What is the meaning / definition of Global Distribution System or GDS in the hospitality industry?

GDS stands for: Global Distribution System. It is a large computer network and at the same time a reservation tool that passes hotel inventory and rates to travel agents and allows them to make bookings.

GDS is used by various travel segments and serves many different companies including airlines, ground handlers, hotels, railways, car rental companies, airports, cruise lines and ferry operators.

The property’s information (rates, inventory, etc.) are loaded into both the GDS and ODD (Online Distribution Database) which connects hundreds of internet travel portals and OTA’s.

The benefits of GDS for the hotels are:
– Worldwide exposure of the hotel.
B2B and B2C distribution.
GDS distribution is the entry door to corporate bookers.
– Targeting all Travel Agencies independently of the GDS (distribution platform they may use).
– 24/7 travel agent access to your inventory.
– 24/7 travel agent access to your full descriptive and multimedia content.

The main GDS Systems are Amadeus, Galileo/Apollo (owned by Travelport), Sabre, and Worldspan (owned by Travelport).

See also:


  • GDS
  • Global Distribution System