4 Ways GDS Advertising Improves Hotel Revenues
Joanne Fu

4 Ways GDS Advertising Improves Hotel Revenues

November 12, 2018

Global distribution systems (GDS) are the backbone of the travel agency industry. Travel agents worldwide use these digital platforms every day to plan, search and book holidays for both consumers and business travelers alike. Contextualised, localised, real-time and personalised ads on these platforms trigger direct responses from travel agents and have proven to generate consistent returns.

This article explores four compelling reasons why GDS ads perform consistently well and provide ROI for hotel marketers

1. Data informs everything

When you think of hotel marketing, you might think of glossy magazines, beautiful website experiences, podcasts and videos and a whole array of multimedia formats and channels. 
(We have actually written an article on world class examples right here).

But what many don’t imagine when they picture hotel marketing is the most important consideration of all…data.

From planning and executing to analysing and optimising, data informs everything on GDS platforms. Every granular data set is revealing in its own right, but when the right complimentary data sets are grouped and analysed, behaviors and insights reveal themselves and help inform the most cost-effective and revenue-generating advertising media plans.

Realtime data-driven decision making is at the heart of global distribution systems and it is one of the primary reasons these channels see impressive and sustained ROI.

“We have just taken the decision to renew our Travelport Featured Property campaign for another 12 months based on our returns on investment of 13.1:1, which we achieved for the last 12 months period. To continue to maximize our occupancy, we need solutions that increase awareness of our brand and offers globally, and that’s exactly what we get with Travelport Featured Property.”

- Burak Aydin,General Manager, The President Hotel

ROI performance The President Hotel

2. The Metrics

The numbers speak for themselves. The volume, value and frequency of GDS bookers is growing, fast.

  • Over 65 million hotel rooms are booked every year though GDS platforms.
  • Over 235,000 travel agents use GDS platforms like Travelport Apollo, Travelport Galileo and Travelport Worldspan
  • Travel agents book an average of 22 times more hotels a year than consumers.
  • Over 30% of Travelport Travel Agents book an Air ticket followed by a Hotel. 
  • Travel bookings made by agents are at a six-year high
  • Get an Return on Advertising Spend of up to 44:1*
  • The total spend per trip for travelers who used agents to make their bookings is $10,808, compared to $4,745 for DIY bookers.

3. Behavioral Insights

A 2017 research study of travel agents worldwide conducted by Phoenix Marketing International, explored how different types of ads and messages influence agents as they make travel bookings. The insights revealed a deeper understanding of travel agents’ behavior and how to influence them to generate better results.

Some of the key findings of the international study:

  • 98% of bookings are made from the first screen of search results [Tip: Preferred placement ads can guarantee your hotel has a prominent eye-catching position high up the search result screens where the vast majority of bookings are made.]
  • 39% of agents pinpointed the time of booking as the optimal time to serve up promotional ads
  • 34% of agents state the most effective time for promotional messages is when they sign onto their global distribution system
  • Over 50% of agents agreed that advertising the best available rates in your ads will prompt them to book your hotel; this rises to 65% when agents are searching for negotiated rates
  • 78% of agents say they find visual ads the most appealing
  • 70% of agents will book a hotel in an ad when they see a great offer, regardless of where they are in the booking workflow

All of these insights can help in the planning of your next GDS campaign. Targeting agents at the right time during the booking process will yield powerful results. Agents book Air followed by Hotel, so targeting a suitable promotional message to an agent after they have booked an air ticket will help drive conversion. With the global average ROI ratio of GDS advertising spend of 18:1, the results speak for themselves.

4. Better Planning / Expert Media Planners

Travelport Digital Media Solutions team provide expert consultancy, campaign planning, data resources and insights, and are backed up by over twenty years of industry experience helping hoteliers maximize their advertising ROI. Our experts combine trend analysis with historical advertising performance to help you maximize your marketing returns. We know the volume of searches in your city, the best time to run ads, where to place them, what types of offers perform best, and any other of other variables that provide insights on how you can gain an advantage.