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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Top 10 Travel Distribution Fallacies - #7 GDS (and travel agents) are dinosaurs

GDS (and travel agents) are dinosaurs

GDS and travel agents may be part of the travel distribution heritage, but they are not extinct.

If the longevity of the dinosaur is any indication, both the GDS and travel agents will be with us for some time to come.

In the last decade we have gone from 4 major Global Distribution System companies to 3 and have gone from nearly 30k U.S. travel agencies to just under 14k, but those that remain are larger than their predecessors on average and stronger.

Although challenged by the hyper–growth of the Internet, social media and mobile and the shift of business to new online and niche players, each are utilizing the Internet in new, heretofore unforeseen ways to expand their businesses.

While some may argue this point (yes, you Jim Davidson!), there has been an enormous investment in technology infrastructure by the GDS and those technologies that have been referred to as "legacy" have largely been replaced.  TPF is still in use for some functions, but it is no longer the dominant technology used by the GDS companies.

I do acknowledge that there is significant business model reform still needed in the industry.

I also believe that the airline industry has the right to have its own inventory aggregator/distributor (similar to what the hoteliers did with Pegasus).

But the bottom line is that I still believe that high value demand aggregation is the primary value provided by both the GDS and the travel agency and value tends to survive, despite opposition.


4 comments:

Redspect said...
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Redspect said...
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sumit kher said...

Hi, just completed my B.E. and now I am interested in going for GDS online training and that too in airlines. So, basically I am confused about certain things as which I came across that there are cetain different GDS like amadeus, Galileo, Sabre and some others. I found out that above are the one in demand and so just came across this online training http://www.wiziq.com/course/1610-amadeus-airlines-reservations-and-pnr-management-course-1 and was wondering as this online training will help me to prepare of I have to go for any other Manual training. Kindly provide some light on this too! would really be thankful for your comments.

Chicke Fitzgerald said...

Sumit - these courses are designed for use by a travel agent. They are very focused on specific entries needed to effect an airline reservation, and secondarily hotel and car reservations. If you are simply wanting to learn about the industry, I have written several books on the GDS companies. http://www.solutionz.com/publications.html

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