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Why don’t most host agencies use GDS for air bookings?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why don’t most host agencies use GDS for air bookings?

Most host agencies do not use Global Distribution Systems (GDS) for booking air. They may use the accounting side but they are not using the GDS for booking air, at least not like they would have done 20 years ago.

Most home-based agents who book air will use a consolidator – it is quicker and easier and, most importantly, they make more money using net fares.

In the past, many travel agencies used to make a lot of money on GDS revenue – and some still do. But most host agencies don’t split the GDS revenue with their agents –with the odd exception. So there is no incentive for most home based agents to book in the GDS.

So what is the future for GDS and home-based agents? Home-based agents represent 35% of all agents in Canada. The GDS companies will probably end up mainly working with corporate agencies and consolidators. By no means will the GDS disappear, however you are seeing a lot of consolidating of corporate agencies and when this happens there will be fewer retailers for the GDS to fight over.

It would be great if the GDS companies started to think outside the box, and go after home-based agents, as there are a lot of agents who don’t understand the amazing value of a GDS – from being able to book certain types of hotel rates, to car rentals, to cruises to ITC vacations. Also many agents don’t understand that there is a great way to interface the booking made in a GDS back into most travel industry accounting systems.

So if you are a home-based agent and want to make MORE money while doing less work, you should look at a host agency that pays you for being smarter and working more efficiently.

Jill Wykes

Jill Wykes is a travel industry veteran who has held a series of senior management portfolios in travel corporations. A former chairman of the Travel Industry Council of Ontario, she is now an independent communications consultant and writer since retiring in 2011.
Jill Wykes
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