The OpenTravel Alliance is dedicated to helping the travel industry take full advantage of the near universal access to the Internet. Internet and related technologies can significantly affect the way the travel industry operates and reaches customers throughout the global economy.
Travel industry business and technology leaders responsible for product distribution are working together through the OTA to transform the travel industry into one global supermarket of products and services. This will be realized through development of a commonly accepted communications process using XML.
The OTA completes its work with a global awareness. In addition to working with other organizations such as, Travel Technology Initiative (TTI) and the UN/CEFACT, the OTA has enhanced its structure to allow for work to be completed within Project Teams. These teams support the completion of work within or across travel industry verticals as well as can address specific needs within and across geographic regions.
Additionally to support a growing global membership, the OTA holds meetings in Europe (an OTA Advisory Forum and a Board meeting was offered in Europe in 2002, as well as future Project Team meetings or Work Group meetings, as needed). It also holds conference calls at times convenient to many time zones - especially non-US time zones. Overall, the goal of the OTA is to have meetings in hub-cities for easy access to all members.
Building the Global Travel Marketplace
To use the Internet along with established distribution channels, the travel industry needs common technical specifications for the electronic communication of information. The OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) brings together all sectors of the travel industry to accomplish this. OTA specifications provide an agreed to format for exchanging data between and among travelers and travel-related businesses. These specifications encourage development of interoperable systems that can help create and support new collections of travel services to better meet the demands and expectations of travelers and the travel industry. Through implementation, the specification will facilitate improved connectivity and facilitate the exchange of trip-centric information between all industry participants. About OTA Specifications Development OpenTravel, the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the Internet provide an opportunity for the travel industry to communicate across multi-channels using a common language. Although developing a specification may look like a purely technical exercise, its development actually requires the active participation of industry business and technology leaders. By working together, they help articulate a well-defined set of common data elements or vocabulary that can support communication across multiple channels, expedite the flow of information, and meet travel industry and customer needs.
The OpenTravel specifications serve as a common language for travel-related terminology and a mechanism for promoting the seamless exchange of information across all travel industry segments. OTA members are organizations that represent all segments of the travel industry, along with key technology and services suppliers. Pursuing solutions that meet the needs of the heterogeneous travel industry requires a multi-pronged approach to specifications management. Being aware and cognizant of the technical architecture of diverse computer systems, OpenTravel has established a set of overarching objectives. When implemented, OpenTravel specifications will:
Embrace the backbone of communication protocols on the Internet and elsewhere;
Include widely accepted, open-based means of electronic data interchange travel message sets;
Extend the OTA specification to new uses as needed.