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GDS Promotional Messages Most Effective Way to Influence Travel Agents
This represents a significant change since the study was last conducted in 2009, where 26 percent of travel agents stated that they used their GDS platform more often than in the past and 19 percent said they used the GDS Shopping Displays more often than before. The study also reaffirms TravelClick's projection that annual GDS hotel bookings will surpass $50 million in 2011, an increase of more than 1 million incremental bookings from 2010.
"Travel agents are increasing GDS hotel use, and have once again confirmed their confidence in GDS Shopping and Booking Displays," remarked John Hach, Senior Vice President, Global Product Management at TravelClick. "As the GDS channel produces one of the highest average daily rates of any booking channel, there is a huge opportunity for hoteliers to influence travel agents through the GDS at the point-of-sale."
The survey was conducted by Phoenix Marketing International, an independent marketing research firm. Travel agents in 25 countries across the Americas, EMEA (Europe/Middle East/Africa) and Asia/Pacific regions who subscribe to one of the four major GDS systems were asked to participate. Agents surveyed utilize all four major Global Distribution Systems (GDSs) - Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, and Worldspan. The survey window opened on October 15, 2011 and closed on November 4, 2011. The study elicited 495 responses globally.
In the survey, travel agents worldwide also indicated that promotional messages are effective and often prompt bookings:
"This survey definitively shows that promotional messages are not only an excellent way to reach travel agents, but also a valuable sales catalyst," continued Hach. "The data demonstrates that if the messages are reaching the agent, they are also reaching the customer; it's a chain reaction which translates into concrete sales around the world. As hotels plan their marketing and sales activities for 2012, investing in the GDS channel will undoubtedly prove to be a crucial component."
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