The present-day Global Distribution System (GDS) has its origin in the first ever mainframe-based system called Sabre for the airline's industry and that which was the collaboration between American Airlines(AA) and IBM. This acted as a replacement for the manual process.
The problem was at the travel agent’s end, as they were unable to access the inventories. The travel agents had to call the booking center of the Airlines and then get connected with an agent to be relayed on to the CRS agent. Subsequently, the travel agents demanded more automation or Travel Agency Software at their end. This is what was offered by IBM as the GDS system for travel agents.
GDS system for a travel agent is completely different from the Computerized Reservation System or the Computerized Reservation System (CRS). CRS was automated inventory-tracking system and that was owned by individual airlines, hotels etc. GDS acts as a connective service that links buyers with airlines, hotels and the car rental services. A GDS hotel booking system has advantages such as saving time, greater exposure to your hotel as well as reaching out to the untapped segments.
GDS acts as an umbrella for multiple CRS systems. In fact, it acts as a distribution channel for airlines as well as GDS hotel booking system. Not only this, it serves the car rental companies too. The question is What is a GDS?.
What is a GDS?
In 2017 alone, online travel booking has generated a revenue of 567 billion in US dollars. GDS stands for a computerized, centralized system that provides inventories as well as rates to the hotels and the other service providers - to the travel sites and the travel agencies. As most of the travel services run on the internet, GDS acts in the back end - a single point of contact for accessing multiple services.
The largest among the GDSs are Amadeus, Sabre, Galileo, and Worldspan. It is important to mention that the GDS does not carry the inventory and the rates, It is the individual hotels, airlines which pass these items to the end-users. This GDSs help in the growth of travel transactions for the travel agencies. It is about providing a unified process
The independent travel agents and travel agencies are seeking the best deals on accommodation or travel and the applicable rates for their clients while using the sophisticated GDS systems.
GDS sends promotional messages to the travel agents on fares, travel packages, and special rates. So, it acts as a marketing tool for passing on the savings to the travel agents. It is the travel agents that pass this savings to the end-users. Now, that we understand What is a GDS?, let us also find the future impact of GDS.
The Impact of GDS
The traditional way in which GDS used to operate is changing - thanks to the changes that occur in the travel industry. First. It is the development of the online travel agencies which offer price comparisons and there is a constant push from the other service providers and the airlines for making bookings through their websites.
There are instances, in the past few years, when the airline's companies have pushed for direct bookings through their own websites. There might be additional fees charged by the airlines when booking is made through the GDS, not the websites.
However, the the above impediments, GDS is registering an exponential growth among the travel agencies because it has the exceptional quality to allure the international travelers. The travel agencies also have the added advantage of accessing those markets which they were unable to access through direct marketing efforts. So, the impact of GDS does not have any chance of slowing down. We will now highlight one of the major GDS in the world - Galileo.
Galileo Travel Booking System
Galileo travel booking system is a GDS owned by Travelport. It occupies the slot of a leading airline software that is connected with some of the major airlines. Galileo offers services on flights, hotels, cruises, cars and holiday packages.
The GDS comes in two forms - the desktop with searching and booking options and the XML on web services that are connected with the database. The web service API and the desktop connections are what enables the GDS to give access to the content and the functionalities.
Moreover, the GDS has the ability to run along the existing APIs - low-risk implementations and efficiency are the hallmarks of the services provided. The best part of the service lies in the fact that with a single API, accessibility is established with low-cost carriers as well as multi-source content. This is achieved without the clutter for multiple programming interfaces.
Finally, the Global Distribution System for hotels become an absolute necessity for those with multi-stop itineraries and the corporate travelers who book itineraries through GDS all the time. A GDS hotel booking system offers a great way to provide real-time information. If at all there is a rate change, the managers provide fresh offers - by alterations in the price points.