Monday, 23 December 2013

The Hotel GDS Connectivity Warning

GDS Connectivity only works when you work.

Landmark Hotels Dubai
It happens all the time:  A hotel starts with GDS Connectivity, and then sits back. 
The hotel waits the 6 or 12 months of the initial contract, and then calls its representative to say: "We do not get any reservations, we want to cancel!"

Because often it is not understood that this connectivity is a marketing tool. As with any tool, it needs to be used.  Compare it to buying a car. You can buy a Mercedes, or a Rolls for that matter, and there it is, a shiny status symbol at the front door. But if you do not use it, or didn't even know you needed a drivers license, do you think: "It's useless"?

Read my 'Adventures in GDS Land'
A good GDS representative will always offer you a training. They will tell you how to manage the system and how to make the most of it. Never hesitate to ask for that training. And, if you did not understand it the first time round, ask for a second training.

Any representative will always be more than happy to provide you with that training. Because the better you understand how it works, the more reservations you will attract, and that again is very good for the representative.

Depending on the quality of the representation, lots of work and thought will go into the revenue management. But if you as a hotel marketing manager do not your part of the work, this representative can only do so much.

In the end, it is the hotel that is the pilot. Opening and closing availability, offering different rate plans, learning to play with these rate plans... All that might seem difficult or confusing in the beginning. But the more you start to understand the possibilities, the more you will start to like to know more, experiment more, until it becomes a passion.

Do not see that part of marketing as work. In my experience it were always those hotels that were enthused, that almost saw it as a game of Monopoly, that got the best results. 

Being on the GDS gives a hotel world wide exposure to almost up to 400.000 travel agents, so it is a wonderful marketing tool. But never forget it is just that, a tool, so it is in your best interest as a hotel to actually to start understanding it, and using it.

Ben (Bernardus)

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