Hays Travel, the UK’s largest independent travel retailer, has agreed a switch in its GDS technology provider from Amadeus to Travelport.
The deal will see the north-east miniple use Travelport’s Galileo global distribution system for air and hotel content as well as Travelport’s other digital marketing partnerships and services.
Hays Travel has 43 high street travel agency branches and operates call centres and more than 300 homeworkers as well as running the Hays Independence Group travel agency consortium.
Founded in County Durham in 1980, it now turns over £450 million annually and employs over 800 people in total.
Key to the Travelport deal was said to be the GDS and technology provider’s Smartpoint app which translates GDS language allowing agents trained on one system to switch quickly.
The app also reduces the number of key strokes needed to book flights, Travelport claiming by up to 72% helping its agency partners to be more efficient.
John Hays, founder and chief executive of Hays Travel, said: “A critical component in selecting our GDS provider was finding a company that could not only provide us with innovative technology and extensive content, but also had a team whose vision and philosophy was aligned to ours.
“With Travelport, we have a partner that is bringing a new dynamic to travel distribution, and one that will keep us ahead of the game now and in the future.”
Simon Ferguson, regional director UK and Ireland at Travelport, added: “We are thrilled that Hays Travel has chosen Travelport as their travel technology provider.
“Hays is one of the most high profile and respected names in UK travel and we are looking forward to working closely with them over the coming months and years to help them grow their business.”
The UK has become a competitive marketplace for the three main GDSs with US giant Sabre announcing its intention to make inroads in the lesiure sector in particular and, along with European market leader Amadeus, challenging Travelport’s market leading position.