Small and independent hotels usually need business services that quickly pay for themselves. However, while it’s critical to get connected to a global distribution system (GDS) to get the hotel’s name out there and grow the business, the wrong GDS services can increase your frustration level and ultimately be a waste of time and money. Following are some tips to pick the right GDS portal for your hotel, particularly if you’re interested in growing your hotel’s international presence.
The location and focus of your hotel (urban, rural, business-oriented, or leisure) will greatly narrow down your choices for GDS portals. Do you mainly need a connection to the GDS and an online booking engine? Check out Sabre Hospitality, iHotelier by TravelClick, Pegasus Solutions, and Myfidelio.net. If you’re looking more for Internet distribution (IDS), look into SiteMinder.
Watch the Fees
Does the GDS portal cost involve a fixed monthly fee, or can it vary so you’re not paying for unnecessary services during the low season? Are there hidden transaction fees? For example, SiteMinder’s fees are monthly and fixed, and with a month-to-month commitment, it’s easy to back out if you’re not happy. Other GDS services require a three-year commitment to start, with yearly renewals after that.
Mobile and Facebook Connectivity
If a GDS portal service also touts its “high tech” connectivity to mobile and Facebook booking engines, don’t get caught up in the hype. Few customers will download an app specifically for your hotel, and the Facebook feature has yet to show significant promise as a revenue generator.
Speaking the Language
Make sure the GDS portal service you choose supports several languages, not just English.
Following are a few of the most-talked-about GDS services:
- iHotelier.com by TravelClick
- Sabre Hospitality
- Pegasus Solutions
- Trust International
The Smart eHotels™ GDS Tuning Team Can Help
If you’re a little lost in the GDS labyrinth, the SmarteHotels.com GDS Tuning Team can help make sense of it all. Click here to find out how we can help fine-tune your GDS channel.