1. What exactly is the GDS?
GDS stands for Global Distribution System. It is a large computer network that passes inventory and rates for hotels to travel agents and travel sites. It is also used by other travel segments such as rental cars and airlines.
2. What makes up the GDS?
The GDS is made up of data that is collected by Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, Pegasus and Worldspan. It is important to note that the GDS does not actually maintain inventory and rates but passes it through to the end user from the hotel. The hotel will load rates. When a query is made the GDS simply passes the information to the end-user.
3. How much does it cost to get started and how much is each reservation?
Most providers will charge you a pass-through fee of between six dollars and eight dollars plus a percentage. The percentage is typically around 7%. At OpenHotel we charge a flat fee of $13.00 per reservation (not per night). There is a one-time setup fee of $500.
4. How do I manage the information that is displayed on the GDS?
The OpenHotel GDS management area is unique. When managing your rates you may choose to use a pooled method of inventory or designate specific inventory to the GDS. Of course, you may specify specific rates for the general GDS and for specific channels. OpenHotel also has a management area for the GDS which allows you to change descriptions, uploading photos, manage area attractions and restaurants and even sign up for additional channels such as Priceline or Hotwire.
5. How long does it take?
The entire process takes between four and six weeks from the time the setup forms are submitted to our GDS Guru.
6. Should my property be on the GDS?
Probably. The GDS feeds the entire travel agent network and while that is not as important as it once was there are still over 50,000 full-time travel agents in the United States. According to ASTA 30% of hotels are still booked through a travel agent. And while that may seem inflated take into consideration that travel agents still book 70% of all tours and packages and 85% of all cruises. When they are booking these travel options they are obviously also looking for hotels. The GDS also is required if you wish to participate in some channels such as Priceline, Hotwire, or even have an Orbitz merchant account.
7. What is the difference between the GDS and OTA's such as Expedia, Booking.com or Hotels.com?
These OTA's originally started by pulling information through the GDS. They learned the 10% travel agency when a reservation was completed. Many of these types of sites have now changed to merchant agreements. A merchant agreement means that you provide them with a discounted rate of 25 to 30% off of rack. You cannot sell your rooms for less than what they sell them for and you cannot give one site a better rate than another. This is called maintaining parity. The percentages may vary. For example OpenHotel GDS properties may receive a better rate on some channels. Booking.com normally charges about 15%.
8. Can I move from my current GDS provider to you? Can I be on two GDS providers?
You may only be on one provider. If you have subfield your contract with your current provider it is just a matter of completing the paperwork in order to move you to OpenHotel.
9. How much travel is really booked online?
According to a new Forrester Research report online shoppers in the US spent $226 billion online in 2012. That number is expected to go as high as $327 billion in 2016. Over 86% of US travel buyers researched their hotel stay before purchasing. 73% purchased online.
10. How can I get additional information?
Feel free to call us at 702 - 551 - 1149 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
or click the button on the right-hand side of the screen to chat with us during business hours.