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9 Key Reasons to Have GDS Connectivity for Your Hotel

By: Steve Behrisch , President & CEO

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving hospitality industry, staying connected and visible is crucial. This is where Global Distribution Systems (GDS) come into play, acting as the backbone of worldwide travel distribution. 

For hotels, GDS connectivity is not just a luxury; rather it’s a necessity in today’s digital age.

In this article, we explore the concept of GDS, its connectivity, and the pivotal role it plays in the success of hotels.

Table of Contents

Let’s get going.

What are Global Distribution Systems (GDS)?

A Global Distribution System (GDS) is a network that enables transactions between travel industry service providers, mainly airlines, hotels, and car rental companies, and travel agencies. 

It’s a powerful tool that transmits hotel room rates and inventory to travel professionals and customers, facilitating the booking process. 

Initially developed for airline reservations, GDSs like Amadeus and Sabre have evolved to become key players in the wider travel and hospitality industry.

What is GDS connectivity?

GDS connectivity refers to the integration of a hotel’s property management system with a Global Distribution System. 

This connection allows hotels to distribute their inventory across multiple online channels, including travel agencies and online booking platforms. 

Benefits of GDS Connectivity for Hotels

The importance of GDS connectivity for hotels cannot be overstated. It offers a myriad of benefits that significantly impact a hotel’s operations and bottom line. 

Benefits of GDS connectivity for hotels

Here are some of the key benefits:

1. Increased visibility and reach

GDS connectivity provides hotels with a global platform, reaching millions of travel agents and potential guests worldwide. 

According to statistics, in 2020, the global distribution system handled about 670 million hotel bookings worldwide.


This increased visibility translates into more bookings and higher occupancy rates.

2. Efficient distribution of hotel inventory

GDS connectivity allows hotels to distribute their inventory efficiently across multiple channels. 

This means that hotels can maximize their occupancy and revenue by ensuring that every room is sold at the right time, to the right guest, at the right price.

3. Real-time updates and availability

With GDS connectivity, hotels can provide real-time updates on room availability, rates, and special offers. 

This not only enhances the guest experience but also reduces the risk of overbooking and other booking errors.

4. Streamlined reservation process

GDS connectivity streamlines the reservation process by providing a single platform for managing all bookings. 

This simplifies the booking process for both the hotel and the guest, leading to improved guest satisfaction and loyalty.

5. Integration with hotel management systems

GDS connectivity can be seamlessly integrated with a hotel’s property management system, creating a centralized system for managing bookings, inventory, and guest data. 

This integration leads to improved operational efficiency and reduced administrative costs.

#OnResTips: Did you know that OnRes provides GDS connectivity integrated with its PMS and other hotel management systems for your seamless operations. 

6. Targeted marketing

GDS networks offer targeted marketing opportunities. 

Hotels can position themselves strategically to appeal to specific market segments, such as business travelers or luxury vacationers, based on the GDS channel used.

7. Enhanced competitive edge

In a competitive industry, GDS connectivity gives hotels an edge. It allows smaller hotels to compete with larger chains by providing the same level of global exposure.

GDS systems also offer valuable data insights. 

Hotels can track booking trends, traveler preferences, and market dynamics, enabling them to make informed decisions about pricing and marketing strategies.

9. Strengthened travel agent relationships

GDS connectivity strengthens relationships with travel agents. 

It facilitates seamless transactions and bookings, leading to better cooperation and opportunities for preferential partnerships or promotions.

Frequently Asked Questions

GDS connectivity can involve setup fees and per-booking commissions. However, these fees can be offset by increased bookings, particularly from high-spending business travelers. Using a channel manager can streamline the process and potentially reduce costs.

Hotels can connect to a GDS directly (for large chains) or through a GDS connectivity provider (smaller hotels) just like OnRes. These providers offer access to all major GDS systems through a single connection.

For a GDS listing, hotels typically need to provide property details, rates, availability, room descriptions, images, and contact information.

GDS connectivity increases hotel visibility to travel agents and corporate booking channels, driving reservations and potentially reaching a lucrative business travel segment.

GDS bookings often represent multi-night stays and higher spending guests, leading to increased revenue for the hotel.

While not directly impacting a hotel’s own website, GDS connectivity increases overall online visibility through travel agent and corporate booking platforms.

By reaching a wider audience through travel agents and corporate booking channels, GDS connectivity exposes the hotel to potential new guests who might not have found it otherwise.

The time to get listed on a GDS can vary depending on the chosen provider and the complexity of the hotel’s setup. It typically takes 4-8 weeks.

GDS connectivity expands a hotel’s distribution channels, reaching a wider audience and reducing reliance on any single booking platform.

Hotels can measure the success of GDS connectivity by tracking metrics like bookings generated, revenue earned, and guest acquisition cost through the GDS channel.


GDS connectivity is a powerful tool that can significantly enhance a hotel’s operations and profitability. By leveraging the power of the Global Distribution System, hotels can reach a global audience, manage their inventory efficiently, provide real-time updates, streamline the reservation process, and integrate seamlessly with their hotel management systems. 

The importance of GDS connectivity for hotels is evident, and it’s a tool that every hotel should consider integrating into their operations.

Steve Behrisch, President & CEO

Steve joined the OnRes Team as an account rep in 2008 and was promoted to VP of Operations a short time later. In 2011, Steve agreed to purchase OnRes and became President and CEO, and has been steering the ship since; achieving significant milestones such as rebuilding the reservation software from the bottom up, forging new partnerships, doubling the revenue, and much more…
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