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Is China Fertile Ground for the GDS Model

Is China Fertile Ground for the GDS Model

American Airlines rocked the travel distribution world recently, when they announced at CASMA that they were bailing out of the GDS model. The announcement has triggered considerable speculation regarding what role the GDS will play in the future of travel distribution worldwide.

Major GDS players are trying to determine how to react to the fast-changing online marketplace and the supplier-direct movement. For the Chinese market, there is still no firm timetable for opening the door to the international GDS players. China is changing, but it takes time.  PhoCusWright’s Emerging Online Travel Marketplace in China, key components of the travel value chain in China—including the dominant CRS (TravelSky), airlines, travel retailers and the media—remain either tightly controlled or strongly influenced by the government. Indeed, even travelers’ decisions about where and when to take a trip are influenced by the government, as a result of its “Approved Destination Status” designations and “Golden Week” holidays.

Even amidst these challenges, the Chinese travel industry has indeed opened up and become considerably more transparent, due in part to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Chinese carriers are aggressively pushing their online direct sales, while the emerging distribution channels of telecommunication operators and major Chinese banks are also making their presence felt.

Senior executives from leading GDS operators will speak at the China Travel Distribution Summit in partnership with PhoCusWright, December 2-3 in Shenzhen, China. Speakers include Robert Bailey, CEO, Abacus International; Simon Akeroyd, vice president, business development, Amadeus Asia; Qiang Xue, vice president, travel and transportation solutions, TravelSky.

The China Travel Distribution Summit program will address the changing distribution landscape, and how international GDS providers will improve distribution efficiency and drive online sales performance in China.


Register before November 20 to save US$100 off the regular ticket price of $650. Use the special PhoCusWright discount code of “CTS008” for an additional $50 discount.