size, category, offerings, and star ratings across the globe. Here they are - 

  • Amadeus
  • Sabre
  • Travelport: Also owns other GDSs, including Apollo, Worldspan, and Galileo

Features of a Global Distribution System

A Global Distribution System comes packed with features designed to streamline the distribution and marketing of hotel rooms. Apart from their commission/fee structures, here are some essential features you must consider while selecting one for your hotel. 

  • Pooled inventory: Look for a GDS that supports pooled inventory. It will allow you to push every room to all your distribution channels simultaneously. 
  • Integration capabilities: See if the GDS can be integrated with your hotel's existing property management system (Hotel PMS) and channel manager. It is essential as seamless integration can automate and save you time. 
  • Market area coverage: Analyze your hotel type, guest profile, and market that you want to target. See if the GDS covers that specific region or market. 
  • Reports and analytics: Understand the kind of reports the GDS will offer you to make data-driven decisions. See if it helps you with a comprehensive yet easy-to-use set of reports on your booking data. 
  • Dynamic packaging: It must allow you to bundle your hotel rooms with flights, car rentals, and other services, providing more value to customers.

How to go about working with a Global Distribution System

Before you decide to invest in GDS to increase sales, you must consider these factors to determine whether GDS is good for your property. 

  • Location: Is it located in a city's central business district or near an airport?
  • Inventory: Do you have more than 20 rooms?
  • Occupancy: What does it look like throughout the year?

Also, remember that hotels with higher ADR get more out of their GDC connectivity. 

Benefits of global distribution system for hotels

Integrating with a Global Distribution System unlocks a myriad of advantages for your hotels, such as:

  • Enhanced visibility: Makes hotel listings accessible to a global audience, significantly increasing booking opportunities.
  • Increased revenue: Broadens the customer base, leading to higher sales, occupancy, and revenue.
  • Market penetration: It helps you penetrate different markets and target various customer segments.
  • Valuable insights: Provides market trends and customer behavior data, enabling you to tailor your offerings accordingly.

Global Distribution System Integration with a Channel Manager

Integrating a Channel Manager with global distribution systems boosts productivity in many ways. A channel manager automates hotel inventory distribution across multiple channels, including GDS, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), and direct booking platforms. This integration facilitates a seamless flow of real-time information on room availability and rates, ensuring consistency and accuracy across all sales channels. By eliminating manual updates and reducing the risk of overbooking and discrepancies, hotels can significantly enhance operational efficiency. 

Read Also: GDS And Channel Manager: Better Together For Efficient Distribution And Enhanced Room Sales

4000+ hotels are connected to leading global distribution systems (GDS) via AxisRooms channel manager. How can we help your hotel sell more via global distribution systems? 

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