2011 was a challenging year for the industry, with both air traffic volumes and travel agency bookings showing a slowdown with respect to 2010. However, despite the high levels of uncertainty and against the backdrop of a challenging global macroeconomic and financial situation, Amadeus delivered strong results in its distribution business. This strong performance evidences the resiliency of our transactional business model, which, together with our market share gains resulted in likefor-like revenue growth of 5.2% 1. The contribution to the group also increased, by 2.6%, representing a margin of 45.7% over revenue. In addition, we continued to invest significantly in R&D projects, as part of our commitment to further evolve the business despite difficult macroeconomic conditions.
During 2011, the volume of air bookings processed through travel agencies connected to Amadeus increased by 5.2%, reaching 402.4 million. This growth in bookings, the main driver of our Distribution business, was the result of both a 2.2% increase in the GDS industry and a 1.0 p.p. market share gain by Amadeus, taking our global market share for 2011 to 37.7%.
The GDS industry growth rate in 2011 showed a slowdown vs. 2010, as the strong performance in regions such as Latin America or Central, Eastern and Southern Europe was partially offset by a weak performance in North America, a slowdown in Middle East – due to political instability in certain countries – and the increase in disintermediation trends in some Asian countries as a result of the success of some low cost carriers. In addition, the base of comparison was higher due to the strong recovery experienced in 2010.
The slowdown in the GDS industry had a lower impact on Amadeus' volumes given our lower exposure to the US, as well as our outperformance in some of our key markets in Asia-Pacific and in Latin America. As a result, these two regions continue to gain importance in our booking mix, reflecting our commitment to grow in emerging markets. Bookings from Western Europe now represent 47.3% of our total, down from 47.9% in 2010 and 49.0% in 2009.
Within non air distribution, our bookings for 2011 increased 3.7% to 61.4 million vs. 2010, driven by the increase in hotel bookings and car rentals. On the other hand, rail bookings decreased slightly when compared to 2010.