Nine out of ten business-travel buyers and suppliers believe their roles will change dramatically in the next five years.
A survey of Institute of Travel Management Conference delegates found 31% believe the market will be unrecognisable in five years and another 59% expect major changes.
Distribution was the area in which delegates identified the greatest need for change. More than half said global distribution systems had to adapt quickly, compared with 11% who said environmental issues were most pressing and 22% who thought return on investment was the biggest issue for the industry.
Virgin Atlantic UK sales general manager Paul Wait challenged GDSs to identify the value they offer and justify their charges.
He said: “People talk about change, but are not doing it. Instead, we see attempts to control the marketplace. Established ways of doing business are fiercely defended.”