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OpenTravel Alliance Celebrates Successful Annual Advisory Forum

Thursday, June 02, 2016   (0 Comments)
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New York, NY – June 1, 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, 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 


About OpenTravel

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. At the dawn of today’s online consumer direct bookings, OpenTravel created the necessary messaging standards to enable the power that direct bookings for consumers have become today. 

OpenTravel is comprised of member companies representing airlines, car rental companies, hotels, cruise lines, railways, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, solutions providers, technology companies, and distributors. OpenTravel members identify message standards, prioritizing project work and creating messages. Tens of thousands of OpenTravel message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day. 

For more information on OpenTravel membership, new products, or projects, please visit or email 

All trademarks listed are the property of their respective owners. 

Contact:   Lindsay Kelso
                 Marketing Consultant
                 OpenTravel Alliance