If you are a part of the travel industry, chances are you must have heard of the term “GDS”. With the ever-growing need for transparency and accountability, most travel management companies turn to the Global Distribution System GDS for their travel bookings. It is one of the most vital cogs in the travel industry.
But what exactly is GDS, and why is it essential for travel management companies?
Global Distribution System Explained
A Global Distribution System GDS aggregates and organizes travel data from different suppliers to be easily accessed and used by travel management companies. GDS provides an integrated view of the supply chain, enabling businesses to manage their inventory with accuracy, as well as price quotes for flights, hotels, car rentals, etc.
The cost of a global distribution system is typically either usage-based or subscription-based. While usage-based systems charge a flat fee per user, subscription-based systems charge an annual fee for access to the entire database.
Why is GDS so Important for Travel Management Companies?
Here is why GDS is such an integral part of the travel industry:
The Best Deals & Time-Saving
Travel management companies can save costs by comparing prices of flights, hotels, car rentals, and other related services. Furthermore, GDS helps organize employee travel through reservations – bundling discounts and offers from various suppliers in one place.
GDS makes it possible for travel management companies to carry out their daily tasks without having to contact different organizations individually, thus saving time and money.
Information Accessible Real-Time
GDS is essential for travel management companies because it offers them access to a wide range of travel data in real-time, which they need to run their business effectively.
They can easily make airline, car, and hotel reservations for their employees, within a few minutes, at the most competitive prices possible.
Travel Trends & Insights
GDS allows travel managers to keep tabs on the performance of their overall business. This is done by tracking the cost of travel and other key data points such as the number of trips taken and the amount of employee feedback.
GDS also allows managers to keep tabs on changes in policy or industry trends, which can give them an edge over their competition.
How can you Start Using Global Distribution System
First things first – one has to be a professional travel agent (or a TMC) in order to use a global distribution system. You must have an industry ID or number from organizations such as ARC (Airlines Reporting Corporation), IATA (International Air Transport Association), etc.
Airline agencies do not allow unaccredited agents to make bookings. Once you are a professional travel agent member of any of the organizations, you can use GDS to book airfare and vacation packages. You may also have partnerships with companies associated with these organizations, who can make bookings on your behalf.
At the time of booking, you will need to input your name and contact information as well as the dates of travel. GDS allows a professional travel agent to enter the pertinent details about each passenger’s itinerary so that all transactions are logged into one place. This way, there is an organized record of who has made what reservations when.
A Few Key Global Distribution Systems in Travel Industry
- Sabre – Founded by American Airlines, Sabre has a strong presence in the US and the Asia Pacific region. This GDS is used by airlines, hotels, and, travel agencies to manage their reservation system, travel agent relationships, and marketing materials.
- Amadeus – This GDS is strongly based in Europe, Mid East, North Africa & Asia Pacific. This GDS works with many airlines to provide them with reservation systems and travel marketing tools.
- Galileo – Founded by a combination of the 11 most significant North American and European airlines and currently owned by Cendant Corporation, Galileo has a strong presence in the US and Western Europe. This GDS includes millions of routes, millions of destinations, and nearly 200 airlines.
- Worldspan – This GDS, mainly based in the US and Europe, provides travel distribution, technologies, and services for thousands of travel companies across the globe, including travel agencies, suppliers, and travel websites.
ITILITE: The Best Way to Manage Travel & Expenses
The popularity of GDS has risen in recent years as it eliminates the need to search through various websites for different travel requirements. It makes the booking process easier for both travelers and travel agents by providing all the data in real-time.
However, getting access to and using GDS can be a lengthy and tiresome process. At ITILITE, we provide you with a global inventory of hotels and airlines at the best prices using GDS.
Want to know more? Book a demo with our product expert today!