Global distribution systems (GDS’s) have become very effective sales and marketing platforms, supplying travel agents with targeted product information based on their customer’s needs. For example, through GDS advertising and programmes such as Sponsored Flights, an airline can direct agents toward special promotions and fares as they search for availability on a particular route. These functionalities help provide travel agents with useful information at the point of sale.
Technology is helping travel agents better sell travel products in the non-air sector. Robust online portals such as Travelport Rooms and More consolidate hotel, rail and car rental products from thousands of suppliers around the world, facilitating price comparison and providing agents with more informed travel choice. The beauty of distribution technology is that it makes the aggregation of a vast amount of travel content possible, making side-by-side comparison that much easier.
Social networking is a more recent phenomenon that is also helping facilitate access to travel product information. Several micro-sites targeting the travel trade community have appeared over the last couple of years that serve as a platform to share their personal opinions and experiences. This type of knowledge transfer is invaluable to the travel trade community and helps them better sell a particular travel product or destination.