Easy Steps to Optimize Your Hotel’s GDS Strategy
Managing your distribution strategy for all the different channels can be a daunting task. Should your hotel's GDS strategy be the same as your strategy for Booking Engine, OTA, or Voice? Probably not!
Just as your channels serve a different customer, your strategies should focus content specifically designed for that audience.
The SynXis Central Reservation channel management control center offers solutions to your distribution needs. The control center also provides a single point of management for all distribution channels, including a direct connection to the Travelport, Amadeus and Sabre Global Distribution Systems.
Supplier competition within the GDS is fierce. For example, in the Sabre GDS, there are approximately 175,000 hotel properties that promote, personalize and sell their products to travel management companies, corporate travel departments and approximately 415,000 travel agents around the word.
So, how do you stand out?
Let's look at some helpful tips to get you started on a successful GDS strategy.
- Market Research. Depending on your property's market and location, the GDS may be a critical channel for you. A good starting point to build a solid GDS strategy is to understand the market's opportunity and your competitive set. Once you understand the opportunity and demographic you can proceed with GDS data optimization.
- Room Descriptions are critical in the GDS shopping and selection process. Your room descriptions should be developed to provide not only necessary information, but to showcase desirable room amenities. All this wonderful information must then be condensed into a limited space with character and symbol limitations. Challenging, but it can be done!
- Accuracy: Your property's information in the GDS is not only the brochure displayed to agencies and corporate travelers, it is also the information used to qualify hotels in the availability response. Accuracy is critical if you want your hotel to display in the search results.
- Photos. Quality, accurate photos are important to the sales process, regardless of channel. We've all heard the saying "A picture is worth a thousand words". This is especially true for bookings! Be sure to load professional photos and video tours in the SynXis CR.
- How many rates? Agents and travelers want access to all rate products offered by the hotel so make sure you provide access to all available rates.
- Rate Sequencing. In the GDS channel, rates should be sequenced low to high within rate plans and room types.
- Review active rate plans. There should be no redundancies in your rate plans. Understand that RACK and Corporate rate categories are no longer necessary in the GDS shopping algorithm. Each rate plan should offer different rates and benefits.
- Confirm all existing rates are logical and valid. Generally this means reviewing your active rates by channel in the CRS. For example, 4th night free rates should not display in single night availability requests!
- Describe your packages clearly. Kitschy package names are fun but defined package names stimulate more interest in the GDS channel.
- Remove rates that have non commissionable components. Agency commission reports are calculated on the total rate value displayed in the GDS.
- Auto Club and Senior rates are very popular in the GDS channel.
- Prepaid rates may not have significant production through the channel, but the agent and traveler want to see them. This equates to channel parity, which builds confidence in the channel. Generally they are expected to be sequenced below unrestricted promotional.
- Sneak a peek at your competition! Check out your competitors' rates and property descriptions in the GDS. It helps to understand what your competitor has loaded in the GDS channel, especially if they are top performers in the market.
Need more help?
We have a full menu of GDS Optimization services that can help you gain GDS market share.