Although it has long been said that the GDS systems are out-dated, with limited capabilities and benefits, the facts suggest otherwise.
Thanks to a considerable effort in development over the last 10 years from major players in the industry, this is simply no longer true. Actually, hotel GDS is more relevant now than it has ever been and the results speak volumes.
With the distribution landscape expanding at an incredible rate, driven by advancements in technology designed to exceed the ever-increasing demands of today’s business traveler, the GDS is not lagging behind. Quite the contrary, in fact. And it shows.
Gone are the days of the ‘Green Screen’, command-based interface
With the introduction of graphical user interfaces (GUIs), today’s travel agents and travel planners have access to wider range of content in a much more user-friendly way. Furthermore, with concerted efforts to increase 3rd party integrations, it’s clear that things are moving in the right direction.
In fact, being able to access ‘rich hotel content’ such as hi-res images, location maps, and additional relevant information in a much more accessible manner means that agents and advisors are better prepared to meet the needs of their corporate travel clients.
Consequently, most of the feedback from travel agents and travel management companies has not only been positive, but it also indicates an increase in productivity, as they are able to complete more hotel bookings via GUIs in a set time than via the traditional ‘green-screen’ interfaces.
The numbers show us that 66 million hotel reservations were made through the GDS system in 2016. This number increased to 70 million in 2017 and was up to 75 million in 2018. With an upwards curve like that, it is hard to deny the productivity of the GDS system.
Taking all this into account, it’s no wonder hotels and connectivity providers are focusing on content optimisation for their hotels’ GDS in order to showcase their properties and reach the 600,000 travel professionals who connect to the GDS every day, with the sole purpose of booking accommodation.
Have you been paying attention to your hotel’s GDS content?
It might be worth taking a closer look! Make sure you tick all of these boxes:
- Good quality hi-res photos that show your property at it’s best
- A range of images that cover everything from rooms to your facilities and amenities, public areas and an exterior shot
- Up to date property descriptions including all the services and facilities you offer
- Accurate location information. Make sure your Geo-coding is optimised and that you include all relevant POIs to ensure greater visibility
- Content, content, content – you can never have enough…CONTENT!
About the author
Michael Territt is the Director of GDS consultancy, GuestCentric. Find out more about GuestCentric’s GDS services here.