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Press Releases: Press Releases

Four Leading Associations Announce Speakers for Free Joint Seminar

Monday, September 18, 2006  

CHICAGO, WASHINGTON, and FALLS CHURCH, VA (September 18, 2006) – The Convention Industry Council, Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA), Hotel Technology Next Generation (HTNG) and the OpenTravel™ Alliance (OTA) announced the speakers and program for the joint industry seminar program that they will present on October 5 in Chicago, from 9am until noon.  The seminar is free to all interested industry participants, but advance registration is required.

The sessions will offer hotel industry participants a better understanding of the role of each association, and how they work together to address various industry challenges, to avoid duplication of effort, and to prevent the development of conflicting solutions.  Hosted by EyeForTravel, the seminar is co-located with that organization’s Travel Distribution Summit, which is being held at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in Chicago. 

Senior officers from each association will be featured speakers, as will hotel and vendor executives who are involved with each association’s efforts to define and implement best practices and standards for hotel distribution.  The four associations that will participate are:

  •  HEDNA, which focuses on best practices, information sharing, and education
  • HTNG, which is driving the implementation of open standards through collaborative development among hoteliers and technology vendors
  • OTA, which  develops open specifications to support the electronic exchange of traveler data among all sectors of the travel industry
  • The Convention Industry Council’s Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX), which is fostering the implementation of best practices within the group and meeting environment, including data and document standards that are developed in cooperation with with OTA XML messages

The seminar, which will run from 9am until noon on October 5, will include three sessions.  All sessions will be moderated by distribution veteran Bruce Covill, President of Cyberitas Enterprises of Phoenix, AZ. Covill has a long history in distribution technology in the hotel industry, dating from the 1980s. As Vice President of Murdoch Travel Systems, in 1987 he called the meeting that eventually resulted in the formation of The Hotel Industry Switch Company (THISCO), the non-profit predecessor of Pegasus Solutions. As Executive Vice President of Reed Travel Group, he served on THISCO's board and oversaw the launch of the Jaguar CD-ROM travel directories.

The first session will provide an overview of each organization, it mission, and its objectives.  The second session will focus on the efforts being undertaken by the four associations in one of the hottest areas of distribution – content management.  The final session will address the respective organization’s activities in group and meeting planning.  Speakers in the second and third sessions will in most cases include active participants in the committees and working groups of the respective organizations.

Speakers at the seminar will include:

  •  Tim Beaulieu, Director of Product Strategy for Newmarket International;
  • Noreen Henry, Vice President-Hotels for Travelocity and HEDNA Vice President
  • Joe Mauceri, IR Enterprise Property Information Center Manager for Marriott International;
  • Valyn Perini, Executive Director of OTA;
  • Ed Perry, Director of ECommerce for WORLDHOTELS;
  • Douglas Rice, Executive Director of HTNG;
  • E. J. Siwek, chair of the APEX Technology Advisory Council; and
  • Tiffany Topcik, Vice President of Hotel and Supplier Relations for ABC Corporate Services, and HEDNA President

Each session will include substantial time for questions and answers from the audience, and association executives will be available to discuss how interested industry participants can get more involved in their efforts.

To register for this free seminar, please visit, scroll down to Day 2, and the seminar is listed under “Steamboat Room.”  For information or to register for the EyeForTravel Travel Distribution Summit 2006, visit

The OpenTravel Alliance will host a separate seminar on Wednesday, October 4, which will include a session where several sets of trading partners discuss their experiences with OTA messages, along with an update on all OTA activities, as well as a session on getting started with the OTA and OTA message implementation.

About The Convention Industry Council

The Convention Industry Council's 32 member organizations represent more than 103,500 individuals, as well as, 17,300 firms and properties involved in the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industries. Formed in 1949 to provide a forum for member organizations seeking to enhance the industry, the CIC facilitates the exchange of information and develops programs to promote professionalism with the industry and educates the public on its profound economic impact. In addition to the CMP Program, CIC is also responsible for the Hall of Leaders Program as well as the Accepted Practices Exchange (APEX). APEX is working to unite the entire meeting, convention and exhibition industry in the development and eventual implementation of voluntary standards, which will be called accepted practices.

About Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association

The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) is a not-for-profit trade association whose worldwide membership includes executives and managers from over 200 of the most influential companies in the hotel distribution industry. Celebrating its 15th Anniversary this year, HEDNA's activities are intended to stimulate the booking of hotel rooms through the use of GDS, the Internet and other electronic means. HEDNA brings all segments of the hotel industry together within its Standards Committee. Three subcommittees (Emerging Issues, Content Management and Credit Card Verification and Validation) influence industry members and organizations on the development and adoption of approved standards and industry best business practices that promote increased electronic distribution of and for hotels. They identify the need for industry standards in the areas of interface, databases and privacy; communicate effectively to influence promotion and adoption of approved standards; and, educate the membership and the public on established standards.   For more information, visit

About Hotel Technology Next Generation

The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, non-profit organization with members from hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, and other industry members including consultants, media, and academic experts.  HTNG’s members participate in focused workgroups to bring open solution-sets addressing specific business problems to the hospitality market. 

Membership in HTNG is open to hotel and hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, academics, press and others.   Currently nearly 350 companies and individual members from across this spectrum are active HTNG participants.  Workgroup proceedings, drafts, and specifications are published for all HTNG members as soon as they are created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption.  Specifications are released to the public domain when the workgroup has completed its work, typically after no more than 18 months.  For more information, visit

About OpenTravel™ Alliance

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 every day. 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