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  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

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OpenTravel Alliance and Industry Experts Present Powerful Use Cases for New Release 2.0 Object Model

OpenTravel Alliance ·12 July 2018
The OpenTravel Alliance, the not-for-profit responsible for developing and maintaining interoperability for disparate systems in all verticals of the travel industry, hosted a Tech Talk workshop on the release of the 2.0 Object Model for attendees June 21 at the HITEC Houston 2018 trade show and conference in Houston.Tech Talk speakers included technical and business leaders from across the spectrum of travel verticals. Attendees represented developers, technology consultants and business executives seeking more advanced software tools to power their company and client APIs and distribution partnerships.OpenTravel's Tech Talk was co-located at HITEC Houston 2018 - a gathering of hospitality technology and financial experts, technology vendors and thought leaders - that is produced by HFTP (Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals). HFTP invites a variety of trade organizations and businesses to present new technology products and practices at Tech Talks for HITEC attendees.Presenting at the OpenTravel session about the 2.0 Object Model were:Sandy Angel, Director of Specifications, who provided an overview of 2.0 as a model used to design reusable information objects in libraries housed in a repository to share and reuse libraries of objects; also, the OpenTravel Model-Development Environment (OTM-DE) as a tool to speed development and produce JSON and XML schemas from the 2.0 object model.David Velasquez, SVP Technology and Distribution, LinksRez, and a member of OpenTravel, who shared his experience implementing the 2.0 Object Model and building business partnerships with increased speed to market.Matt Blackmon, Client Solutions Architect, Switchfly, and board member of OpenTravel, who shared compelling examples of how 2.0 facilitates innovation by rapid deployment of APIs with affiliates.Andrew Rubinacci, former SVP, InterContinental Hotels Group, who discussed the importance of standards in product development and marketing new hotel products.Buddy Altus, VP Innovation, Avis Budget Group and Vice Chairman of OpenTravel, who shared how standards like 2.0 enable and grow competitive advantage among business partners.Gene Quinn, Co-founder and former CEO, Tnooz and former Chairman, Phocuswright, moderated the session.For more information about OpenTravel's 2.0 Object Model, email info@opentravel.org or visit www.opentravel.org/join

OpenTravel Alliance VHack - Online hackathon to enhance the experience for the connected travel consumer

OpenTravel Alliance ·26 March 2018
OpenTravel is hosting a series of virtual hackathons, with the first hackathon taking place in March. Unique cross vertical challenges focusing on interoperability will be presented to the developers. Along with other prizes, the winner of the hackathon will have the opportunity to have their application presented at the OpenTravel Advisory Forum in Amsterdam. If you are interested in providing your APIs which use OpenTravel messaging, or in sponsoring the event, please email Sandy Angel at sandy.angel@opentravel.org for more information.What: OpenTravel VHack - Online hackathon to enhance the experience for the connected travel consumerWhen: Now through April 8Where: OpenTravel VHackChallenge: Create a web-based application that enhances the connected consumer's travel experience in a unique way, utilizing at least one of the provided APIs that implement OpenTravel messagingAPI Providers: APIs provided by MASAI Mobility Community, LinksRez and IATA NDC and cover travel verticals including hotel, car rental, ground transportation, air and more.Prizes: $1750.00 in cash prizes as well as opportunities for exposure including the winning applications presented at the OpenTravel Advisory Forum in Amsterdam on April 11-13, winners featured in a newsletter, press release and listed on OpenTravel's website.Click here to learn more

OpenTravel Advisory Forum Amsterdam to Be Co-located with HFTP's HITEC Amsterdam in April 2018

OpenTravel Alliance · 6 March 2018
AUSTIN, TEXAS, USA -- OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel), a nonprofit responsible for developing and maintaining interoperability for disparate systems in all verticals of the travel industry, is pleased to extend its partnership with Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and co-locate European conferences in April 2018. OpenTravel will co-locate its Advisory Forum, taking place from 11-13 April 2018, with HFTP's HITEC Amsterdam, taking place from 11-13 April 2018. Both events will take place at the RAI Convention Centre in Amsterdam.Online registration and housing is open for the OpenTravel Advisory Forum. Agenda highlights for the Advisory Forum include: education from recognized technology leaders, case studies from companies utilizing OpenTravel standards, collaborative panels on enabling the consumer experience, evolving distribution standards, collaboration stories on standards, networking and more. Also, the results from the OpenTravel Virtual Hackathon held in March will be revealed at the OpenTravel Challenge.Education topics range from GDPR and evolving distribution standards to hospitality and tourism in Europe. As an organization that represents the business and leisure consumer's end-to-end travel, the OpenTravel Advisory Forum will feature the latest travel trends for a unified consumer experience."OpenTravel is the source for the most adopted, cross-industry technology standards that enable business solutions driven by the travel community," said Mike Tinkey, CEO at OpenTravel. "We are excited to co-locate in Europe our Advisory Forum with HFTP's regional HITEC Amsterdam, and provide attendees with more resources and education in one setting", shared Susanne Auinger, Chairperson of OpenTravel and the OpenTravel Advisory Forum Amsterdam.Together, OpenTravel and HFTP encompass an extended group of stakeholders and industry professionals; combining resources will enable better communication, and allow stakeholders to conduct business more efficiently.For more information about OpenTravel Alliance, please contact media@opentravel.org or visit http://opentravel.org. To register for the OpenTravel Advisory Forum, click here.

OpenTravel Alliance Publishes Ground Transportation 2.0 Standard

OpenTravel Alliance ·22 June 2017
OpenTravel Alliance publishes Ground Transportation 2.0 Standard to enable connectivity as it continues to provide standards and tools to enable seamless end-to-end consumer experiences.Susanne Auinger of Deutsche Bahn shared, "Ground Transportation 2.0 was designed by OpenTravel Alliance members and industry partners from all over the world with the goal of improving travelers' encounters with ground transportation."The 2.0 model is an open source messaging standard that bridges the distribution gap and creates more opportunities for bookings. It automatically generates both XML and JSON messaging, which provides the ability to implement both robust applications and lightweight messaging for mobile capability. The 2.0 standard was built to propel the 1.0 technology to the next level and continue to meet user needs.The Ground Transportation 2.0 Standard was commissioned for development by a group of companies who will also be some of the first adopters. This dynamic group made up the Project Team who represents various parts of the transit, ground passenger transportation, travel, tourism and leisure industries and includes companies such as Amadeus, City Rama, Deutsche Bahn, LinksRez, M2C Masai, SuperShuttle, Travelport and TTI."Ground Transportation is the second new 2.0 standard from OpenTravel Alliance in 2017, and we have more planned for the year," explained Sandy Angel, Specifications Manager for OpenTravel Alliance. "We are continuing to develop standards that work across multiple sectors so companies have the best tools possible to meet their business objectives and serve their customers. We invite hospitality and travel industry partners to join OpenTravel Alliance and its members to create and implement standards to increase distribution and meet the needs of today's tech-savvy consumers."In addition to publishing Golf and Ground Transportation 2.0 Standards in 2017, OpenTravel Alliance met earlier this month to work on the development and launch of its Hotel 2.0 Standard. The meeting was attended by member companies including Ajontech, Best Western, Disney, IHG, Hyatt, Marriott and Travelport, and took place in Washington D.C. from May 31 to June 2."We had a great turnout and there was strong engagement from our peers in the industry," stated Lorie Grant from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG). "The team completed the data libraries specific to hotel stays, which is the key piece for the hospitality vertical to use the 2.0 specifications. I am excited to announce the 2.0 specifications will publish later this year, and for how we can use them to drive efficiencies with our OpenTravel Alliance and GDS partners."For more information on OpenTravel Alliance's 2.0 Standards, please contact Sandy Angel (Sandy.Angel@Opentravel.org) of OpenTravel Alliance.

OpenTravel Alliance Co-locates with HFTP for 2017 Annual Hospitality Conference

OpenTravel Alliance · 6 June 2017
"On behalf of HFTP, we are pleased that OpenTravel Alliance has decided to co-locate their Annual Advisory Forum with the HFTP 2017 Annual Convention at the Omni Resort at Champions Gate," said Frank Wolfe, CEO of HFTP. "HFTP recognizes that OTA has been entrusted with major industry standards projects. By our two organizations creating a stronger bond, both of us will reap major benefits for our members."OTA's Annual Advisory Forum will feature a full roster of events, starting with a keynote speaker presentation and including networking sessions, an awards ceremony, various committee meetings and a golf outing. The goal of this co-location partnership is to help promote knowledge sharing among two long-standing organizations in the hospitality industry."We are delighted to co-locate OpenTravel's Advisory Forum with the HFTP Annual Meeting," expressed Mike Tinkey, CEO of OpenTravel Alliance. "We look forward to working collaboratively to provide tools, solutions, content and networking opportunities more efficiently. Our theme this year is enabling the future of the connected consumer and we're committed to seamless technology for a seamless consumer experience."Registration for OpenTravel Advisory Forum opens in June. For more information about the 2017 OpenTravel Advisory Forum, please see the OpenTravel website. For more information on the HFTP 2017 Annual Convention please visit the website by clicking here.

Century Golf, Myrtle Beach course and France's Le Golf National use OpenTravel 2.0 Golf Standard to Connect to Hospitality Industry and Increase Access to Golfers

OpenTravel Alliance ·18 May 2017
The OpenTravel Golf 2.0 Standard Connection was designed to connect more golfers to more distribution partners in hospitality, air, rental cars, tour operators, OTA's, rail, by enabling faster, more efficient technical connections.With technology on the rise in all areas of travel and tourism, this is an opportunity to tap into the existing veteran golfers and future youth golfers who innately look to use technology in every aspect of their lives."[OpenTravel 2.0 Standard Connection] More efficient and opens the connections to the possibilities of more customers, which will ultimately drive a more profitable business. We are delighted to have this new bridge to customers. As long time supporters to open standards of connectivity we look forward to the full implementation of OpenTravel's standards in our day-to-day operations." Doug Howe, Partner Century Golf Partners -Jim Hinckley, CEO and Partner Century Golf Partners"The new OpenTravel Alliance Golf 2.0 Standard will allow for partners booking golf and packages in Myrtle Beach to connect golfers to our reservation services faster, easier, and more efficiently using open A.P.I. tools. We have played a small part in the development of the standards and we fully endorse their adoption, which opens up our courses and facilities to booking partners that are able to communicate with our golf courses more effectively." - Tracy Connor, General Manager, Myrtle Beach Golf Course Owner Association Grand Strand Tee Time Network"Leading France's national golf facility and placing it at the forefront of incoming travel to Paris, France for golfers, but also as a former executive with a European multi course company we fully support the OpenTravel Golf 2.0 standards and are actively implementing them to connect consumers and travel providers and increase access to our golf course globally." - Paul Armitage, Directeur Le Golf National | General Manager Le Golf NationalThe Golf 2.0 Standard Connection is now available for download free of charge here. For more information on Golf 2.0 please contact Sandy Angel; (Sandy.Angel@Opentravel.org) of OpenTravel Alliance.

OpenTravel Alliance Reveals Next Generation Messaging at Annual Advisory Form

OpenTravel Alliance · 3 June 2016
The OpenTravel Alliance, the not-for profit responsible for developing and maintaining interoperability for disparate systems in all verticals of the travel industry, had a successful annual Advisory Forum at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort in Orlando, FL, May 16 - 19. Highlights included the 2.0 object model solution reveal, education from well known technology leaders, member awards, and the organization's first hackathon lite.OpenTravel's 2.0 object model solution, the next generation of open source messaging for consumer direct bookings released in March 2016, was further revealed at this year's forum through keynotes and OpenTravel's first hackathon lite, providing participants with the opportunity to experience the technology first hand. The winners of the event were Dianne Griffin, Marriott International, Inc., and a team including Paul Byrne, OpenJaw Technologies, a Travelsky Company, and Jim Jandrew, Walt Disney World. The winners used the OpenTravel 2.0 modeling tools to define new RESTful APIs, publish them to the Hackathon API catalog, and call those APIs using standard Internet protocols and security."The object-oriented model answers the demands of the travel industry by providing developers with a better experience, yielding a faster time to market," said Lisa Fues, OpenTravel Board Chair. "Our hackathon lite participants saw the speed at which they were able to develop APIs, reducing the time needed to bring ideas to reality. OpenTravel's desire is to enable the future of travel innovation with the 2.0 object model solution."The foundation of consumer direct bookings, OpenTravel's current 1.0 standard is responsible for connectivity between disparate systems in the travel industry. Tens of thousands of OpenTravel message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between partners every day. The 2.0 object model solution is OpenTravel's next generation open source messaging. The object-oriented model improves the developer process with better consistency, simplicity, and flexibility, ultimately resulting in increased productivity.2.0 facilitates a seamless flow of information from internal development, to partnerships, and through industry verticals, promoting connectivity and ultimately profitability. Several new work groups and initiatives are being launched from the forum based on the exposure attendees had to the 2.0 object model solution, including the 2.0 Hotel Availability and Reservation Project and the 2.0 Golf Project, which incorporates Golf Course Search, Tee Time Availability, Tee Time Reservation, and Golf Facility Information.In addition to the hackathon lite, attendees were privy to keynotes from technology leaders that offered insight to trends affecting the travel industry. Dr. Deborah McGuinness, PhD, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and McGuinness Associates, discussed ontologies, knowledge graphs, and next generation search. Cindy Estis Green, CEO and Co-Founder of Kalibri Labs, shared information from her publication, Distribution Channel Analysis: A Guide for Hotels, and discussed the travel industry impact of changes in the digital marketplace.Brad Brewer, Brewer Digital Marketing Founder & CEO, shared new directions in seo-schema.org, and why it's pertinent to incorporate the latest advancements. Dave Hollander, Travelport Services Architect and OpenTravel Architecture Chair, presented the 2.0 object model solution, including adoption details, and Jim Jandrew, ITL Service Owner/Application Development Specialist with Walt Disney World and OpenTravel Board Director, provided an overview of how the OpenTravel standard has improved partner connectivity and the general booking process for Walt Disney Parks & Resorts.Also included in the annual forum are awards that recognize significant contributions to OpenTravel and the travel industry in general. Randy Jones, Travelport, received the Tom Grubbs award, bestowed on an individual who has shown a dedication to the OpenTravel vision through innovation, and Brian Bell, LinksRez, received OpenTravel's first Enabling the Future Award due to his efforts to expand OpenTravel's technology reach. Sandy Angel, OpenTravel Specification Manager, was the recipient of the Outstanding Service & Dedication Award based on her years of service dedicated to improving connectivity in the travel industry.As an organization that represents travel as a whole, OpenTravel Advisory Forum attendees and sponsors spanned all verticals of the travel industry. 2016 forum sponsors included: The Hertz Corporation, Travelport, Sabre Corporation, Marriott International, Inc., Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP), and LinksRez.OpenTravel was pleased to see additional travel industry organizations attend the annual forum and support the 2.0 object model solution, most notably Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) and Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG)."It's wonderful to have everyone come together at our annual event," noted Lisa Fues. "We work hard throughout the year putting together the best technology tools for the travel industry, and the forum allows us to apply the technology as well as get a taste of how it will improve our business." OpenTravel efforts continue to focus on providing the necessary technology to connect disparate systems in the travel industry. For more information, visit www.opentravel.org.

OpenTravel Alliance Finalizes 2010B New Message & Business Functionality

OpenTravel Alliance · 8 December 2010
OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel), the travel industry's leading distribution specification and standards development organization, announces the finalization of the 2010B message and business functionality schema(s), following public review period."There are many changes going on in the travel industry, and we understand those changes have to be represented in the industry's standard messaging library for it to be relevant and useful," said Valyn Perini, executive director of OpenTravel. "From adding IATA's EMD data elements to airline messages to no-show fees in car rentals to a substantial increase in the number of messages for railways, OpenTravel is working hard to serve the needs of the industry."The following new message specifications were evaluated and finalized, as indicated previously:Hotel Inventory Change Message (facilitates streamlined hotel inventory availability transactions for trading partners that cache hotel rates and availability information from hotel suppliers. The messages are designed to alleviate two significant challenges faced by both hotel suppliers and their trading partners, which are out of synch caches and rising infrastructure/support costs associated with handling a high volume of availability transactions)Rail Schedule Facilitates exchanging rail schedule information between a rail operator and trading partners.Rail Confirm Booking Facilitates exchanging rail booking information between a rail operator and trading partners Rail Ignore Booking Facilitates exchanging rail booking cancellation between a rail operator and trading partnersRail Payment Facilitates payment for a rail reservationAs well as the following enhanced OpenTravel messages:Vehicle Rental No Show Fees facilitates a no show fee charged to a customerElectronic Miscellaneous Documents (EMD) for Air Messagesallows OpenTravel implementers to exchange fee-related informationvaCharitable Donation Information in Air, Car and Hotel Booking Request support for micro-donations in OpenTravel Air, Car and Hotel booking request messages.To access the full schema log-on to http://www.opentravel.org/Specificationsor click here.About OpenTravel Alliance | OpenTravel's mission is to engineer specifications to ensure traveler and supplier information flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism andhospitality. OpenTravel creates, expands and drives adoption of open specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. OpenTravel is comprised of companies representing airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, railways, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, solutions providers, technology companies and distributors. Tens of thousands of OpenTravel message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day. To learn more about OpenTravel visit .

OpenTravel Alliance Announces New Project Teams

OpenTravel Alliance ·29 July 2008
"Standards become even more important in an economic downturn," said Valyn Perini, executive director of OpenTravel. "Travel companies must ensure their inventory is available wherever their customers want to book, and must do so while keeping costs down. Robust and reusable standards are the most effective solution for both those business issues." The work undertaken by these project teams ranges from content distribution for hotels and cruise lines to dynamic packaging messages for every travel segment, to unbundled selling for airlines, a project led by Air Canada."Air Canada believes open XML standards are critical to the technical advancement of airline distribution," said Graham Wareham, General Manager Product Distribution for Air Canada. "Because OpenTravel's standards are so widely adopted, we can now forge new commercial partnerships with enhanced distribution of our products and services. The ability to generate ancillary revenues through channels beyond our own website is key to our distribution strategy. The project Air Canada is leading will address the ability to offer additional services and discount options to the air traveler at time of reservation and to properly display these options at various points of a booking process."Other projects underway include:Enhanced content distribution messages to better control the distribution and management of digital assets and other rich media, led by Starwood Hotels & ResortsAdding additional elements to existing rental car messages to accommodate insurance rentals and to provide this information back to the insurance companies, led by HertzCreating dynamic packaging XML messages that consist of a hotel, car, and/or air component in a single transaction between the supplier and a trading partner, led by US AirwaysEnhancing the current OpenTravel customer profile messages and extend the messages to handle advanced search. New schemas will be developed to handle merge operations, led by AmadeusCreating a new schema to communicate an event's actual history, including meeting room setup needs, audiovisual needs, catering needs, safety and security needs, led by APEX.In addition, the following projects are also active in the Architecture Work Group:Creating An OpenTravel Data DictionaryNamespace Usage In OpenTravel SchemasPCI-PII And Remediation StudyUpcoming OpenTravel ActivitiesThe first of OpenTravel's two Advisory Forums in 2009 will be held in Seattle, Washington April 22-29, 2009. For the first time, OpenTravel will hold an Advisory Forum in Europe in the fall of 2009. The location and date will be announced later this year.About the OpenTravel AllianceThe OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.OpenTravel's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. OpenTravel creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OpenTravel is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of OpenTravel message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day.
commercial

OpenTravel Announces Harteveldt as Keynote for 2008 Advisory Forum

OpenTravel Alliance ·17 March 2008
WASHINGTON, DC | The OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel), the travel industry's leading distribution standards development organization, announces Henry Harteveldt, Vice President & Principal Analyst at Forrester Research as the keynote speaker at its 2008 Advisory Forum.Mr. Harteveldt will unveil the findings from a joint research project between Forrester Research and OpenTravel to understand attitudes within the travel industry towards industry standards-setting organizations and use of industry standards in XML development, and relate those findings toward distribution trends in the travel industry."As the travel industry's online distribution capabilities continue to open up new markets and new segments, OpenTravel felt it was time to understand the role standards organizations play in the maturity of the distribution function," said John Turato, Vice President Technology at Avis Budget Group. "As an open standards body, we give away our XML schemas to any company in the travel industry - OpenTravel member or not - that believes in the concept of open standards and a consistent messaging language. We're looking forward to Forrester's results so we can understand why companies use our schemas, what's missing from the schemas and what OpenTravel can do to better serve the messaging needs of the industry." Following the keynote presentation, Mr. Harteveldt will moderate a panel discussion with members of the OpenTravel board of directors. The group will discuss the findings of Forrester's research and its impact on the future direction of standards development and OpenTravel's strategic direction. About the 2008 Advisory ForumThe OpenTravel 2008 Advisory Forum will be held at the Westin Buckhead Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia on April 14-16, 2008. Mr. Harteveldt's keynote speech will take place on Tuesday morning, April 15 2008.Additional topics to be addressed at the event include:The Global Travel EcosystemMulti-lingual Websites using OpenTravel SchemaThe Impact of PCI Compliance on OpenTravel SchemaUpdate on OpenTravel Work Groups, Project Teams and Future Schema DevelopmentAsk the Experts, A Series of Case StudiesAnd the ever-popular Ideas MarketAbout Forrester ResearchForrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent technology and market research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. For more than 24 years, Forrester has been making leaders successful every day through its proprietary research, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programsAbout the OpenTravel AllianceThe OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.OpenTravel's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. OpenTravel creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OpenTravel is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between travel trading partners every day. For more information, visit .
commercial

The OpenTravel Alliance Holds its First European Conference

OpenTravel Alliance ·14 January 2008
Introducing the seminar, John Lambe, CTO of OpenJaw Technologies and Vice-Chairman of the OpenTravel Board of Directors said, "OpenTravel continues to see a significant increase in membership from outside the United States where online travel markets are rapidly evolving. Our mission at OpenTravel is to create global standards for online travel distribution whilst recognising the complexities inherent in regional markets such as Europe. We look forward to hosting our inaugural European seminar that will introduce OpenTravel and how it is addressing many of today's industry challenges." The seminar will focus on topics specific to the proven value of the OpenTravel specifications, and on how OpenTravel can benefit the European travel industry, including:OpenTravel OverviewGet an update on OpenTravel, including its structure, processes, resources and current and future work. Presenters include John Turato, OpenTravel chairman and John Lambe, OpenTravel vice- chairman and European representative to the board. Also included in this seminar will be a facilitated discussion about potential projects for Europe.Getting Started with OpenTravel SchemasThis seminar will be of great value to those who are new to OpenTravel schema implementation. Included will be a presentation will be an overview of the structure of the schemas, along with presentations by member companies experienced in the implementation of the schemas.OpenTravel Success StoriesInterested in driving ancillary revenue, dynamic packaging or direct connects? The use of OpenTravel schemas makes these functions possible, and in this seminar, OpenTravel members will present case studies on how they implemented the OpenTravel schema to meet their pressing commercial needs.The Future of the Online Travel TransactionListen as some of the largest distributors of online travel inventory discuss the coming commercial and technical trends, including the impact of social media on the online travel transaction, the impact of open source software on the travel industry and the impact of ongoing mergers on the big industry players.This event is open to members and non-members. Registration is now open. For sponsorship and speaking information, contact Valyn Perini, Executive Director of OpenTravel.
commercial

The OpenTravel Alliance Publishes Specification Version 2007B

OpenTravel Alliance ·13 December 2007
"The new schema in this version will solve business problems for both the rental car and hotel industries," said John Turato, chairman of OpenTravel and Vice President, Technology, for Avis Budget Group. "Speaking for the rental car industry, the two new messages included in this version will allow rental car companies to provide more in-depth rate and rate rules information to our distribution partners, which will mean better service to rental car customers."The specification also includes an enhanced rate plan message for hotels that allows any distribution partner (e.g. GDSs, third party travel sites, Property Management Systems or CRS) to request detailed rate plan information (availability and pricing). In addition, partners will now be able to more efficiently exchange pricing using rate calculations instead of daily pricing. The leader for this project team was SynXis, a leading provider of distribution technology and services for the hotel industry."Our customers at SynXis expect timely implementation and delivery of systems integrations. Using the OpenTravel specification allows us to move quickly," said Scott Alvis, president and general manager for SynXis. "Participation in OpenTravel supports our 'best-of-breed' philosophy that enables hotels to select the systems that best meet their needs while letting the vendors work together to ensure interoperability and seamless functionality."The specifications can be downloaded at .Upcoming OpenTravel Alliance ActivitiesOpenTravel board member John Lambe from OpenJaw Technologies will participate in a panel discussion at EyeForTravel's Travel Distribution Technology conference in London on January 16, 2008. For more information, visit .OpenTravel will hold a European Seminar at the Travel Technology Conference in London on Tuesday, February 5, 2008. For more information, visit or .OpenTravel's annual Advisory Forum will be held April 14-16, 2008 at the Westin Buckhead in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, visit .About the OpenTravel AllianceThe OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.OpenTravel's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. OpenTravel creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OpenTravel is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between travel trading partners every day.For more information, visit .
commercial

OpenTravel Alliance Announces Seven New Projects

OpenTravel Alliance · 8 July 2007
"As OpenTravel schemas prove their worth in the basic distribution functions of inquiry, modify and book, our members are asking for more," said John Turato, chair of the OpenTravel board of directors and vice president of technology for the Avis Budget Group. "In response, we've formed project teams to address these needs and foster interoperability in the long tail of electronic distribution in the travel industry."The projects touch every vertical in the travel industry, some without being vertical-specific. Included in the 2007B projects are:A rate plan message for hotels that allow channels to pull or query plans addressed at particular segments of guests, led by SynXisA message to support fare families or attribute selling of airfares, to support flight experience customization to passengers, led by DatalexEnhanced content distribution messages to better control the distribution and management of digital assets and other rich media, led by Hilton and PegasusMessages to support tours, including adventure and other experiential travel increasingly sought by today's travelers. This project team is headed by Viator, an online activities, events and tour specialist and an active member of OpenTravel."The OpenTravel body has been working 'behind the scenes' for years now making the process of finding and booking air, car and hotel easier for online travelers," said Rod Cuthbert, CEO of Viator. "As long-time supporters of open standards, Viator is excited to see OpenTravel now addressing Tours and Destination Activities. By enabling easy 'direct-connects' within the distribution networks, we are sure this will only enhance the ease with which travellers will be able to find and book these products online."Additional projects include the creation of a standard GDS back- office feed message for travel agencies, and rate and rate rules notifications for rental car companies.Upcoming OpenTravel ActivitiesJohn Turato, chair of the OpenTravel board of directors and vice president of technology for Avis Budget Group, will speak at EyeForTravel's North American Travel Distribution Summit on a panel entitled "Decide the Most Effective Way to Lower your Distribution Costs" on 10 October 2007 in Las Vegas.About the OpenTravel AllianceThe OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.OpenTravel's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. OpenTravel creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OpenTravel is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of OpenTravel message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day.For more information, visit .
commercial

OpenTravel Alliance Announces New Programs

OpenTravel Alliance · 9 April 2007
The first is a certification program, a long-time goal of OpenTravel. In the world of electronic distribution, finding a trading partner who is experienced in implementing transaction messages is not always an easy process, so OpenTravel has created a program where travel companies suppliers, distributors, technology and solutions providers can publicly demonstrate their business and implementation experience, and knowledge of OpenTravel specifications. "Speaking as a travel industry supplier, I need distribution partners who know OpenTravel messages and know how to use them," said John Turato, vice president of technology for Avis Budget Group and chair of the OpenTravel board of directors. "Speaking as an OpenTravel board member, it's time we offered this valuable service to the travel industry. Our members have been asking for this and we have responded."An OpenTravel certified company will name the functional messages they've implemented (availability query, cancellation, etc.) and at least one of their trading partners, and have the right to use the certification designation in their own marketing and customer-facing materials. OpenTravel will provide a public registry of all certified members, available on its website, .Another new program is an implementation support program. Companies new to travel distribution or new to OpenTravel sometimes need additional help to realize their development goals using OpenTravel messages, so OpenTravel has met that need with this cost-effective program of direct implementation support via email or phone. Details of both programs will be unveiled during the 2007 Advisory Forum, to be held at the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure on April 16- 18, 2007. For more information on the event, including a complete agenda, click here.About the OpenTravel Alliance | The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. OpenTravel's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. OpenTravel creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OpenTravel is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of OpenTravel message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day. For more information, visit .
commercial

OpenTravel Alliance Finalizes Annual Meeting Agenda

OpenTravel Alliance ·31 March 2007
Following his presentation, Mr. Allen will moderate a panel of four OpenTravel board members as they outline the changes OpenTravel is making to further its own story in the travel industry. The 2007 Advisory Forum will take place on April 17-18, 2007 at the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec."The board of directors of OpenTravel has spent the last few months formulating new objectives that reflect 'Travel 2.0,'" said John Turato, vice president of technology at Avis Budget Group and chair of the OpenTravel board of directors. "Consumers have more power, technology has gotten cheaper, business models have changed, and the OpenTravel Alliance is changing too. We're looking forward to sharing our new story with the travel industry."To see a full agenda and with speakers, click here.Other featured speakers at the Advisory Forum include Geoffrey Lipman, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Office (UNWTO) who will discuss the efforts underway within the UNWTO to bring electronic distribution interoperability to the travel industries in developing countries. Jim Dullum, Vice president and Leader of the Global Transportation Industry at EDS, will address technological trends in the transport and hospitality industry that will affect communications between trading partners, including service oriented architecture and other infrastructure and communication approaches. Other topics to be addressed include mobile distribution, distribution interoperability outside the United States and packaging messages for travel agencies, tour operators and suppliers.Speakers include executives from OpenTravel member companies, including IBM, Lufthansa Systems, British Airways, Marriott, Cultuzz, OpenJaw Technologies, Worldspan, Accenture, Sabre, Hyatt, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Pegasus, Peak 15 Systems, CarTrawler and Hotel Booking Solutions.About the OpenTravel Alliance | The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.OpenTravel's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. OpenTravel creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OpenTravel is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of OpenTravel message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day. For more information, visit .
commercial

OpenTravel Alliance Continues to Grow

OpenTravel Alliance ·18 February 2007
"It's obvious the philosophy of open standards is still relevant to travel companies across the world," said John Turato, vice president of technology for the Avis Budget Group and chairman of the OpenTravel Alliance. "The structure and guidance provided by OTA gives industry-leading companies the opportunity to create messaging solutions for the electronic distribution challenges that travel companies in every vertical face every day. By joining the OTA and becoming active, member companies generate credibility for themselves with their investors, their trading partners and their customers." New members include travel companies Open Hospitality and New Zealand Automobile Association, along with consulting companies Accenture and TravelDT, technology providers IBS and Thermeon, and distributors Allotz.com and Hotel.de. And in response to growing demand, OTA has added a new membership type specifically for single consultants. Mark Haley from The Prism Partnership, a Boston-based consulting firm, was the first member in this new category."I am excited by the opportunity to join and contribute to the continued success of the OpenTravel Alliance," said Mark G. Haley, CHTP. "OTA's consultant member classification opens new avenues of participation for all consultants committed to the industry and I am pleased to benefit from it. The OTA has established the mechanisms for integrating the disparate systems used throughout the travel industry and I look forward to supporting the extension and adoption of those mechanisms to the benefit of my clients and the industry."Upcoming OpenTravel EventsOpenTravel will host its annual Advisory Forum in Montreal, Quebec on April 17-18, 2007. The event promises to be the most productive two days of the year for planning, developing, and implementing e-commerce for travel industry distribution professionals from every vertical air, car, cruise, hotel, rail, leisure and destinations.The agenda will cover e-commerce and distribution topics ranging from real-life examples of mobile device distribution to using OpenTravel messages in a service-oriented architecture (SOA) environment to the always-popular OpenTravel workgroup presentations and interactive round-tables.For more information about attending, visit . For information about available sponsorships, contact Valyn Perini at valyn.perini@opentravel.org.About the OpenTravel AllianceThe OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of OTA message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day.For more information, visit .

OpenTravel Alliance Specifications Lower Costs and Improve Processes

OpenTravel Alliance ·13 February 2007
In today's dynamic distribution environment, ensuring the prompt delivery of reservations is of paramount concern to the hotel operator. This business problem was one shared by hotels throughout the world, and by SoftBrands, a leading provider of central reservation and property management systems (PMS) for the hospitality industry. Hotels received hundreds of reservations via fax on a nightly basis from Expedia, and costs were high for both Expedia and the properties. Expedia had the labor and telecommunications costs associated with the faxing of each reservation to the property, while the property suffered from elevated labor and opportunity costs associated with re-entering the reservations into the PMS, along with mistakes made during the re- key process. Two years ago, in confronting this common business problem, SoftBrands decided upon a comprehensive and increasingly common solution - to implement the OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) XML specification. SoftBrands' decision was based upon a number of factors, the most compelling of which were the two business benefits of lower costs and business process improvement, not only for Softbrands but for its customers as well."Implementation of the SoftBrands/Expedia OTA-based interface at all ten of our properties has truly streamlined the reservation process by eliminating manual input it has improved accuracy, saved on labor costs as well as telecommunication costs," said Kevin Kim, Call Center Manager of The Kor Hotel Group. "Resources previously engaged in re-keying and double checking manual reservation are now free to pursue other revenue producing tasks."SoftBrands wanted to help its customers without having to build yet another proprietary interface to a third party vendor. The company felt it simply no longer made business sense to develop a costly closed interface that could only be used once. The solution lay partially in taking advantage of the near universal access to the Internet and related technologies, and in XML messaging utilizing web services. However, a point-to-point web services integration was deemed to be little better. Accordingly, the decision was made to utilize the open standards-based OTA specification.The OTA specification met all of SoftBrands' development criteria. In addition, the specification allowed SoftBrands and Expedia to interface their applications natively while taking advantage of open standards which allowed both companies to re-use parts of the development for other applications. The OTA specification clearly defined a standard message set for reservation delivery. Importantly, utilizing the OTA specification allowed the SoftBrands' development team to speed up development exponentially, resulting in significant savings for the company, its customers and its partners. Lastly, SoftBrands has been able to leverage the interface with several other customers and partners as adoption of the OTA specification becomes increasingly pervasive throughout the industry.* This development was done by Hotel Information Systems (HIS) prior to the acquisition by SoftBrands in August of 2006About the OpenTravel Alliance | The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of OTA message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day. For more information, visit .About Softbrands | SoftBrands, Inc. is a leader in providing software solutions for businesses in the manufacturing and hospitality industries worldwide. The company has established a global infrastructure for distribution, development and support of enterprise software, and has approximately 5,000 customers in more than 100 countries actively using its manufacturing and hospitality products. SoftBrands, which has nearly 900 employees, is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., with branch offices in Europe, India, Asia, Australia and Africa. Additional information can be found at . To learn more, call (800) 497-0532.
commercial

Hotel Booking Solutions Inc. Chooses OpenTravel Alliance XML

OpenTravel Alliance ·22 January 2007
Recognizing the roadblocks presented by an overabundance of proprietary interfaces, HBSi chose a more compelling route via OTA specifications. The use of OTA's open standards enables HBSi's customers to work with a greater number of partners as well as realize significant savings in the development and deployment of interfaces.HBSi represents a strategic bridge between leading hotel and gaming suppliers and their ever-increasing network of sales distribution channels. As a pioneer at the crossroads of revenue and channel management, HBSi strives to ensure customers maximize the revenue potential from each sales distribution channel. HBSi's Demand GatewayTM connectivity platform and Demand ManagerTM application offer customers a way to rapidly and inexpensively connect with multiple distribution channels enabling pricing based on real-time fluctuations in demand. "The use of OTA specifications allows HBSi to speed up the time to develop and deploy interfaces," says HBSi Interface Group Manager Stephen Burke. "By developing interfaces based on OTA messages, HBSi is able to interface to more trading partners in a more normalized format. That's good news for HBSi and our customers."HBSi is tracking the benefits of using OTA specifications, tracking the costs and time associated with development and deployment of OTA-based interfaces compared to the costs and time related to non-OTA interface deployments. It's also tracking the relative ease of OTA-based deployments and the resulting increase in competitive attractiveness.Thus far, HBSi has implemented 15 message sets with encouraging results. It estimates an average OTA-based interface takes less than half the time to deploy as a non-OTA interface, expediting revenue gains and cost containment for HBSi's customers. The company credits some of its success to working with some of the industry's largest and most demanding companies to adopt the OTA open standard. Among those leaders, HBSi will use OTA interface specifications with trading partners such as Agilysys, Travelocity, Wyndham Worldwide, Sandals and Beaches Resorts, American Tours International and PAR Springer-Miller Systems.As channel management gives way to the more sophisticated discipline of demand management, HBSi foresees a roadmap dotted with an ever increasing number and variety of trading partners desiring an easier and less costly route to realizing their full revenue potential. About the OpenTravel Alliance | The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of OTA message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day. For more information, visit www.opentravel.org.About Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated | Hotel Booking Solutions Incorporated provides Demand ManagementSM technologies and services that bring order and simplicity to travel distribution, enabling travel companies to unlock their full revenue potential. HBSi most recently signed Harrah's, IHG, Intrawest, Sandals and Cendant as new customers. For more information, visit or contact Nick Vance at nvance@hbsconnect.com, (678) 391-3097.
commercial

The OpenTravel Alliance Publishes Specification Version 2006B

OpenTravel Alliance ·13 December 2006
The OpenTravel Alliance (OTA), the travel industry's leading specification development organization, has published the latest version of its specification. Included in this specification are XML-based messages for airlines, hotels, cruise lines and travel integrators critical to both efficient operations and enhanced travelers' experiences. "Once again, the OTA has proven to the industry the value of travel companies working together for the good of the traveler," said John Turato, chairman of the OTA and vice president, technology for the Avis Budget Group. "OTA participants are leaders in the industry, generating credibility in the marketplace through membership and participation in an accepted industry standards body."Highlights of the 2006B SpecificationFor hotels With the continued participation of the APEX initiative, the hotel work group has created a hotel event message which communicates meeting planner needs ranging from meeting room setup, audiovisual, food and beverage, and safety and security among other meeting and event requirements.For cruise lines The cruise work group continues to generate messages to support electronic distribution for the cruise industry. It created several new message sets covering many components of the cruise booking cycle, including:The ability to request a document type and its delivery method without retrieving the reservationThe ability to request the change/service history on an existing reservationA 'fast sell' message that covers a cabin hold, cabin availability, cabin category availability, and package availabilityThe ability to request miscellaneous information on cruise ship statistics, embark/debark time for the cruise, cruise policy, cruise line contact, etc.The ability to submit payments for an existing reservation without retrieving the reservation.For airlines The air work group created two important messages for the airline industry: a demand ticketing request and response message pair, and a check-in message that will allow travelers to check-in for eligible flights using various channels (kiosks, web and mobile) and to perform related functions such as checking baggage, issuing bag tags and boarding passes and entering additional passenger information (APIS data etc.).In addition, several cross-vertical messages were published including a message which supports the ability to verify various documents (such as credit cards, drivers licenses, addresses, checks or some combination) and requests approval to make charges, and a message supporting the ability to electronically purchase non-inventory items (such as gift certificates or drink tickets on an airline). The specifications can be downloaded at .Upcoming OpenTravel Alliance ActivitiesOTA's well-regarded architecture workgroup will hold a meeting in McLean, Virginia on January 11-12, 2007. For additional information, please contact valyn.perini@opentravel.org. The 2007A publication cycle is underway. Member review will begin on February 14, 2007, and public review will begin on April 9, 2007. The 2007A specifications will be published on June 6, 2007. OTA's popular annual Advisory Forum will be held in April 17-18, 2007 at the Hilton Bonaventure in Montreal, Canada. Further details will be forthcoming soon!About the OpenTravel AllianceThe OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Hundreds of OTA message structures are in use, carrying millions of messages between trading partners every day.For more information, visit .
commercial

The OpenTravel Alliance Announces 2006-2007 Board of Directors and Officers

OpenTravel Alliance ·27 September 2006
Air Carrier Board RepresentativesRon Anderson-Lehman, Senior Vice President and CIO, Continental AirlinesSumeet Bahl, Director, Customer Technology, American AirlinesAllison Danziger, Director of Vacations Revenue Management, US AirwaysCasey J. Hossa, Senior Director, Information Services Division, United Air LinesTravel Integration Board RepresentativesBrian Bowerfind, Vice President, Global Channels and Business Development, Hotel Information Systems (HIS)Corey Ladd, Director of Product Marketing, Sabre HoldingsChuck Thackston, Product Portfolio Manager, WorldspanAlan Young, Vice President, Supplier Sales, Hotel Booking Solutions Inc. (HBSI)Car Rental Company Board RepresentativesJohn Turato, Vice President, Technology, Avis Budget GroupJames White, Director, Global Automated Marketing, The Hertz CorporationHotel Company Board RepresentativesLisa Fues, Director of Reservations, Inventory and Distribution, Marriott InternationalJennifer Ginty, Director of Electronic Distribution, Hyatt CorporationMelissa Montana, Senior Manager, Distribution and Content Delivery, Hilton Hotels CorporationThe board elected the following individuals as officers:Chair John TuratoVice-Chair Alan YoungTreasurer Corey Ladd"I'm very pleased to begin my second year as chair," said John Turato, vice president of technology for Avis Budget Group. "The companies represented on the board of directors understand the value of OTA participation, reaping the benefits of membership and positioning themselves as the leaders in the industry."Several new members were elected to the board, including Casey Hossa, senior director, information services division, United Airlines. "The OTA is especially relevant to airlines in today's market," said Hossa. "Reducing interoperability and distribution costs, and getting to market faster with our partners means better customer service for our passengers."Alan Young, vice president of supplier sales for Hotel Booking Solutions, is beginning his first year as an officer. "I am extremely excited concerning my new role within the OpenTravel Alliance, after five years as a member," said Young. "The OTA is one of the few travel industry associations to have board seats for non-supplier companies like mine, which allows us visibility, influence and credibility in the travel marketplace. Participation is a very effective way for non-suppliers to raise our profile and get the most out of our industry association dollars."Recent OTA ActivitiesIn June 2006, the OTA published its 2006A specifications, including Messages for hotel rooming lists and detailed property rule information for a specific room type or booking code for a designated propertyMessages for several components of the cruise booking cycle, including availability of dining arrangements, availability of hotel packages associated with a specific voyage, availability of shore excursions during a specific voyage, and availability of any specialservices during a specific voyage.A reference guide to provide guidance for implementers to build interoperable systems based on OTA messages transported over SOAP. Current and Upcoming OpenTravelAlliance ActivitiesPublic review of the 2006B specifications began on Wednesday, September 27 and will end on Friday, October 27, 2006. To download the review specifications, visit and click on 'Download the 2006B Public Review Release.'OTA board of directors member, Ron Anderson-Lehman, CIO of Continental Airlines, will speak at EyeForTravel's Travel Distribution Summit in Chicago, Illinois () on October 4, 2006 as part of a panel discussion on lowering distribution costs through standardization. In addition, OTA will host a seminar at EyeForTravel's Distribution Summit in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon, October 4, 2006.About the OpenTravelAllianceThe OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. Millions of messages based on OTA specifications are exchanged between hundreds of travel trading partners everyday. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from the airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. OTA working groups develop open internet-compatible messages, which are currently in use by companies across the travel spectrum. For more information, visit .
commercial

The OpenTravel Alliance Participates in World Tourism Day

OpenTravel Alliance ·18 September 2006
"Tourism Enriches" is the central and straightforward theme of the day, and it highlights the impact of travel and tourism on all aspects of culture. Countries and travel organizations worldwide will mark the day to increase awareness of the importance of travel to the world's economic and cultural health.Mr. John Turato, Chairman of the OTA and AvisBudget Group, will join international travel and tourism leaders in Lisbon, Portugal, for the official activities to celebrate the day. "One of the aims of the Tourism Enriches initiative is to link individual tourism entities to the larger community of international tourism," said Mr. Turato. "OTA's mission, to create specifications that allow data to move between travel entities, speaks directly to that goal for this campaign. It gives OTA great satisfaction to be a full partner of the UNWTO and support this very important event."The OTA and UNWTO joined forces earlier this year to strengthen the common language for electronic travel interactions around the world. Together they will seek to involve an increasing number of stakeholders and to extend the scope of the existing XML standards.According to the UNWTO, international travel and tourism is the worlds largest export earner, and employs millions of people around the world. Monies generated help fund new infrastructure and technologies, and provides governments with hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenues every year.For more information, visit .Current and Upcoming OpenTravelAlliance ActivitiesThe member review period has begun for the 2006B specification. The schemas are available at the OTA Member Site. Public review of the specification will begin on September 27.The 2006B specifications will be published on December 12, 2006. OTA board of directors' member, Ron Anderson-Lehman, CIO of Continental Airlines, will speak at EyeForTravel's Travel Distribution Summit in Chicago, Illinois (www.eyefortravel.com) on October 4, 2006 as part of a panel discussion on lowering distribution costs through standardization. In addition, OTA will host a seminar at EyeForTravel's Distribution Summit in Chicago on Tuesday afternoon, October 4, 2006.The OpenTravelAlliance MissionThe OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from the airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. OTA working groups develop open internet-compatible messages, which are currently in use by companies across the travel spectrum. For more information, visit .

OpenTravel Alliance to Present Seminar at Distribution Conference

OpenTravel Alliance · 4 September 2006
"The wide use of our specifications by such organizations as Harrah's, Hertz, Expedia, Continental and many more travel focused companies have become an integral part of the travel distribution landscape," said John Turato, chair of OTA and VP of technology for the AvisBudget Group. "We know travel distribution professionals come to EyeforTravel to understand the latest trends and topics in distribution, so presenting here is a natural fit."The focus of the seminar will be a session where several sets of trading partners from across the travel spectrum discuss how they were able to implement OTA messages to meet their business needs and their customers' needs, resulting in benefits like reduced time-to market, decreased IT costs, better service to partners and customers and increased credibility in the marketplace.In addition, the seminar will provide an update on all OTA activities, as well as a session on getting started with the OTA and OTA message implementation.The seminar will be held from 3:00pm until 5:00pm on Wednesday, October 4, at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago.The seminar is being hosted by EyeForTravel, and is co-located with the EyeForTravel Travel Distribution Summit 2006 conference at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago. The OTA seminar is open to all industry participants at no charge, whether or not they also attend the EyeForTravel conference. Space is limited and advance registration is strongly recommended.To register for this free seminar, visit . For information or to register for the EyeForTravel Travel Distribution Summit 2006, visit .The OpenTravel Alliance will also participate in a joint seminar with HTNG, HEDNA and APEX at EyeforTravel on Thursday, October 5 from 9:00am until 12:00pm.About the OpenTravelAlliance | The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. Millions of messages based on OTA specifications are exchanged between hundreds of travel trading partners everyday. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from the airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. OTA working groups develop open internet- compatible messages, which are currently in use by companies across the travel spectrum. For more information, visit .

HITEC 2006 Interview | An OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) Update

OpenTravel Alliance ·26 June 2006
Interview topics include: An overview of OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) | Recent OTA current and future developments | OTA's involvement with HITEC conference | OTA's involvement with HTNG, HEDNA and IATA interoperablity workgroups| The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.Valyn Perini recently moved into the OTA executive role after a successful career spanning more than fifteen years in hospitality and travel operations, sales and marketing, systems, consulting, and software development. She has worked for the hospitality industry in areas including revenue management, distribution, groups and information technology, in the US and abroad. As a principal consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, she focused on a wide array of initiatives including business plan development, systems strategy, selection and implementation for cruise lines, hotel companies, technology vendors and the federal government. At Newmarket International, a software solutions provider, Ms. Perini oversaw the company's new product definition and development.The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from the airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. OTA working groups develop open internet-compatible messages, which are currently in use by companies across the travel spectrum. For more information, visit .

The OpenTravel Alliance's Advisory Forum to Offer Full Slate MSNBC's Practical Futurist to Keynote

OpenTravel Alliance ·17 April 2006
A captivating and entertaining speaker and frequent guest on radio and television, Rogers provides a clear, common-sense vision of technologic change for both businesses and individuals. He combines a deep knowledge of technology with practical business experience, and has addressed audiences worldwide ranging from venture capitalists and corporate executives to educators, students and the general public.The Advisory Forum, an annual event open to all, is a gathering where users of OTA's open message specifications share implementation secrets, swap stories and help determine the next twelve month's work of the OTA. Travel suppliers, solutions providers and travel technology vendors come together to create open specifications to be used as standards in travel technology distribution.Session topics include emerging technologies, OTA's position in the industry and specification adoption drivers, among others. Also on the agenda are workgroup meetings for airline companies, car rental companies and hotel companies. For more information, go to .Recent OTA ActivitiesIn December 2005, the OTA published its 2005B specifications, including messages for hotel group request and response messages, for the physical exchange of a vehicle without having to close the current rental agreement, for various components of the cruise booking cycle, including cabin availability, hold and un-hold messages, category availability, fare availability and sail availability messages, and create booking and price booking messages.Current and Upcoming OpenTravelAlliance ActivitiesThe public review period has begun for the 2006A specification. The schemas are available at www.opentravel.org. Public review will end on May 10, 2006.The 2006A specification will be published on June 7, 2006.Valyn Perini, executive director of the OTA, will speak at HITEC in Minneapolis on Wednesday, June 20, 2006.The OpenTravelAlliance Mission | The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from the airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. OTA working groups develop open internet-compatible messages, which are currently in use by companies across the travel spectrum. For more information, visit .

UNWTO And The Opentravel Alliance (OTA) Collaborate To Help Reduce The Digital Divide

OpenTravel Alliance ·13 March 2006
Mr. John Turato, Chairman of the OpenTravel Alliance and VP of Cendant Car Rental Group said "OTA's partnership with the UNWTO will support and extend the global adoption of OTA specifications, facilitating the speed of ICT expansion". He added the partners would cooperate to develop support material for the standards for a worldwide audience to encourage their spread. "Our membership outside North America is growing, and partnering with UNWTO will allow us to meet the expectations of the worldwide tourism industry." UNWTO will provide a global forum for adoption of OTA specifications and the OTA will act as the technical arm of the UNWTO in the area of travel related technology and specifications. Together they will seek to involve an increasing number of stakeholders and to extend the scope of existing XML standards.The OTA and UNWTO will act as stewards of unified global travel standards/specifications, under WTO's UN structural umbrella and will strive to create an environment that will be inclusive of other standards bodies and tourism organizationsWhen signing the Memorandum of Understanding, Mr. Francesco Frangialli, Secretary General of UNWTO said that "Our two organizations share a common view that open global travel standards are beneficial to the world economy, will aid in the reduction of the "digital divide" for the poorest countries and enhance prospects for development of tourism worldwide. We also share a belief that by uniting our efforts we will send a signal of public, private sector collaboration that others will embrace."The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. The OTA's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. The OTA creates, expands and drives adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from the airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. OTA working groups develop open internet-compatible messages, which are currently in use by companies across the travel spectrum. For more information, visit .

The OpenTravel Alliance Publishes Specification Version 2005B

OpenTravel Alliance ·10 December 2005
December 9, The OpenTravelAlliance (OTA), the travel industry's leading specifications publication organization, has published its 2005B specifications. Included in these specifications are XML-based messages for hotels, car rental companies, cruise lines and travel integrators that are critical to both efficient operations and enhanced travelers' experiences."Once again, great process and great member participation have resulted in message solutions the travel industry will use to create operational efficiencies and provide greater customer satisfaction," said John Turato, chairman of the OTA and vice president, technology for Cendant Car Rental Group. "We are particularly excited to include cruise-related messages for the first time in an OTA publication release. These specifications are testament to the commitment of our members to collaborate and provide value to the travel industry in an open environment."Highlights of the 2005B SpecificationHotel with the participation of the Convention Industry Council's Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX) initiative, the hotel work group has enhanced and extended OTA's existing group request and response messages. In addition, the hotel work group created a generic message set for an asynchronous update report. Initially, the messages would be used for the report of the hotel availability database update and the hotel rate amount database update, but could be extended to accommodate additional hotel database reports as well as other travel sector database reports.Car Rental The car work group has created a new message to be used for the physical exchange of a vehicle without having to close the current rental agreement, allowing the traveler to keep the same rental agreement number. This message would be useful, for example, in the case of a vehicle breakdown when the customer receives a replacement vehicle.Cruise Line The cruise work group created several new message sets covering many components of the cruise booking cycle, including cabin availability, hold and unhold messages, category availability, fare availability and sail availability messages, and create booking and price booking messages.Architecture The architecture sub-committee created a generic response and request message set that enables one system to send coded binary files like image or video files to another system that will store or process the files. The request message includes a success or failure element.The specifications can be downloaded at .Upcoming OpenTravelAlliance ActivitiesOTA's popular Advisory Forum will be held April 24-25, 2006 at the Hyatt Orange County in Garden Grove, CA. Details will be forthcoming.The OpenTravelAlliance MissionOTA's mission is the creation, expansion, and adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.About The OpenTravelAlliance | OTA develops communications specifications to allow for the efficient and effective exchange of travel industry information via the Internet. With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from the airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. OTA working groups develop open internet-compatible messages, which are currently in use by companies across the travel spectrum.

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