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The airline CRS systems were the pioneers of computer applications in the 1950s and are now virtually indispensable to airlines because they enable their revenue streams to be maximized by efficient inventory control (an inventory in this context refers to an airline’s stock of passenger seats that is available for sale). However, these days, hotel and car hiring companies by renting the service from the airline companies are also employed these systems. The technology works by using computers of special kind and leased telephone lines. The travel agent is connected on line to the central host computer system or CRS. The host computer is almost always a mainframe with massive database attached. The mainframe host polls each travel agent terminal every second or so, to see if it has any messages to send. In this system it is possible that airliners, Hotels and car rental companies can talk to the travel agent and vise versa. This system contributes to a great extent in increasing sales volume and giving precise information on the availability and selling the products efficiently ensuring substantial profit gain.

2.10 GDS (Global Distribution Systems)

GDSs are systems, which distribute reservation, and information services to sales outlets around the world. Unlike the CRSs used solely by an airline or hotel chain, GDS distribute more than one CRS to users who are usually travel agents. Some leading GDS are Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre and World Span.

These world leading GDSs are switches or simply computers that are connected on the one side to many different supplier systems and on the other side to many end users. The end users of switch comprise travel agents with a single reservation system to support the sale of airline seats and related travel products such as hotel and car hire, via a single computer terminal, usually a Personal Computer. GDSs require massive investment because they are extremely large computer systems that link several airlines and travel principals into a complex network of PCs, telecommunications and large mainframe computers.

2.11 GIS Applications In Tourism Planning

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is now recognized widely as a valuable tool for managing, analyzing, and displaying large volumes of diverse data pertinent to many local and regional planning activities. Due to the complex nature of tourism planning issues, the potential of GIS in resolving these issues is increasingly acknowledged. Generally, GIS applications in tourism have been confined to recreational facility inventory, tourism-based land management, visitor impact assessment, and recreation-wildlife conflict; and have been limited by lack of funding, and uncoordinated and inadequate data collection procedures

2.11.1 Implementation of GIS

Three different landscape features characterize tourism destinations:


  • 1.


  • 2.

    Lines, and

  • 3.


Point features are individual tourist attractions, for example, a campground in a park, or a historic site along the highway. Coastal beaches and resorts often follow a linear pattern, while big theme parks or natural parks are characteristics of a polygon feature. These location attributes are essential to a geographic information system. It is apparent that GIS has tremendous potential for application in tourism. However, due to the general lack of tourism databases and inconsistencies in data, its applications are limited. For example, there is very little site-specific information about sources of visitors origin and estination, travel motivation, spatial patterns of recreation and tourism use, visitor expenditure patterns, levels of use and impacts, and suitability of sites for recreation/tourism development - all of which are suitable application areas of GIS.

Functional Capabilities GIS Basic Questions Tourism Applications of a GIS Data entry, storage and Location manipulation What is Tourism Resource Inventories at?

Map production


Where is it?

Identify most suitable locations for development

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