Yes. Offline bookings are still going strong. In fact, they increased from 2015 to 2016, and are predicted to rise for the next several years. And a big proportion of these bookings are attributed to GDS. Let’s delve a bit more into this and then find out how to optimise this channel.
What Is GDS?
Global Distribution System or GDS is one of the many channels to sell your rooms to a world of travellers. One of the oldest distributors in the industry, GDS players are middlemen who put your inventory in front of a network of travel agents and travel management companies.
Why Should You Be on GDS?
A recent Phocuswright research estimates that while online bookings are on the rise, GDS still holds its own among distribution channels – and will continue to do so for the next many years.
The research (conducted on a sample of 6000 Sabre hotels worldwide) estimates that 60 percent of rooms will be booked offline via central reservations systems, property direct channels, and travel agents or travel management companies. The majority of bookings via travel agents and travel management companies are GDS bookings.
So, if you wish to get in front of this attentive global audience and grow your revenue, you cannot ignore GDS for a long time to come.
Getting Your Property on GDS with STAAH Instant Channel Manager
Your Instant Channel Manager connects you to all major GDS players, including Sabre, Amadeus, Galileo, Travelport, and Worldspan. Together this network will get you in front of more than 500,000 travel agents and travel management companies.
Managing inventory and rates for GDS is simple with your channel manager – no different to what you’d do for OTAs or direct booking channel. Instant Channel Manager integrates seamlessly with your existing property management system and requires very little training to get you rolling. You’d work to the same distribution fundamentals as other channels; that of rate parity and letting your channel manager insights define inventory management.
How to Optimise GDS?
Your property listing is the most important way to make sure that this channel works in your favour. Make sure it is up to date with the correct address, room descriptions, highlights, and features. Images are integral – the competition is tough and you’ve to be thorough and cutting edge to get noticed. Load rate descriptions and packages to swing the travel agencies in your favour.
Use your channel manager insights to your advantage. GDS can be an expensive channel to maintain. Review its load regularly and see that the numbers are stacking up – are you getting sufficient returns? Which GDS provider is really working for you? Let your insights guide you on the rates you offer. Remember when you’re thinking of tariffs that it is better to have a room go at 80%-90% of the rate than leave it empty. Leave the rest to the thousands of travel agents who are linked via the GDS and equally keen to get the best possible accommodation at a good rate for their customers.