The GDS integration services in the US have been one of the major contributing factors to the success of online travel portals and the growth of the travel industry. In fact, GDS is an essential reservation tool that online travel agencies use. It helps them provide their customers access to a real-time inventory of hotels, flights, rental cars, tours, etc.
GDS integration services in the US provided by the leading GDS suppliers such as Galileo, Amadeus, Sabre, and Travelport have generated a great revenue in global travel sales. Further, GDS consolidates travel data from different service providers allowing travel agents to book flight tickets, hotel rooms, rental cars, etc. Moreover, this saves online travel agencies the hassle of connecting with numerous hotels, airlines or other providers for their inventory.
As per Sabre, Amadeus, Travelport and Sabre cover 99.9% of the GDS market share.
What are the main GDS integration services in US?
The main focus on GDS integration services is on the reservation of Airline Tickets, Hotel Rooms, Cruises, Car Rentals and Railways. Therefore, for an online travel agency business, it is essential to use GDS integration services.to reach customers globally. Let’s take a deeper look into Galileo, Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport to gain more insights on these GDS integration services.
Galileo is a reservation software owned by Travelport. It is also used to book airline tickets, car rentals, hotel rooms, train travel and cruises. A member of IATA, SITA and Open Travel Alliance, Galileo was created to gain a large market share in the computer reservation system.
The basic features of Galileo GDS for flight booking include:
- Searching for one-way flights
- Round-trip flight search
- Flight search by city or airport
- Flight search by price
- View and book airline fares
- Cancel flight tickets
- Search by class, departure/arrival time, dates, etc
- Frequent-flyer programs
Headquartered in Spain, Amadeus is the largest global distribution system in terms of market share. In fact, the Amadeus GDS was created by Air France, Iberia, Lufthansa and SAS airlines as an alternative to Sabre. Initially, Amadeus focused on the airlines’ sector for reservations, pricing and inventory offered by airlines to customers and travel agents.
However, now it offers hotels with access to the European market. Furthermore, it is globally used by 90,000 travel agencies, covering 40% of the travel agency bookings. Amadeus GDS integration services also include hotel rooms, air tickets, rental cars and other services. In fact, hotel rooms are the major offering and the majority of bookings are flight tickets.
The benefits associated with using Amadeus is the distribution of hotel inventories on a global level to travel agents and end-users. It also offers B2B and B2C distribution with 24-hour access to inventories of hotel rooms.
The APIs provided by Amadeus GDS integration services are of two types; Self-service and Enterprise. Flight and fare services use self-service APIs which include cheapest dates, cheapest fares and most booked destinations. Hotel searches Enterprise APIs cover 9 types of distribution and additional services such as airlines, hotels, car rentals, railways, airport transfers, cruises, utilities, travel insurance booking, and customer profiles.
|Airlines||Hotels||Cruise and Ferries||Car Rentals||Railways|
|Amadeus||770 airlines||650,000 properties||53 lines||42,000 locations and 43 companies||90 carriers|
|Sabre||400 arilines||175,000 properties||17 lines||40,000+ locations and 40 companies||50 carriers|
|Travelport||400+ airlines||650,000 properties||50 lines||36,000 locations||15 carriers|
Based in the United States, Sabre is a global distribution system that serves about 60,000 travel agencies worldwide. It is an attractive gateway for the North American market. Sabre has dominance over bookings of hotel rooms and related services as compared to its competitors.
Having a market share of around 35%, Sabre benefits hoteliers by providing 24-hour access to the hotel inventories globally. Additionally, Sabre also provides valuable hospitality technology solutions to hotels and other businesses in the travel industry.
In fact, Sabre APIs mostly cover the same functions as that of Amadeus. The functions include airlines, cruises, hotels, car rentals, railways, trip management, profiles, utility and session management.
Travelport is one of the top three GDS with an annual turnover of $2.5 billion in 2018. The platform provides payment solutions, distribution technology and other solutions for the travel industry. Travelport owns Galileo, Worldspan and Apollo GDS systems.
Travelport initially had its main focus towards the airline industry. But gradually it included hotel rooms and products under its service domains. The Amadeus GDS has a stronger market in Europe, and Sabre has its dominance in the North American market. Travelport doesn’t solely rely only on its home market and is evenly distributed across the different continents. It provides the benefits to hotel owners and other travel businesses to have a global reach in some of the strongest markets such as Europe, North America and Asia.
The Apollo, Worldspan and Galileo GDS have combined APIs known as Travelport Universal API that includes Air API connect, Travelport rooms, Rail API connect, fares and ancillaries, and customer profiles.
Your online travel agency can leverage the reach of Galileo, Amadeus, Sabre or Travelport GDS integration services in the US to increase your customer base globally and multiply your revenue. The challenge lies in choosing the best GDS API for your travel business as all have technical differences that may impact market coverage and scales differently.
Although most of the GDS provide similar APIs however, due to the dominance of each GDS in a particular region or sector, it is possible to get different APIs from different GDS. Therefore, as per common practice, it is best to choose the GDS that is popular in the region you are targeting.
A travel portal development company also offers some APIs as part of the development process, or you can choose to provide your own API integration for your online travel portal.