What's a GDS?
Updated: Oct 2, 2019
The travel industry's Global Distribution System AKA 'GDS' is software travel agents have used decades. It put the ability to book online right on their desktop. That system (still) requires a lot of training and knowledge to book and manage travel. Great for the 'brick and mortar' agencies taking bookings by phone and in person. Want to take bookings directly online, and not be an affiliate? Want to customize what you offer your customers, offer them certain brands or local hotels you know will deliver to your customers? That's a horse of a different color.
GDS connectivity exists through an API (Application Programming Interface). Hire a developer and justs do it - right? Nope. Imagine you want to build a house. Someone gives you keys to your local home improvement store. "Here, we have everything you need, and 24/7 access. Build it". Great. Now you need an architect, a builder, lots of permits, and money for the very long list of the materials necessary. Maybe you'll have a house in a year....or two. Welcome to GDS and their API's. This isn't to say they aren't doing things right, the major GDS providers have an unfathomable amount of data to serve up and their job isn't easy.
Yes, we started out building this for our own use, then we had an 'ah-ha' moment.
Let's pivot, let's share this.
Voila. Welcome to GDS - STAYKER STYLE.
P.S. The next challenge was content. That's for another Blog post.