FAQs

What is ETTSA?

The European Technology and Travel Services Association (ETTSA) was launched in 2009 to represent and promote the interests of travel distributors and Global Distribution Systems (GDS) towards industry, policy-makers, opinion formers, consumers' groups and all other relevant European stakeholders. The association, based in Brussels, encourages and supports fair competition and consumer choice in the travel distribution chain.

Who are ETTSA's members?

ETTSA represents and promotes the interests of travel technology companies in Europe, including global distribution systems (GDSs), online travel platforms and metasearch sites. 

ETTSA's members include Amadeus, Booking.com, Expedia, eDreams Odigeo, Travelport. Associate members include SkyScanner, TripAdvisor and American Express GBT.  Strategic Partners include Lastminute.com, etraveli, Travix, Travegenio, Hitrail, OAG and CWT.

 

Wo are our members?  

Global Distribution Systems
Global distribution systems (GDSs) are the travel industry data networks that connect service providers (airlines, hotels, cruises, car rental companies, tour companies) with travel agents. Through real-time, automated transactions, these companies help us book more than 60 million hotel rooms, 50% of all flights worldwide, and countless cruises, car rentals, and tours. These companies also provide IT services to airlines, airports, hotels, and other hospitality organizations. 

Online Travel Agencies 
Online travel agencies (OTAs) are the consumer-facing platforms that provide empowering and innovative ways to shop, compare, and purchase flights, hotels, rental cars, and other travel services. An invaluable tool for promoting competition in the travel and tourism marketplace and providing market access to newcomers, these companies play a vital role in providing affordable, convenient, and desirable travel options to consumers. 

Short-Term Rental Platforms
Short-term rental innovators are transforming the way millions around the globe travel with innovative platforms that plug travelers into local economies. Short-term rentals have been available across the nation for decades, but have become more popular as technology helps make them more accessible and affordable. 

Metasearch Platforms
Metasearch engines empower consumers by displaying travel options and directing them to supplier and OTA websites and apps to book their travel. Recent studies suggest that about 50% of all consumers start their search on metasearch platforms.

Travel Management Companies
Travel Management Companies (TMCs) are travel agents that fully manage the business travel requirements for individuals, companies, and organizations.

What are the objectives of ETTSA?

ETTSA promotes fair competition and consumer choice in the travel distribution chain. ETTSA's primary objective is to develop awareness of the benefits of travel companies and global distribution systems. ETTSA also seeks to highlight the emergence of practices that threaten access, transparency, choice and competition in the travel distribution chain.

What are Global Distribution Systems (GDS)?

Global distribution systems (GDSs) are the travel industry data networks that connect service providers (airlines, hotels, cruises, car rental companies, tour companies) with travel agents. Through real-time, automated transactions, these companies help us book more than 60 million hotel rooms, 50% of all flights worldwide, and countless cruises, car rentals, and tours. 

GDSs provide customers with instantaneous information about the availability of travel services and the fares associated with these services. They permit travel agents (whether online or brick and mortar) to make immediate confirmed reservations on behalf of the consumer. The terms Computerised Reservation System (CRS) and Global Distribution System are used interchangeably but refer to the same technology.

GDSs also provide IT services to airlines, airports, hotels, and other hospitality organizations. 

What are the benefits of travel distributors and Global Distribution Systems (GDS) to the economy?

Travel distributors and GDS provide consumers with a spectrum of easy to access travel options. By championing full transparency they enable consumers to make informed choices and ensure a competitive and healthy travel market.

What are ETTSA's current priorities?

Currently the focus of ETTSA's activities includes the following priorities:

  • Preferred fares and surcharges
  • Fragmentation of the offering and its effect on price transparency
  • EU investigation into airline alliances and consolidation
  • Revision of the EU's Package Travel Directive
  • Revision of the EU's Consumer Rights Directive
  • VAT treatment of hotel reservation services

What is ETTSA doing to promote the interests of its members?

ETTSA ensures that the role of travel distributors and technology providers is properly understood by consumers, policymakers and other members of the travel value chain. ETTSA organises regular meetings and exchanges with key stakeholders, including, government officials, consumer groups, travel operators and the media and actively advocates industry positions in legislative and regulatory settings.

Who are your customers?

The customers of ETTSA members include, travel companies, airlines, hotels, car rental companies and the end consumer.

How big is the European online travel market?

In 2007, the estimated size of the European online travel market was 50 billion which represented almost 20% of the total European travel market. Of this amount, 35% (i.e. 17.5 billion) was generated by intermediaries (mainly online travel agencies) and 65% were direct sales by the travel providers. By product, most of the online sales correspond to air travel (57%), followed by hotel and accommodation (17%), tour packages (14.5%) rail (7.5%) and the remaining 4% corresponding to other products (mainly rent a car). By Country, the UK accounted for 30% of the European online travel market in 2007, with Germany in second place at 19%.