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Why the OpenTravel Alliance is important

Rezgo is a member of the OpenTravel Alliance because we know that collaboration and participation in the travel technology community is important to the long term growth of the travel industry and to us, as an organization.  The work that the OpenTravel Alliance is doing is important to building interoperability between distribution systems of all kinds.  Until now, there has been only a limited focus on the development of messaging standards for the tour and activity sector.  Part of our role as a member, and my role as a member of the Board of Directors, has been to advocate for and help develop a set of messages specific to the tour and activity sector.  As part of our commitment to this endeavor, Rezgo has donated our complete XML schemas to OpenTravel.  Our belief is that by sharing the hard work we have done on the development of our own XML API, we can help accelerate the development of standards for the entire sector.

We are confident that by opening up our XML API and donating our XML schemas to the OpenTravel Alliance we will be setting a positive example for other travel & tourism software developers to follow.  We understand that to be an agent of change, we must lead by example.

Stephen Joyce
CEO, Rezgo
Co-Chair, OpenTravel Alliance

What is 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 to ensure traveler and supplier information flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. 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.

OpenTravel is a not-for-profit trade association, founded in 1999 by travel companies, with a primary focus on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between the disparate systems in the global travel industry. Our members actually do the work of identifying what messages are needed, prioritizing the work and creating the messages.

You can find out more about the OpenTravel Alliance on their website.

For help implementing OpenTravel messages, we suggest visiting the OpenTravel Forum.

Written by

Stephen is the CEO and Co-Founder of Rezgo. He has been working as a travel & tourism technology consultant since 1995. Stephen is active in fostering tourism technology and is a Past Chair of the OpenTravel Alliance. He is also a regular contributor for Tnooz, a leading travel technology media site, and speaks regularly at conferences around the Globe on travel & tourism technology, messaging standards, and industry trends.

4 thoughts on “Why the OpenTravel Alliance is important

  1. The standards are quite widely implemented especially in more mature segments such as airlines, hotels, and car rentals. We are starting to see more adoption of emerging standards such as golf and now tours & activities. Sabre, Amadeus, and Travelport (as examples) use the OTA standards for their airline reservations. If you booked a hotel recently either directly or online, chances are that some of the messages used in the communications process were based on OTA standards as well.

  2. How widely implemented are the OTA standards currently? Are some industries/services performing better than others in terms of uptake? If so, can you name some examples (other than TripIt)?

  3. Hi Ashu, Open Travel is important because it has helped to create the standards that hotel reservation systems and GDSes use to share reservation and customer data across many different systems. For example, when a travel agent uses a reservation system system to make a booking of with a hotel, the message that the system sends to the GDS, and from the GDS to the hotel property management system, is based on the Open Travel standard. The standard messages that Open Travel has helped to promote are used millions of times a day but airlines, hotels, cruises, and car rental companies around the World.

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