Survival of travel portals without GDS

With more and more new travel portals coming online the first point of differentiation being looked at is the customer base they are trying to reach out to. Most of them are using same GDS technology at backend to pull fares for customers or are trying to rope in same hotels offerings. As a user then relying on a travel portal becomes specific on the user interface design they offer.

Hence the need for travel portals to evolve further by making investment in new technology initiatives other than one which allow them to be a better GDS deal aggregators or generating algorithm for fare construction.

If we look at Indian market portals can actually survive without the GDS as major chunk of online sales are coming thanks to ever growing number of low cost airlines + big daddy of all airlines “INDIAN” airlines. All of these airlines are ready to provide white label access directly to their reservation engines hence bypassing the GDS completed and giving the same real time online reservation capabilities.  Earlier when was taking booking for Air deccan when they started it took them time to issue E-ticket after accepting payment online due to the same factor that air deccan online reservation engine was not e-integrated with their own engine. Though they could get the flight details and fare but to confirm seat it was a different process. Second reasons why travel portals can survive without GDS as biggest mode of transportation which would soon open up their reservation engine for travel portal is railway which will again increase the revenue volumes for such portals.

According to Sid things travel portal should do to maintain their ‘A’ Game strategy

–  create market specific travel platform driven by technology as they can grow if they also create market hence deriving value on fare construction to deal aggregation of Tier-II cities.

– Try to bring hotels online throw hotels free hotel reservation system with requirement to connect to internet for 2 hours every day to maintain current hotel availability status.

– Bring in room rate exchange system like airlines whereas room rates can go up and down based on availability. This would also help people plan holidays in advance.

Overall travel portals need to  get innovative in terms of business model on offer, they need to take advantage of bus,car and train ticket reservation before hotel content becomes more instant available like in western countries.


13 Responses to “Survival of travel portals without GDS”

  1. 1 Reader June 12, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    Fantastic blog!!
    what do you think are the GDS fees being paid by airlines in India to GDSs today?

  2. 2 Igloo360 October 18, 2007 at 4:03 pm

    Very good article on fact for the Indian Travel Agency scenario today.

    GDS is essential part of success of Indian Travel Agency now; till now online travel booking competition was limited and also no technology awareness.

    However Indian web surfers are now smarter and broader. They will easily track that ‘A’ Travel Agency is better, cheaper and reliable compare to ‘B’ Travel Agency, though ‘B’ is older and No#1.

    We are web & animation firm located in Mumbai and proud to have significant experience in Travel Portal Development for Indian Travel Agency.

    I would like you to share your thoughts further.

    Cheers India!

  3. 3 Aneeshksh July 27, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    I feel there is a new trend where in the travel domain with the suppliers themselves getting ready to sell travel independent of travel sites inorder to maximise their returns.

    The busiest ebusiness site in India being IRCTC bein hosted by the railways themselves, has done a fantastic job (TCS actually).

    The same cannot be said about the Airline industry where there is not yet such a monopoly in the industry. They were dependant on the travel agent to plan and book the tickets for the general public. Not anymore…Travellers can do the same tasks using mobile phones nowadays. I have personally enjoyed better fares by booking the ticket right at the airline counter (my good luck I stay next to the airport 🙂 ). But the same airline reservation counter is online and getting me a better fare.

    The GDSs’ might be passe’ in domestic markets, similarly the travel sites will be reduced to being a lowest fare search engine.

  4. 4 Robin Hawkey August 14, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Travel Portals are the wave of the future! Everyone should invest in a travel website through ytb travel network, and book your own travel and get paid a commission, instead of letting the faceless corporations cash in!!!!
    Check out my travel website at:

  5. 5 Robin Hawkey September 1, 2008 at 10:44 am


  6. 6 A Duggal ( Hotelier , Manali) December 23, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    GDS Fee is per transaction basis rather then percentage. Usually fee is different for differnt -2 hotels as GDS as well. But if you take average per transaction in case of hotel booking this is 8USD.

    IXIA Labs, is one of the good and easy to manage GDS service provider which is actively working out in India. We have used there control panel and system and look very very good to control and manage. Charges are very competitive as well and offers many way to work including net rate , percentage basic , Fixed in USD. Even they process TAC if hotel likes which give us more flexible way to deal with.
    I like there customer support very much.

  7. 7 Edward February 17, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    How about a platform that can deal with any business the way you folks are thinking.

    Hotels, Taxis, Coaches, Air, Rail, Speedboat, House boat, State tourism development corporations, camel Safariu, Jeep safari to start with.

    You folks will listen from me very soon.

    If interested, pls stay in touch

    edward (dot) varghese at gmail

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  11. 11 Seema Chauhan February 12, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Hi, I agree with your all step but I’ll not agree that you have wrote that we should be treat as a western countries. Probably, you are forgetting here that just think of all of us in India is not high enough then how can I become more instant as what a western man can do??

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