Direct connect has been been around in business travel for quite a few years, but exactly what is this revolutionary form of content distribution?
The good news is, if you’re wondering exactly what it is, and why it’s important to you as a travel buyer, then you’re not alone.
Direct connect is a technological innovation and so a lot of the talk surrounding it is weighed down with tech-terms and industry jargon – neither of which are particularly helpful when you’re trying to understand how it will affect your travel programme!
To help, we’ve pulled together this short cheat sheet, explaining everything you need to know about direct connect:
What is direct connect?
Direct connect refers to a revolutionary service made possible by an airline or hotel. It means that the travel supplier provides access to their sales systems, which enables third party travel retailers, like travel management companies (TMCs), to search for availability, as well as make and manage bookings.
In instances where such suppliers have applied a booking fee to all bookings made through traditional channels, like the GDS, direct connect technology can enable customers to avoid that fee.
What are the benefits of direct connect?
1. Simple savings
The savings made available to your organisation by being able to access content directly from suppliers are incredibly simple to work out; you just take the number of flights you book, on average, with a particular airline, Lufthansa or British Airways for example, and then multiply this by the booking fee that the airline has applied to all bookings made by the GDS – there’s your saving.
Direct connect solutions will also give your bookers access to any promotions that travel suppliers choose to run, but will allow you to book in a more convenient way that aligns with your overall travel programme.
2. More choice and exclusive content
Having direct access to suppliers’ content ultimately gives your bookers more choice when it comes to choosing a flight or hotel – an increased number of options mean that they’re more likely to find a booking option that suits them, whether that’s in terms of price or style.
An example of this that’s close to home for us is the implementation of a direct connect between our online booking tool and Premier Inn, meaning that Click are the first place outside of Premier Inn’s direct channels that business travellers will be able to book the hotel brand’s new hub rooms.
3. Technological innovation
An indirect, but important, benefit of using a TMC who implements direct connect solutions to major suppliers is that they are clearly willing to invest in their technology – something that will ensure that, as their customer, you can expect to have the most innovative, intuitive technology available to you.
It’s also safe to assume that this approach will be applied to other areas of service; perhaps they’re soon to be launching AI in order to help you book your travel? Or a new app that will make your travellers’ lives much easier?
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