Independent hoteliers see GDS bookings rise 34.5%

The global distribution system is continuing to perform for independent accommodation providers with reservations up 34.5 percent in the past year and up 4.2 percent on 2019 pre-pandemic levels, according to HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts’ Independent Accommodation Insights Report.

HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts, a hotel representation company, dived into historic channel performance and found GDS reservations have grown 51.2 percent on a decade ago. Favored by travel agents and travel management companies, the GDS was one of the first channels to rebound after the pandemic, demonstrating the channels’ value and commercial opportunity, according to the report.

HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts also found direct booking continues to experience high growth rates—up 22.5 percent in 2023 vs 2022, and strengthening by 80.2 percent against its pre-pandemic standing. For HotelREZ clients, direct booking on mobiles has more than doubled since 2019, up from 15 percent of all direct bookings to 32 percent in 2023.

Integrating with CentralREZ, Channel Connect is HotelREZ Hotels & Resorts’ alternative to a channel manager, allowing the central reservations system to connect properties to over 600 premium travel websites. Channel Connect reservations increased 39.5 percent year-on-year, 63 percent versus 2019 pre-pandemic levels, and up a +4,609 percent on 2014.

“The way hotels and aparthotels find and secure their sales has vastly changed in the last 20 years," HotelREZ CEO and Founder Mark Lewis said in a statement. "Direct booking on a property’s own website accounts for around a third of all bookings, with OTAs about half that. The GDS is often—incorrectly—regarded as a relic of travel booking. Yet, our booking data shows the GDS has been experiencing consistent growth in the last 10 years and is the dominant booking channel, straddling both leisure and corporate business.”

The report noted numerous post-pandemic trends that contributed to increased bookings and usage of the GDS, including a stronger SME corporate market, larger TMCs dominating the market, an explosion of third-party GDS self-booking tools, and a growth in home-working leisure travel agencies.