Three seemingly innocuous letters which remain a bit of a mystery to many independent hoteliers: ‘GDS’.

This acronym stands for ‘Global Distribution System’, and refers to a massive network of travel agencies, booking engines and associations which provide people with a wide choice of accommodation and travel packages.

In the bad old days, the GDS was something that could only be harnessed by chain operators with deep pockets, but things have thankfully changed in recent years.

Thanks to the commoditisation of industry technology and connections with hotel management software, the GDS is now more readily available and far more cost-effective when used in conjunction with a channel manager.

If you fancy dipping your toes into a potential new source of revenue, here’s our super-simple GDS guide for hoteliers.

How does the GDS work?

This question is probably at the top of your mind, and rightly so.

In the travel industry, there are a huge number of people whose responsibility it is to find their clients the most convenient travel arrangements and best hotel rates.

The GDS is a vital tool for these professionals. They use them to search accommodation and trip availability and, if your hotel is listed within those search results, you’ll stand a great chance of winning lots of new business.

If you can connect the GDS to your property management system via a channel manager, your rates and availability will suddenly enter a huge network and be put in front of an audience you won’t find on other OTAs.

Will the GDS work for my independent hotel?

If you’d asked this question a few years ago, the answer would probably have been “no”. But things have changed.

It’s not cheap, but the GDS’ ability to increase brand awareness about your hotel and open your business up to new markets is unrivalled and can be very cost effective.

As an independent hotelier, you probably don’t have the time or budget to discover new markets the hard way, which is why the GDS is so useful. By using their marketing prowess and brand power, you can find new market segments that can’t be found via a Google Ads campaign.

3 simple reasons you might need the GDS

Still undecided? Here are three reasons the GDS will help you spread your wings wider online as an independent operator.
1. More bookings will come
It’s that simple; if you add your hotel to the GDS, you’ll get more bookings. You’ll pay for the privilege of receiving them, sure, but just like OTA bookings, those guests may not have otherwise come across you. And, you can tempt them back directly when they rebook!
2. Revenue will increase
If bookings increase, so will revenue – simple.
Your profits will, too, because there’s always profit to be had in a room sale if you get the pricing right.
3. New markets ahoy
We’ve mentioned this already, but it bears repeating: the GDS will give you access to new markets.
A new market can give your hotel the opportunity to grow its services and learn from an entirely new clientele. It’ll make you a more confident hotelier and ensure a stay at your property is unforgettable.

Wrapping up

It’s estimated that there are 100,000 travel websites, portals and agents in existence, and there isn’t a hotelier on the planet who can manage them all individually. The time might be right for your independent hotel to jump on the GDS gravy train, so why not give it a go?

CMS Hospitality holds over 30 years of experience in delivering hospitality software solutions. GuestCentrix offers the most complete solution in hospitality software, whether you’re running a hotel, a resort or a hostel. Our highly experienced support and installations team holds a unique understanding of the hospitality industry and will aim to provide software that suits your property’s needs.

Call us today at (+61) 2 9440 9711, or email us at We will be happy to guide you to the GuestCentrix solution that’s right for you.