GDS to remain crucial for hoteliers in 2017 travel year

Published on : Monday, February 27, 2017

online travel bookingDespite online bookings continue to grow and will do so for the foreseeable future, it is essential for the hoteliers to look for the GDS channel, which will remain a critical source of revenue and bookings both in 2017 and for the next several years.


GDS bookings increased by 11.6 percent year over year from 2015 to 2016 in a sample of over 6,000 hotels worldwide. Phocuswright in its latest U.S. Online Travel Overview showed that even though the growth of online bookings are much in place, the offline sales will continue to dominate the marketplace in 2017.


Phocuswright 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.


While it is inevitable that this distribution mix will shift over time, an effective hotel distribution strategy must consider all distribution channels, including GDS, to find the strategy that is best for a particular hotel and market.


For one thing, travellers have more options than ever when they’re shopping for accommodations. Despite some high-profile mergers in recent years, a host of new brands and the growth of the sharing economy mean that the hospitality market will remain fragmented for a long time to come.


At the same time, continuing economic and political changes in North America and Europe mean that the bouts of uncertainty that started with the global financial crisis are likely to continue, making it more difficult to project the outcomes of even a carefully-considered strategy.


However, despite years of predictions that agent-booked travel would decrease, GDS bookings remain strong: In our sample of data from Sabre hotels, the number of room nights booked via GDS grew by 1.08 million from 2015 to 2016, an increase of 10.4 percent. These numbers underscore industry analysts’ expectations for growth in this channel.

 With inputs from Phocuswright 

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