GDS Conversions: Easier Than They Once Were, But Still Tricky

It's potentially disruptive to a business travel operation when a travel management company changes global distribution systems. Managing such a change could be top of mind for many corporate travel buyers in the near term as one of the largest TMCs, Carlson Wagonlit Travel, has signaled plans to deemphasize Travelport in its operation. Sources said some other large TMCs also were in negotiations on their GDS contracts, raising the possibility of additional conversions across the industry.

TMCs don't do this very often. Chief among the downsides is that travel agents need training on new interfaces, with different commands . . .

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Author: Jay Campbell

Jay Campbell in 2004 created travel business newsletter The Beat, in 2006 co-founded Travel Procurement magazine and in 2010 integrated them with Business Travel News. He served as editorial director until 2013. Jay made his travel industry media debut in 1993 at the Air Travel Journal of Boston while earning his undergraduate degree in journalism at Boston University.

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Victor Pynn
Advisor

Being on both sides of the equation I truly respect the pain in a GDS conversion. That said, due to the technology advances there are several companies closer to a multi-GDS desktop than ever before which will give the traditional agencies the ability to switch and access content from anywhere with much less pain. At that point the GDSs will feel incredible pressure like never before to redefine their value in the distribution side. Very interesting times when you also add NDC to the mix.