GDS bookings rise for independent and boutique accommodation

Images by HotelREZ

The Global Distribution System (GDS) is continuing to perform for independent accommodation providers with reservations up 34.5% in the past year and up 4.2% on 2019 pre-pandemic levels, according to HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts’ Independent Accommodation Insights Report published today.

Marking 20 years in business, HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts – one of the world’s leading hotel representation companies – dived into historic channel performance and found GDS reservations have grown 51.2% on a decade ago (2014). Favoured by travel agents, and travel management companies (TMCs), the GDS was one of the first channels to rebound after the pandemic, demonstrating the channels’ value and commercial opportunity.

HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts also found Direct Booking (popular with hoteliers for its attractive cost of sale and ownership of the customer) continues to experience high growth rates – up 22.5% in 2023 vs 2022, and strengthening by 80.2% against its pre-pandemic standing. For HotelREZ clients, Direct Booking on mobiles has more than doubled since 2019 – up from 15% of all direct bookings to 32% in 2023.

Integrating with CentralREZ, Channel Connect is HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts’ alternative to a channel manager, allowing the Central Reservations System (CRS) to connect properties to over 600 premium travel websites. Channel Connect reservations increased 39.5% year-on-year, 63% versus 2019 pre-pandemic levels, and up a staggering +4,609% on 2014.

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Mark Lewis, CEO and founder of HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts said: “The way hotels and aparthotels find and secure their sales has vastly changed in the last 20 years. Direct booking on a property’s own website accounts for around a third of all bookings, with OTAs about half that. The GDS is often – incorrectly – regarded as a relic of travel booking. Yet, our booking data shows the GDS has been experiencing consistent growth in the last 10 years and is the dominant booking channel, straddling both leisure and corporate business.”

The report from HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts noted numerous post-pandemic trends which contributed to increased bookings and usage of the GDS, including a stronger SME corporate market, larger TMCs dominating the market, an explosion of third-party GDS self-booking tools, and a growth in home-working leisure travel agencies.

“The GDS drives high value bookings thanks to the relationships between travel advisors and their buyers. The pandemic highlighted the importance of having an expert handling your booking if something goes wrong within procurement, CSR and sustainability control. Post-pandemic, we’re seeing more business travellers restricted by corporate social responsibility guidelines, and increased need for bill-back facilities. Using the expertise of agents and having access to self-booking tools is a preferred option for the corporate booker rather than using a public OTA,” said Daniel Simmons, CCO, HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts.

HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts members benefit from a 20-year strong network of experienced industry professionals that keep abreast of the ever-shifting market landscape providing recommendations and actions to drive the right business.

Tags: boutique accommodation, GDS bookings, independent



HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts is one of the world’s leading hotel representation companies, dedicated to connecting independent properties with bookers worldwide. Established in 2004, HotelREZ supports more than 2,800 independent hotels, apartments, and hotel groups in over 100 countries.

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