Just when it seemed that disintermediation via the internet would force TAs to go the way of the dinosaur comes a report of a new study by TravelCLICK, the leading provider of eMarketing solutions for the hotel industry, which points out that “travel agents continue to increase their reliance on Global Distribution Systems (GDS) promotions for hotel bookings”. The study’s findings are derived from a survey conducted by Phoenix Marketing International on behalf of TravelCLICK and included 500 travel agents from 30 countries, representing the four major GDS systems — Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, and Worldspan.
The findings of the study include the fact that “41 percent of travel agents worldwide are using their GDS platform more often than in the past while 30 percent are using the GDS shopping displays more often. When asked about their awareness of GDS promotional messages, 55 percent of travel agents recalled seeing promotional messages in the past three months. Of this group, 52 percent made a booking at a hotel shown in the promotional message they saw, while 68 percent requested more information by looking at the click-through
screen attached to the promotional message, and more than 70 percent looked inside the GDS systems for more information”. Among the other interesting findings – “results also reveal that most travel agents worldwide believe GDS systems should offer rate parity: 89 percent of US travel agents and 76percent of international travel agents said it was very important to see the same rates available on all platforms”. Unsurprisingly, that is exactly what end-users would like on proprietary distribution channels such as the internet .