The industry is moving towards two-tier distribution that could see all leisure travel sold online within a decade and corporate travel booked by travel management companies on global distribution systems.

That is the view of Sabre Travel Network brand marketing and strategy vice-president for Europe Geoffrey Breeze, who told the Institute of Travel Management Conference in Dublin said: “I see a partition into personal purchases and corporate purchasing.

“All personal travel could be bought online while most TMCs work through GDSs.”

British Airways head of sales Drew Crawley agreed, saying: “There will remain a requirement for GDSs because they are high quality, reliable and do everything you want – although they also do a lot you don’t want.”