In recent years, there has been a significant increase in bookings from travel agents using the Global Distribution Systems (GDS). It’s fair to assume that in a whole of technology and lack on one-on-one assistance, travelers are now craving a “personalized touch”. Many people still like to interact with a knowledgeable travel agent who will assist them in planning the perfect trip.
It also appears that travelers who book via travel agents tend to spend more per night. These people also like to take advantage of the hotels amenities as well. The influence that travel agents possess with the tourism market will not diminish anytime soon. If you stay strategic, its very possible to maximize your potential with the GDS channels.
Tips to Ensure a Good Relationship with Travel Agents:
- Be Competitive – Be at a competitive price, otherwise, travel agents can risk losing their credibility if the guest happens to find a better price online.
- Have Amenities – Offer amenities such as free internet, breakfast and perhaps airport shuttle service. Any amenities considered value added make it easier for the travel agent to sell your property.
- Be Accurate – Ensure your property information is accurate via all channels, especially in the GDS. Travel agents can’t afford to provide inaccurate information to their clients.
- Corporate Accounts – As corporate accounts tend to book primarily via the GDS, ensure that all incentives (rates and amenities) are updated accordingly.
Ideally, your primary goal should be to maximize all of your channels. Identify those that generate the most revenue, ADR, RevPAR and the longest stays.