The GDS report covers travel agency distribution trends related to GDS usage from how travel agencies book travel to how they negotiate their GDS contract. Agencies evaluating their current GDS contracts and industry suppliers wanting to understand GDS usage better will find this report essential.
"As travel distribution continues to evolve, GDS suppliers have felt pressure to change with the times or become obsolete. The airlines’ desire to closely control their content has increased this pressure. In recent years, all three GDSs have announced technology advances to allow agencies access to more content and a greater ability to compare listings. These technology advances are necessary for the GDS programs to remain relevant and ahead of internet-based distribution methods.
The vast majority of agencies still use a GDS system even though the overall percentage of agencies that have a GDS have declined in the past decade. A growing leisure agency shift away from GDS usage was predicated by a change in business model that has less emphasis on air.
Agencies cited “ease/speed of booking” as the primary reason they remain a GDS user. The second most given reason for remaining a GDS user is “No viable alternative with same content.”
The largest share of agencies (36%) have “no-minimum” contracts, which allows for more flexibility in transactions levels. The percentage with productivity pricing contracts remains at about a third (32%). The remainder has fixed monthly amount contracts (24%) or a unique contract (9%).
Overall, most respondents are mostly satisfied with their GDS provider. They feel the content for air, hotel and car rental is more than adequate. Only eleven percent absolutely plan to solicit other GDS bids when their contract renewal is up. A large segment (28%), though, are not sure about renewing their contract reflecting the less than “very satisfied” feeling of many GDS users.