How To Choose GDS For Your Travel Business
GDS is one of the first abbreviations you learn in the travel business. Global Distribution Systems are responsible for providing booking websites with unified access to a massive inventory of flights, hotel rooms, car rental companies, cruises, and much more
Trawex integrates with the world's leading GDS including Amadeus GDS, Galileo GDS, Sabre GDS, Travelport GDS, etc. We offer GDS software, GDS system, global distribution system, GDS booking solutions to global travel companies.
Trawex is a leading GDS Integration travel technology specialized integration partner of the global distribution system (GDS).
Trawex offers the best GDS API Integration service which enables the travel agents to offer an astonishing amount of travel product rates and information to their clients, at the lowest possible rates.
Trawex GDS system helps travel agents to easily book flights, hotels, car rental, and holidays with the options of B2B and B2C along with the admin module.
With our GDS software, you are enabled to offer your clients rates, inventory, discounts, rooms, and descriptions on a real-time basis.
What is a GDS?
A Global Distribution System, or GDS, is a computer network operating as a middleman between travel agents and numerous travel service providers. It collects inventory, schedules, and fares from providers and gives agents and OTAs an opportunity to search and book them: using connectivity APIs for OTAs and via a manual terminal for agents.
How To Connect To GDSs Step by Step
This is a beginner-friendly guide to starting your travel booking business or at least its online part. Here’s the typical journey when a starting OTA.
1. Get IATA or ARC Accreditation
If you’re not planning to sell flight tickets, feel free to move forward, but for flight booking capability, apply for IATA/ARC certification or consider signing up with a host agency or a consolidator. Being accredited is not mandatory for using a GDS, but to be recognized as an industry professional and provide ticketing, your OTA should be IATA- or ARC-certified. What are the basic application criteria?
being an experienced representative of your industry
acquiring a business license
meeting the financial criteria, allocating the deposit on a special IATA account.
Your application processing can take months. However, besides the accreditation itself, you obtain a number of benefits such as best pricing rates from over 200 airlines, along with standard invoicing and payment interface between you and suppliers.
2. Pass The GDS Terminal Training
For human agents, a global distribution system operates as a command string on a blue (or green) screen. This means that agents must learn the system and understand how to formulate queries to find the best options, all considering their (or their agency’s) personal agreements with suppliers. That is why all of the three major global distribution systems that we’ll later discuss ask for a certified travel agent.
Both GDS providers and third-party training platforms offer courses and certificates. The price also varies, depending on duration and complexity. Usually, GDSs give qualifications to existing partners who attend a training course on particular solutions or knowledge areas.
The certification is obligatory. When the training is successfully completed, a travel agent obtains their own access key to a personal terminal account to work at.
3. Sign An Agreement
GDSs work in an on-request manner. This means that to get close to custom information or quotations from a GDS, you need to contact them with a prepared report on your business. Your business model, annual revenue, and expected growth are some of the pieces of information you want to include. The problem with GDSs is that they’re the market veterans, so your request may take longer than the connection to alternative inventory providers (which we will cover later). While you wait, try free sandbox solutions that some GDSs provide – we will also talk about the possibilities below.
4. Negotiate Competitive Deals
A GDS is basically a hub or a marketplace that connects the interested parties – travel agents, OTAs, TMCs – and suppliers. The success of your GDS cooperation depends on the relevancy of data being submitted by suppliers. So, to obtain the most profitable and beneficial deals from suppliers via GDSs, you should arrange it with suppliers yourself, aside from GDSs.
Now that you’re familiar with the preliminaries, let’s proceed to understand how each GDS works.
As we’ve already mentioned, there are three major players: Sabre, Amadeus, and Travelport. Here are their differences and common features.
The future success of your OTA partially depends on the diversity of options that you can suggest. After all, a GDS’s main advantage is providing a one-stop-shop for various travel services. Here you can compare how broad the industry reach of each GDS is.
Amadeus Inventory And Coverage
Amadeus is considered the most versatile GDS. It consolidates around 490 airlines, 770,000 hospitality properties, 69 car rental companies, and transfer carriers in 42,000 locations, 43 railway carriers, and 53 cruise and ferry lines. The main area of Amadeus distribution is the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, and Africa). Both North and South America and the APAC region (Asia-Pacific) are equally popular.
Sabre Inventory And Coverage
Sabre, a global distribution system with a strong background, has descended from a computer reservation system initially developed by American Airlines. So, it’s fair to assume that Sabre mostly serves for the Americas. In the Asia-Pacific, this GDS was less popular until it bought the largest GDS in Asia – Abacus. The EMEA region is the least served.
The Sabre distribution channel unites around 440 airlines, 50 railway carriers, 37 car rental companies across 40,000 destinations, 20 cruise lines, and more than a million hotel properties.
Travelport Inventory And Coverage
Travelport GDS aggregates and distributes information across channels on access to airlines, rails, cruises, and car rentals. Additionally, it allows for parsing information on available hotels and tours.
Travelport GDS is likely to be the only GDS equally covering all directions and continents. It’s evenly represented in the Americas, though to a greater extent in South America, EMEA, and the APAC region. In its distribution channel, Travelport combines 650,000 hotel properties, 400+ airline partners, 125 low-cost carriers, car rental units in over 38,000 locations, 50 cruise lines, and 19 railway carriers.
The Benefits Of Upgrading To A Modern GDS
The main advantage of being on a GDS is that it gives anyone selling travel products – including hotel owners with rooms to fill – a virtual marketplace on which to advertise them, meaning they are more likely to be sold to someone who wants them.
It also means smaller, independent properties can bundle up packages such as those including accommodation, flights, and admittance to a special event for a certain price and offer them straight up to their consumers.
Essentially, they are a single point of access for the reservation of hotel rooms, airplane seats, and rental cars by travel agents, big businesses, and online booking sites.
The Importance Of GDS To Travel Agents
The channel manager is most important to work with. Use a channel manager that effectively integrates with the most reliable systems. The channel manager you choose should integrate with your booking system and should also give you the opportunity to customize and update your options.
Resource-dependent calendars will adjust your availability based on the resources that you have in your inventory. You can set your black-out dates in your online booking system, and it will automatically update.
If your GDS is not connected to an efficient channel manager, you will never be able to update your availability across all of the channels that you use to sell your tours and activities. A channel manager that integrates with your online booking system will manage all channels for you and ensures that your live availability is accurate in the GDS.
Independent travel agents, online agents, and travel agencies use this system to search for the best available travel and accommodations rates for their clients. Agents will make bookings in real-time for clients and will complete their research and bookings within minutes.
There are certain names that have made a mark in the world of GDS. Some of them are Amadeus, Travelport, Worldspan, Galileo, Sabre, Amadeus, and Abacus. Now, it has become fundamental to the supply of travel products to retailers in the online channel.
GDS systems also support high traffic to travel sites.
The Future Of The Global Distribution System
Over the past 4 years, booking has increased worldwide. Some industry observers have proposed that it may become nearly obsolete by 2020. Global Distribution System may become more of a direct corporate booking tool rather than the system used exclusively by travel management companies.
GDS providers are slowly stepping up their game by working on ways to sell ancillaries and further improve their interfaces. For example, Sabre has introduced a graphical user interface (GUI) for its GDS platform.
Additionally, they are trying to become NDC "aggregators". Travelport has reached NDC Level 3 Aggregator status. This is the highest certification level, which means they're capable of managing offers and orders.
It's likely that some gaps will remain in the distribution landscape. Airlines are working out what they're able to do with their direct distribution, while and NDC that the GDS providers will try to fill (for example with business travelers and niche airlines who lack advertising resources).
However, the distribution landscape is beginning to move away from times where GDSs are the only gatekeepers of distribution.
Significant Features Of GDS
GDS is responsible for allocating real-time data related to the travel industry.
Keeps the record of what the customer is looking for.
GDS ensures more booking and allocation of tickets.
Maintenance of sales records in terms of hotel or airline booking.
Helps in maintaining strong administrative control for travel companies.
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