Although the vast majority (95%) of travel transactions continue to be processed through a Global Distribution System (GDS), travel management companies and corporations increasingly want their agents and travelers to be able to access all rates and inventory from Internet sites as well as a GDS through a single interface.
AQUA Software Products, Inc. (ASPI) announced results of an independent survey on Web fare utilization and the use of non-GDS suppliers that documented this and other conclusions. The study was conducted by Academic & Business Consulting. The survey included corporations and travel agencies with collective air volume of almost $5 Billion and over 11.3 million yearly transactions. Corporate participants were not customers of the agencies surveyed.
“I am not surprised by the survey’s findings,” stated Mark Ferguson, President of AQUA Software Products. “ASPI is increasingly being asked by corporations and agencies to integrate the GDS with preferred supplier Internet content. Our AQUAQuest product line provides the industry’s most advanced low-fare search and booking capability by merging GDS and Internet inventory into a single efficient location - the agent desktop.” Ferguson further commented, “Based on the survey’s conclusions and ongoing customer feedback, we plan to add additional direct connections to AQUAQuest as well as enhance our data capture, management reporting and traveler access capabilities.”
Key highlights of the survey include:
? Most corporations (83%) continue to use a traditional travel agency.
? Travel agencies and corporations issue 95% of their airline tickets through a GDS.
? Agencies and corporations rated the ability for travelers and agents to access all fares and schedules through a single interface as very important in the future.
(3.8 out of a possible 4.0)
? 65% of agencies and corporations stated that their agents and travelers are not able to access all fares and schedules through their current interface.
? Most tickets that are not issued through the GDS are issued through airline web sites (75% response) and consolidators (50% response).
? Most corporations (88%) permit their travelers and travel arrangers to search for lower airfares on the Internet. But fewer corporations (47%), permit their travelers to book and pay for reservations via the Internet due to lack of management report data and security concerns.
? Most agencies and corporations (82%) have not tracked the savings realized from Internet sites
Sarah Campbell, Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer of ASPI stated, “We commission independent surveys on an ongoing basis to verify important industry trends as well as to document our product and customer satisfaction. This current survey validates our product direction of combining the power of the Internet with the GDS platform for optimal servicing efficiency and economic benefit for all parties.”