There is always a negative side to every positive. Flowers need rainy days to grow. Those same flowers need to get cut to appear in a beautiful bouquet. And for the many positives provide, there are drawbacks to consider as well.
A GDS can be an asset, but there are many hotels that chose to seek bookings through other means. With the uncertainty of the travel industry, many properties are looking for ways to cut costs and with a high ticket price, GDS’s are often one of the first to go. Some of the most common reasons hotels chose to opt out of using a GDS are:
- Money. The price of GDS’s alone is a deterrent for many properties. As a growing business, your funds may be better invested in other areas of your property.
- Priorities. Retaining customers is more important than bringing in new ones. Making sure that guests are comfortable with clean rooms, abundant amenities and a welcoming staff should be your first order of business.
- Industry stagnation. Despite their ability to connect agents with properties, it is ineffective if neither party uses it. A HotelHub bookings report showed that there was no growth in GDS hotel bookings in 2011, while non-GDS bookings saw growth. Hotels that don’t use a GDS get bookings through hotel aggregation sites or direct bookings, which are tried and true methods.
- Declining audience. One of the benefits of a GDS is that it catches the corporate traveler segment, but business travel growth is slowing. Businesses use travel agencies to book hotels and air travel, which a GDS is good at catching. But after tough economic times, a company would rather solicit one hotel chain to gain leverage in negotiating lower rates.
- Controversy. Many airlines have rallied against GDS’s, claiming that the fees are unreasonable. US Airways sued Sabre and American Airlines sued Travelport in 2011 for antitrust violations, claiming that GDS’s were monopolizing the business travel market. Non-GDS platforms have grown after the clash of airlines, opening up availability to properties that do not use a GDS.
There isn’t just one way to do things these days. A GDS isn’t the only answer to managing bookings and some properties are finding that a GDS is not right for them. There are plenty of options – and while none of them may be perfect, one of them will be right for your property.
Read about the advantages of GDS.