Global distribution systems (GDSs) have an undeniable technological nature. But, how did the travel industry manage bookings for hotel rooms, plane and train tickets or car hire before they arrived on the scene?
As you can imagine, it was an expensive and labour intensive task. The Cgtp portal claims that the modus operandi was as follows: the agencies controlled everything on pieces of paper where they wrote the bills, and they filed receipts in different folders.
The reference to calculate, approximately, the cost of food and unexpected expenses (MIE) for the travellers was, the total of quarters of hours per day a passenger spent on holiday during the year.
After some time using this labour-intensive procedure, technology began to improve things. Systems came onto the scene that were capable of classifying and automatically calculating the average expense per traveller. The tool was like a sophisticated typewriter that could send receipts to clients and providers.
The next step was the development of much more advanced platforms. Documents could be processed electronically. Furthermore, interfaces were designed that could connect the travel and account systems to each other, reducing the payment waiting periods considerably. It went from between seven and ten working days to two or three, once authorizations had been received.
To give a bit of context and a curious aside, GDSs date back to 1953 when a top executive from American Airlines met with one from IBM who was travelling on the same flight. One commented to the other about the difficulty when managing plane reservations, and the result was a project to automate airline bookings using IBM technology. Seven years after that conversation, in 1960, the first GDS appeared: Sabre (Semi-Automatic Business Research Environment) to start with it was just for internal use.
It was not until the mid-seventies when GDS (Sabre and Apolo) began to install their systems in estate agents, enabling B2B commerce between these and Airlines, becoming one of the main e-commerce companies.
This scenario has ended up with what we see today, where hotels, airlines, trains and other participants in the industry can offer their product through thousands of travel agencies all over the worlds, as Travelport says. According to the technology provider, that is the main advantage of these systems. They give rates a longer reach and therefore, a more than possible increase in profit.
The aim is to give service providers, like hotels improved connectivity. If an establishment incorporates the four main GDS (Amadeus, Sabre, Galileo and Worldspan) it can become available to nearly 500.000 points of sale all over the world.
These are also systems that process a massive amount of transactions every second, something that enables hotels and providers access to the most appropriate promotions depending on the need of the client. One feature that is coupled with another very useful functionality of GDS is price comparison between providers and services. So they can be sure to be offering travellers a wide range of offers and availability, always at the best price.
At Idiso, our expert team is aware of the importance of a hotel having a high connectivity level. Therefore, we don’t only guarantee that your hotel will be correctly configured in each GDS, but we also, through your own TY code, will provide you with the highest connectivity level in the GDSs on the market: Next-Generation Seamless, that includes the latest functions and standards for this channel: Total Pricing, Multi Room, Multi Currency, and Rate Assured.