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Global Distribution System and Tripadvisor

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sonatainn

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I have been playing around with the idea of adding my inn to the GDS system, although, personally, I have a few problems with it.
I use Kayak and Expedia often to find deals and opportunities when I travel. Typically, I use it to find a hotel/flight, then I simply go to the website of the airline/hotel and book it directly with them...often times the price matches the "deal."
I do the same thing with Tripadvisor....I find a decent looking place, then I simply google the name, and find the website...book directly. I know a lot of people do this, because I see a lot of traffic to my website coming from people googling my business name.
Sites like Expedia, and hotels.com seem to cater to the lazy...but I don't see how clicking a few more times warrants being lazy anymore in this age. Should I just assume people will google my name, or do I have to cater to the ultra lazy now?
So, what I'm trying to say is the following: Should I invest and spend the money to hook up to the GDS, and submit contact info to Tripadvisor? I'm a RezGT customer, so I'm sure the link to GDS will be smooth (anyone have any good/bad experiences?)
 

Alibi Ike

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Check how much of a cut any of these booking sites is going to want from you. I think folks like us think differently. Many guests will opt for 'easy' especially if they are having problems finding what they want on multiple websites.
 

gillumhouse

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I think it depends on your location and size. For me it would be a waste of money - I am very small and off the proverbial path.
 

HighMountainLodge

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We're 10 miles from a major Colorado ski area. We participate in the area's central reservation system. We pay a 13% commission, and it's worth it for us. Major hotels and larger properties pay over 25%, so we think we're getting a deal. Most of our business comes from our own website, so the central res bookings are gravy. Early and late in the ski season, the area has come up with a "ski free" promotion, so that people booking at least 2 nights at a participating property get one free lift ticket--the more nights, the more tickets. It's such a good deal that we have actually steered people who wanted to book directly with us to the deal with central res.
This is essentially a local deal. We would never give a dime to TA--for philosophical reasons if nothing else.
I guess it will be up to you to decide if the increased access to your availability will pay off for you. There are so many variables. I posted the scenario above because it is an example of something that it working for us.
 

wendydk

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I had good experiences with the ORP from bandb.com, which featured us on hotels, expedia and travelocity...it resulted in alot more people googling us and booking through our website than it did commissioned reservations through the system (a win for me). The exposure is really phenomonal. If I were to open or run another Inn, I would not hesitate to sign up again (and we only had three rooms).
From what I can see, paying TripAdvisor for a business listing was a huge waste of money.
 

agoodman

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GDS uses the airline res systems like Sabre and Worldspan - why would you want GDS? Because many companies require their employees to use a corporate travel agent when booking their trips, these corporate agencies feed off the GDS systems ONLY
In my case I had a local company that needed me to be on GDS and then a corporate contract. No guaranteed rooms but if I wanted bookings I had to "get with the program" so to speak. I used Innlink which is great. I know Res Nexus also uses them.
2 years ago before the plunge the monthly fees were worth it for me, since so many corporate people have cut down on travel, and they were really my only "major" client, I recently had to drop my GDS contract. I did pick up a few bookings through GDS whose travelers would never have been able to book me had I not been listed. I was very happy with and would recommend Innlink. Note there are both initial set up fees and monthly fees, plus per booking fees.
But yes .. it does and can pay off.
 

Copperhead

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Depending on who you go with to get in GDS, costs per booking can be rather steep so in those cases you WANT the person that is NOT lazy and will Google and book you directly otherwise you will be flushing down most of your profits.
My story is much like agoodman and I did this to get Corporate bookings. It has worked as many businesses go through travel agents or have travel agent like staff that only use Sabre etc. for booking... if you aren't on it, you can't get the booking. But many of my corporate clients book first through the system and during their first stay I tell them if they CAN book direct, I do provide a corp. discount (week days) that I am unable to offer in their system. That usually works and there return stays they get permission to book direct.
On the down side, you do get more 'hotel' people. Those that expected to arrive at a large hotel but find a small quaint place! Even with "Copperhead B&B" and a picture of the place they think this. (This happened not long ago - guy hesitantly walking up to the door - confirmation in hand - said "I thought I was going to a hotel") It can win over some to a new way of travel, but it can also cause an unhappy stay.
 
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