The Global Distribution System (GDS) is something you will probably have heard of as a hotel owner, but how do you know if it will benefit you, particularly if you only own a smaller property? It may be off-putting to consider yet another distribution channel, but the truth is that the GDS might provide a number of advantages to hotels of any size that are likely to outweigh the drawbacks.
Here, we’ll examine just a few of them and see if they can help you make a decision as to whether or not the GDS is for you. What is the GDS? First things first: the GDS is a network of sales channels that display hotels’ inventory, rates and other information directly to travel agents and online travel agents (OTAs) such as Expedia or Booking.com. When someone’s search criteria match the hotel’s inventory, the GDS acts as a gatekeeper by downloading its information and displaying it to the person searching, or the member of staff in the travel agency.Package promotion So, what benefits can this provide for hotel marketers?
The first is the promotion of packages, which can provide better value rates for guests by including hotel stays and things like transport connections.Hotels can tailor their packages using guest history data generated by the GDS, such as average spending profiles, how long they usually stay and any extras they make the most of, all things that can be extrapolated for future marketing efforts to be sent out via the GDS. Easier marketing Another plus point is on the marketing side, as the GDS will place your hotel in front of thousands of potential guests without you having to roll out an extensive new promotional strategy.
Although there is obviously going to be a cost from the GDS, it may be less in the long run than trying traditional marketing techniques.Broadened audiences Many hotels find they tend to appeal to a particular type of audience, but being on the GDS can open you up to a whole new market segment. This hub is known for being popular with corporate travellers, so you should find that you’ll be able to extol your corporate virtues and hopefully benefit from more of this type of booking. Instant updates It used to be that when hotel reservations were made, their staff would have to check various different websites and databases to ensure they were removed to prevent double-bookings, but the GDS instantly updates inventories and so saves time and avoids potential problems.This also makes it easier to update the GDS with special prices or package information, as it all applies instantly with minimal effort.
Conclusion As you can see, there are numerous advantages to being on a GDS that may help independent properties compete with their larger counterparts. However, there will also always be drawbacks, so it’s essential to do your research and check them out first.Remember that the GDS will incur a cost for set-up, maintenance and for commission each time you get a booking, for one thing.If you look into it and find the plus points outweigh the disadvantages, go ahead and see if the GDS can result in more revenue for your hotel.