BCD Travel, the world?s third largest global travel management company, recently released a white paper on global travel distribution. The white paper explores the tensions and complexities that exist in the current distribution environment, addressing issues such as GDS fees, credit card merchant fees, alternative content aggregators, and the rise of unbundled pricing. The trends identified in the white paper are characteristic of Asia Pacific, confirms BCD Travel.

Dee Runyan, executive vice president of technology, products and supplier relations for BCD Travel, said: ?The executives responsible for managed travel programs feel caught between travel suppliers? drive to remove costs from their distribution system and their own need for easy access to full content inventory. Corporations need to understand clearly the views of key industry players as to the short-, medium-, and long-term viability of current distribution channels.?

Roger Pfund, general manager and vice president, Asia Pacific Operations for BCD Travel, added, ?BCD Travel?s white paper analyzed the results of questions posed to a range of subject matter experts from the major airline, low-cost airline, GDS, hotel, and travel management company sectors. We probed issues relating to traditional vs. alternative distribution technologies, as well as which party in the distribution channel should pay fees, including merchant charges for credit card transactions.?

Among other conclusions, the white paper asserts that GDSs remain the strongest, most efficient option for both customers seeking access to, and suppliers seeking an outlet for, global inventory ? but that this position of strength is tenuous, and that future viability will depend on the GDSs? ability to incorporate new technologies that accommodate both supplier and end consumer expectations.

Pfund said: ?We expect Asia Pacific airlines to continue focusing on lowering distribution costs on all possible fronts over the next several years. Hoteliers and other suppliers as well will be following suit where they are able to do so. Our critical role as a leading travel management company is to take an active role in aggregating content and insulating customers as best we can from disruptive industry developments.?

In another research paper, BCD Travel recently issued its Annual Client Benchmark Survey. Among the findings, upward pressure on air fares and hotel rates is pushing corporations to seek creative and aggressive ways to control costs. Travel and procurement managers are increasingly enforcing travel policy.

Said BCD Travel?s Pfund, We see that our regional clients are focusing on policy compliance more than ever. Compliance levels are reaching 80% and more. Mandating travel policy where companies? corporate culture permits has generated significant results. For the first time in several years, policy enforcement has ranked as the number one initiative of travel managers. Our role as a travel management company is to assist our clients in policy compliance and reporting.?

Download BCD's white paper "Global Travel Distribution Trends - Tensions and complexities in the current global distribution environment"