Three primary companies dominate the global distribution systems (GDS) market: Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport. Each of the companies has extended its market reach through affiliates or subsidiary companies that offer GDS.
Amadeus, the youngest of the firms, led the market in 2014 by posting close to $ billion in revenue. Similarly, both Sabre and Travelport continued to have strong earnings and announced positive growth in 2014.
Some airlines are not very enthusiastic advocates of GDS and would prefer to conduct direct sales with travelers; however, the overhead of maintaining such networks compels them to deal with these firms. In addition, the intelligence gathered by these companies concerning traveler purchasing habits makes them valuable allies to some airlines in packaging attractive offerings for patrons.
GDS companies have served as the stimulus for the growth of online travel sites (e.g., Expedia, Hotwire, Kayak, Orbitz, Priceline, Travelocity). In recent years, other online sites have come on the scene that serve as warehouse-type stores designed to conduct comparison pricing for the user based on the traveler’s specific requirements.
Mobile technology has affected the market with the development of applications that are designed to offer travelers tailored services based on their location and profiles created through business intelligence and analytics software.
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