Best practice tips for marketing hotels using GDS
Monique Jaspers-Wijn

Marketing tips for hotels using a GDS

September 13, 2018

Global distribution systems are used by agents worldwide to plan, search and book millions of flights, hotels and car rentals, 24/7 at every stage of a customer’s travel journey. 

Travelport recently analyzed return on investment data points on a city by city basis globally and the results speak for themselves. While the global average ROI ratio is 18:1, some cities are seeing even bigger returns. 

So just how do you maximize your marketing spend on these systems? 


“ When an agent searches for a hotel in central Istanbul, our offers appear first, giving us the extra visibility and exposure we need. In this way, Travelport Featured Property is helping us to drive revenues from searches on the Travelport platform.”

- Burak Aydin, General Manager at The President Hotel Istanbul 


For starters, you can improve ad performance by using Dynamic Rate Updates which automatically inserts the lowest public rate into your promotional messages, based on traveller arrival information. Hotels who wish to offer something other than LPR (Lowest Public Rate) such as packages or special deals, should ideally ensure the ‘rates from’ advertised for chains has at least 20%-25% of room inventory open and allocated to the starting ‘from rate’.

34% of agents state the most effective time for promotional messages is when they sign onto their global distribution system, which could be multiple times a day.

39% of agents pinpointed the point of sale as the optimal time to serve up promotional ads

39% pinpointed the point of sale as the optimal time to serve up promotional ads. Promotional ads prominently positioned on the platform at this point, could tip the balance in favor of your hotel. 

Over 50% of agents surveyed agreed that advertising the best available rates in your ads will prompt them to book your hotel; even while searching for negotiated rates. The figure rose to over 75% for agents in the Americas. 

The vast majority of agents, 78%, say they find visual ads the most appealing but it’s worth pointing out that 69% of agents reported that they remembered text ads they had seen. Offers geared towards travel agents themselves were a factor influencing 60% of agents, with commission the most prominent of these offers, especially in the Americas. 

These are just some of the insights from the global study into travel agent buying behaviors. For a more comprehensive breakdown of the main summary findings, and best practice advice on how you can maximize your ROI from global distribution systems, download the Fill More Rooms PDF below.