As competition in the travel industry intensifies, the ability to deliver quick itinerary options for customers, value and savings in travel bookings, and insightful reporting is becoming increasingly important. So how do agencies do that within such a fragmented industry?

They need to rely on technology to be one step ahead.

Nowhere is that fragmentation more apparent than in the hotel segment, so how can agencies help?

Simply by knowing their customer. By being able to make recommendations based on unique customer preferences , agents can deliver the thoughtful service that consumers require and expect. Furthermore, adding value in terms of cost, reporting and alignment with corporate travel goals.

Data shows an upward trend in how TMCs and travel agencies are using the GDS. Although historically used solely for booking flights alone, the GDS is now a comprehensive marketplace and a key distribution channel for hotel bookings.

In September 2015, TravelClick surveyed more than 900 travel agents across 48 countries. This report showed a record use of a GDS to make hotel reservations. Over half of global travel agents who were surveyed (51%) stated that they are using the GDS more often as compared to the past two years.

“Travel agents around the world are increasingly utilizing the GDS for hotel research and reservations,” said John Hach, senior industry analyst, TravelClick.

So is the industry coming full circle? Are travelers coming back to agencies to book all travel rather than trying to find the best deals themselves? The trend in the industry would appear to say yes.

Read the full white paper from Sabre; It’s Time Hotel Booking Got Smarter.