Staying Power: A Review of GDS

GDS: still a force in travel bookings
GDS: still a force in travel bookings

According to a recent blog by Peter Ducker, the Institute of Hospitality’s Chief Executive, the GDS – or computerised–reservations systems (they included Sabre, Amadeus, Galileo and Worldspan) that were originally created by the airlines to distribute flights through travel agencies are still a force to be reckoned with in the hospitality industry.

Major airlines may have taken a wrong turn when they sold their GDS shares, which “allowed the businesses to become companies in their own right”. Enter OTAs (online travel agents), which challenged the popularity of GDSs, then leisure travelers embraced internet tools for travel taking a further chunk of business away from GDSs.

However, all is not lost for the GDS companies.  Ducker confirms that business travel has revived flagging GDSs. “Research from TravelClick of 650 travel agents in 34 countries showed a 14% increase in use of the GDS to book hotel accommodation from 2011 to 2013. During the same period, the usage of hotel/chain websites for direct bookings rose just 3% and the use of other channels such as agent booking tools, travel websites, hotel directories and direct calls dropped significantly by 21%.”

Read more from Peter Ducker FIH about the development and current standing of the GDS sector in his guest blogger post at: WTM 2014.


Author: Institute of Hospitality

Established in 1938, the Institute is the international professional membership body for managers and aspiring managers who work or study in the hospitality, leisure and tourism industries. We help more than 10,000 hospitality professionals in 100 countries grow their knowledge, professional profile and expertise offering a wide range of high quality membership services such as targeted and regular industry networking events, hospitality qualifications and extensive online quality resources such as free management guides, Hospitality magazine, webinars, ebooks and ejournals. To learn more about our many member benefits, view our website or email