ASTA released the results of its 2008 Global Distribution System (GDS) Report. The study found that while GDS usage has declined in the past nine years, the majority of agencies still use a GDS system.
For some key segments, such as air, the GDS remains the primary booking medium, despite distribution changes. The report is the only one of its kind that specifically examines GDS usage, contracts and distribution trends from the agencies' point of view and takes a close look at the reasons agencies use GDSs.
While flexibility was a leading factor in all areas pertaining to GDS, here are other findings:
* The majority of ASTA agencies still use a GDS, however usage has decreased 15 percent since 1999.
* Of the 83.2 percent who use a GDS, Sabre remains the primary one used by ASTA agencies since 1999.
* Booking though a GDS remains the dominant method for air, car rental and hotels bookings.
* 54.6 percent of respondents occasionally compare the GDS fares to Internet fares.
* 40.4 percent of respondents said they have a "No-minimum" pricing plan.
* The majority of respondents (60.0 percent) receive an incentive credit if they book more segments than is required by their contract.
* ASTA agencies on average produced 13,395 segments.
* About half of respondents (46.1 percent) have a three-year GDS contract.
* The majority of respondents at 58.6 percent plan on renewing their GDS contract but 26.4 percent are not sure.
The ASTA Research Family is comprised of a representative sample of ASTA member travel agency owners and managers. The report indicates a 95 percent confidence with an error rate +/- 4.9 percent.