With continuing attention to content fees and other aspects of airfare distribution, hotel distribution often is overlooked, said Tom Klein, executive vice president for Sabre Holdings and group president of the Sabre Travel Network and Sabre Airline Solutions businesses, but given the seemingly endless variety of available hotel choices and laborious rate-loading process necessary to get a hotel program right, it warrants further scrutiny.

"The airline discussions get all the headlines, because they're at times suspected of acrimony, and the hotel business continues to crank along," Klein said. "Yet, it's a big business, and the hotel experience matters a lot to the traveler. There are inconsistencies across brands, and there are independents that are really terrific hotels but you don't know much about them, so making a hotel choice is in some cases harder."

Part of the GDSs' focus has been increasing the sheer number of properties available through the system. Louise Meyer, senior director of hospitality and car rental for Galileo Americas, said Galileo has about 71,000 properties that represent more than 400 brands, and that count has been growing. Amadeus has honed in on certain tiers and types in its growth plan. In early June, it announced that it had added 5,000 properties to its system since October, mostly those not previously available through distribution systems.

Get the full story at BTNonline