A survey carried out by The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) on 10,000 travel agencies in the country that have closely checked out the Tnooz website are trying to answer the question, taking into account that reservations through global distribution systems (GDSs)have fallen 15% with respect from 2006, while direct reservations through airline websites have dropped more than 65%.
Other annual figures show, contrary to the above, that there has been a 5.4% increase in GDSs reservations. The question remains unanswered.
According to the ASTA study, these percentages are directly related to the significant reduction in the number of travel agencies (currently about 10,000, compared to 32,000 operating in 1998). In addition, the article notes that the GDSs data suggests that there may have been a small decline in reservations, but also indicates that the information given from the 10,000 travel agents for the survey is not 100% trustworthy.
The survey also suggests that American agencies are reserving a 29% more with respect to 2006, whereas the direct channel reservations have also increased by 58%. In contrast, a study of Spanish Amadeus GDS, collaborating with Idiso, rejects the decline in these systems and adds that 40% of the agencies book through them, so between September 2012 and 2013, there was a 5.4% increase in GDS reservations.
Causes of the fall: Conflict between GDSs and TRAVEL AGENTS?
GDS clain to have provided their best price to Travel Agents, moreover giving their back- office system back-up. For this reason, they would like to see the elimination of having to cover compensations, taking into account that the airline companies have been very difficult negotiating rates in specific segments.
In terms of the Travel Agents, ASTA’s survey, the dissatisfaction with the GDS service was highlighted due to deficiencies in cruise and leisure trip reservations.
One point that is emphasized is that the GDSs’ usability can be quite complex, as their software is not as intuitive as that of the Travel Agent websites (which also have their own encodings). Some improvements have been implanted, but at a very slow pace due to the reluctancy of some companies to learn new systems.
However, despite these criticisms, travel agencies have no intention of leaving the GDS scene, due to their high I.T. investments. In fact, in 2012 Sabre held that its service retention percentage is approximately 99%. For this reason, the final survey result is that, despite the growing importance of the direct channel, the GDSs are a great alternative at the time of booking hotels and flights because of their huge search capacity and investment.
So to remind you what Idiso GDSis capable of. Idiso provides automatic worldwide “total distribution” in all 4 GDSs for more than 500,000 travel agents with access to these systems and giving the hotel availability 365 days a year 24 hours a day, by mapping rates so that these are automatically available.