A global distribution system, or GDS system, is one of the most important distribution channels for those in the hotel industry, allowing travel agencies to access live inventory information and rates, and to sell hotel rooms and other travel services to their customers. In this article, you will learn more about Sabre GDS, and the various ways it can benefit hotel owners and others within the travel industry.

What is a GDS System?

A GDS system, or global distribution system, is a network which enables travel agencies and others within the travel industry to access travel products and services, including hotel rooms, airline tickets, car rentals, in order to carry out transactions. Crucially, they provide end users with real-time access to inventories and pricing.

Typically, a GDS system is one of the most important distribution channels for those operating in hotel management, because it will make the hotel visible to travel agents, who can then book hotel rooms on behalf of their clients. This then has the potential to significantly increase the number of bookings the hotel generates. 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 Sabre GDS?

Sabre is regarded as one of the ‘big three’ GDS systems, with a history that can be traced back to the 1960s. The company and network is based out of Southlake, Texas, in the United States, and it is estimated that around 60,000 travel agencies around the world currently utilise the system in order to sell travel products. Although Sabre technically has a smaller market share than one of its rivals, Amadeus, a larger percentage of bookings made using the Sabre system are hotel-related, as opposed to airline-based.

What Are the Benefits of Sabre GDS?

For hotels and others in the travel industry, the primary benefit of using the Sabre GDS is the ability to distribute to travel agents on a global level, providing them with 24-hour access to hotel inventories. In addition, Sabre also offers a number of hospitality technology solutions, which can be valuable.

As previously stated, a greater percentage of bookings made through the Sabre network are for hotel rooms, when compared to Amadeus. Additionally, it is the global distribution service which offers the best access to the lucrative North American market, allowing hotels to reach a large volume of travel agencies and customers.

Similar GDS Systems to Sabre GDS

The Sabre GDS is one of three major global distribution systems used by companies in the hotel and travel industry. However, it is important to be aware of the two main alternatives as well.

1) Amadeus

The Amadeus GDS system is the largest global distribution system, as measured by market share, and has its headquarters in Spain, while its central database is in Germany. As a result, it offers hotels excellent access to the European market, and it is estimated that Amadeus is used by 90,000 travel agencies, globally.

Amadeus was established in 1987, and caters for hotel rooms, airline tickets, car rentals and other services. While hotels form a significant part of its offering, the majority of bookings through the system are airline tickets. More detailed information about Amadeus GDS system, you can read in the article “What is Amadeus GDS?”.

2) Travelport

Travelport is another major GDS system, with a history dating back to the early 1970s. It was founded in the United States, which is also its primary market. However, its current headquarters is in the United Kingdom. The Travelport offering comprises the Galileo, Apollo and Worldspan platforms.

Crucially, Travelport is less reliant on its home market than most other global distribution systems. While bookings in North America account for the greatest share, it is also popular in Europe and Asia. More detailed information about Travelport GDS system, you can read in the article “What is Travelport GDS?”.

How to connect your hotel to Sabre GDS?

Most hotels connect to Sabre GDS via a GDS provider, and there are a number of businesses that offer this service. When going through such a company, the hotel will actually be connected to all major GDS systems at the same time, and the service will allow the hotel to manage its description, photos, etc. in a single location.

This method allows a hotel to manage its inventory and rates from a single place too. In many cases, GDS service providers have connections with most major property management systems (PMS) or with hotel channel managers, meaning that usage of a GDS system can be fully automated.

Sabre GDS is one of the three main GDS systems used by hotels and other travel companies, in order to improve distribution. By connecting a hotel to the Sabre system, travel agents will be granted real-time access to inventory and pricing information, allowing them to sell hotel rooms 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

Revfine.com 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.

Submit an Article