More agents are moving away from GDSs and increasingly using websites, particularly supplier websites, according to ASTA's Supplier-Travel Agent Marketing Report.
GDS air bookings have dropped 15% since 2006, and air bookings on airline sites have increased 65% and on other websites by 124%.
Hotel bookings in GDSs have dropped 29% since 2006, while bookings on hotel websites have increased 58%.
The shift has been stronger for the segments where GDS bookings are traditionally low, in cruise and tour.
Bookings on cruise line websites have increased a whopping 233% since 2006 while cruise bookings in GDSs have decreased by 40%. Bookings on tour company websites have increased by 75% since 2006; GDS bookings have dropped 64%.
“As suppliers have invested in more user-friendly interfaces, agents have shifted booking practices, and are now using more direct supplier websites to serve clients, especially leisure clients," said ASTA CEO Zane Kerby.
The survey was conducted using the 2013 ASTA Research Family panel of agencies. The ASTA Research Family is comprised of a representative sample of ASTA member travel agency owners and managers. The reply level indicates a 95% confidence rate and an error rate of +/- 4.7%, ASTA said.
ASTA is holding a webinar for suppliers on Feb. 5 called “Boost Your Revenues by Understanding Travel Agents,” which highlights information from the Supplier-Travel Agent Relationship Marketing report. The webinar will also provide a demographic overview of both independent agents and retail leisure agents.
ASTA supplier members can sign up for the webinar by clicking on Events at www.asta.org.
Photo of travel agent courtesy of Shutterstock.com.