GDS Technology and the Future of Travel Distribution

GDS Technology and the Future of Travel Distribution Published October 2016 Analyst: Bob Offutt


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Despite rumors of their imminent demise, global distribution systems (GDSs) are still alive and well. The technology that supports the business services that they provide will have a profound and lasting effect on the way travel is distributed through the over 50,000 travel agents in the world.

Phocuswright posed a series of questions regarding technology and the future of travel distribution to three leading GDSs – Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport – and each provided a written response. This Innovation Edition analysis summarizes the key initiatives common across all three GDSs, as well as notable differences in strategies, with some material paraphrased and other responses quoted and attributed. For readers looking for a deeper dive, the GDS’ detailed responses (edited to improve readability) appear in a separate Q&A section that follows the main analysis.

  • Introduction
  • Key Services and Capabilities
    • Cloud Services
    • Standards
    • Social Media
    • API Access
    • NDC Implementation
    • PNR Strategy
    • Legacy Technology Plans
    • Merchandising and Branded Fares
    • Embracing New Technologies
    • Trip vs. Customer-Oriented Structure
    • Supplier Connectivity
    • Mobile
    • Hotel Distribution
    • Key Issues
    • Summary
  • GDS Technology Interview Q&A
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