For hotel owners and others in the travel industry, a global distribution system represents one of the most important distribution channels, and Amadeus GDS is one of the most important examples. In this article, you will find out more about the Amadeus GDS system, and the ways it can benefit those in the travel industry.

What is a GDS System?

A global distribution system, or GDS for short, is a network that allows transactions to occur between service providers in the travel industry. They are primarily used by travel agencies, in order to gain real-time access to inventories and to book hotel rooms, airline tickets, car rentals and other travel products for their customers.

For example those operating in the hotel industry, global distribution systems remain a key distribution channel, because they connect hotels to a large number of travel agents all around the world. As a result, the hotel gains improved access to the global market and can potentially generate greater demand for bookings. More detailed information about global distribution systems and what the benefits are for hotels, you can read in the article “Global Distribution System (GDS): What Are the Benefits for Hotels?”.

What is Amadeus GDS?

Amadeus GDS is one of the major GDS systems and was originally created by the Air France, Lufthansa, Iberia and SAS airlines as a European-based alternative to Sabre, which is a similar GDS system based in the United States. It was founded in 1987 and while it initially focused on connecting end users with airline inventories, it has since grown to offer access to other travel services, including hotel rooms and car rental services.

Global Distribution System Explained by Amadeus


What Are the Benefits of Amadeus GDS?

There are numerous benefits for hotel owners using the Amadeus GDS system, with the most obvious being distribution to travel agents and customers on a global level. The platform offers both business to business (B2B) and business to customer (B2C) distribution and provides travel agencies with 24-hour access to hotel inventories.

In terms of market share, Amadeus is the largest GDS system, accounting for around 40 percent of travel agency bookings, and being used by around 90,000 travel agencies. The company is based in Spain, while the central database is situated in Germany, meaning it can serve as an especially powerful gateway to the European market.

However, it is worth noting that a substantial percentage of Amadeus’ total bookings are airline tickets.

Similar GDS Systems to Amadeus GDS

While the Amadeus GDS system is the largest in terms of pure market share, it is not the only major global distribution system that hotel owners and others in the travel industry should be aware of. The main two alternatives are as follows:

1) Sabre

Sabre is a global distribution system, which is based in the United States. Its history can be traced back to the 1960s, meaning it is an older GDS system than Amadeus, although it currently has a smaller market share, serving somewhere in the region of 60,000 travel agencies worldwide.

However, while its overall market share is smaller than Amadeus’ market share, a higher percentage of its bookings are hotel-based. Sabre is also comparatively strong in the lucrative North American market. More detailed information about Sabre GDS system, you can read in the article “What is Sabre GDS?”.

2) Travelport

Travelport is the third of the major GDS systems and it was also founded in the United States, although its headquarters is in the United Kingdom. Its history can be traced back to the 1970s, making it older than Amadeus, but younger than Sabre. Its subsidiaries include Galileo, Apollo and Worldspan.

While Travelport’s main market is North America, it is less reliant on a single market than its rivals, with a large number of its bookings being spread across North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific region. More detailed information about Travelport GDS system, you can read in the article “What is Travelport GDS?”.

How to Connect Your Hotel to Amadeus GDS?

The most common way to connect to Amadeus is to go through a GDS provider. There are multiple companies that provide these services and they will typically connect a hotel to all major GDS systems at once.

Hotels can manage property information, such as a description, photos and facilities, and distribute all inventory and rates from one place. Most GDS service providers also have connections with most property management systems (PMS) and/or hotel channel managers. Usage of a GDS system can, therefore, be fully automated.

Amadeus GDS is one of the main three global distribution systems, and can be of service to hotels through improved distribution. Connecting your hotel to the GDS system will allow travel agents to access live inventory information, enabling them to sell rooms in your property to their customers.

More Distribution Tips to Optimise Revenue

The distribution mix that hotels choose to use have a significant impact on their revenue management strategy, and on their overall success. In the following articles you find more distribution strategies to optimise your revenue:

More Tips to Grow Your Business is a knowledge platform for the hospitality & travel industry. Professionals use our insights, strategies and actionable tips to get inspired, optimise revenue, innovate processes and improve customer experience. You can find all hotel & hospitality tips in the categories Revenue Management, Marketing & Distribution, Hotel Operations, Staffing & Career, Technology and Software.

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