Amadeus is a user-friendly GDS

Travel Management: Definitions

Reservation systems earlier

Booking trips over the phone and fax is very time-consuming, even if many companies still like to do so today.

Computer-aided processing has been the norm since the 1960s.

With the first business trips during the economic boom at the end of the 1960s, providers, travel agencies and customers still worked largely without IT. The reservation is made manually by phone or fax. With the invention of the computer in the 1970s, the trend is clearly in the direction of digitization, because the development of reservation systems soon made it possible for the travel agency to record bookings electronically, and the first forerunners of today's travel accounting systems were available to end users as early as the late 1980s.

The establishment of the Internet in the 1990s then made global and multifunctional digital networking possible. The first products for travel booking by a B2B user (cytric, Amadeus eTravel and others) emerge, as do B2C websites for the providers.

The involvement of a travel agency is thus reduced or no longer necessary.

From 2000: Self Services - eTickets

A large number of systems for a wide variety of processes ensure that almost all activities can be taken over by the user / purchaser himself. Special knowledge of the travel agency is no longer required for many processes.

Software manufacturers pursue the idea of ​​Employee Self Services and offer products tailored to this. SAP is one of the first manufacturers to offer a real end-to-end system that can manage B2B travel requests, travel bookings and travel accounting in a single system. The booking and billing of business trips can be done by the traveler himself. The travel agency is supported by quality assurance and specialist knowledge.

For the B2C area, all providers and tour operators have booking options on their own websites. Tourist travel agencies offer their own access so that they can continue to offer the commission payment to the agent.

Bookings of travel services are thus possible in various channels even without a travel agency.

From 2005: Decay of the GDS landscape - end-to-end processes cloud

In the rail sector in particular, booking directly with the provider wins through. As a result, jobs at the travel agency are being restructured, as the previous rail teams are no longer required. In the hotel and flight sector, too, significant amounts of bookings are migrating from travel agencies to the Internet. The decision about the booking channel lies with the user.

The available bandwidth is up to 2,048 kBit / s. This means that new integration options are available. The first cloud architectures appear.

The available B2B online booking engines are starting to support direct bookings with the providers in addition to GDS access. At the same time, the first hybrid architectures are created in which the end-to-end process is mapped on different systems from different manufacturers. (cytric + SAP FI-TV and others). New providers are emerging, almost all of them in the cloud.

The processing of B2B and B2C bookings at the provider and in the travel agency is increasingly digital. Electronic tickets are becoming increasingly standard.

As a result, the GDS market experiences a phase of consolidation. Worldspan, Galileo and Apollo are taken over by Travelport.

From 2010: Smartphones - apps - the triumphant advance of cloud computing

The period from 2010 onwards is characterized by the triumphant advance of mobile devices and the development of suitable software. At this time, existing applications from the desktop world will be enabled for mobile use. Previous websites for booking receive an app version at the same time.

Apps are also developed for special purposes that support travelers by providing information. Examples are Google Maps and currency converter.

Mobile internet is readily available in urban areas. The available bandwidth continues to increase. The first online retailers are getting into mass business. Cloud computing is beginning to establish itself for many applications and processes.

B2B online booking systems and B2C portals are increasingly becoming the hub for bookings from different channels.

From 2013: Consolidation - Global Architectures - Disruption

In the years before 2013, many applications, architectures and interfaces were created. Many products could not keep up with the rapidly changing technology and appear outdated.

Internet is readily available worldwide. Cell phones are standard.

New apps with disruptive potential are emerging and changing the market rapidly, for example myTaxi (VDA), AirBnB (CRS) or Uber (VDA). Existing processes are changed with new technologies, e.g. through voice inputs or integrations.

B2B online booking engines and B2C portals are integrating more and more providers and booking channels and are starting to integrate information services. Platforms are technically able to transfer any data between systems. There are often open interfaces for data exchange.

On the supplier side, there is an oversupply and an imminent market shakeout.

From 2019: seamless travel automation

Artificial intelligence is available in good quality and opens up new possibilities such as dynamic packaging (travel services are only combined in the best possible way at the time of the request) or speech recognition. System limits are only relevant to a limited extent.

The smartphone is becoming a constant companion for travelers. Chatbots and AI are integrated in the mobile devices and provide all the important information, for example about alternative travel options in the event of disruptions in the travel plan. The travel world can be fully networked.