2003 OTA Advisory Forum Huge Success

The OpenTravel? Alliance
held its annual Advisory Forum in Northbrook, Illinois on September 16 & 17. Among the features of this conference were its industry experts and in depth analysis of the travel industry and the great progress OTA has made as a technological leader in the development of XML specifications in the industry. Over 130 individuals from the travel and technology industry attended the forum.

OTA announced it will initiate a new registration program for members and nonmembers to track and facilitate adoption of the OTA specification. This program is set to start on November 1, 2003. Mike Kistner, OTA Chairman and CIO of Best Western International, provided the keynote address for the conference. Other highlights of the conference included SkyTech Solutions presentation of an example of an OTA XML message on a live connection to a GDS. Corporations that announced that they currently implement the OTA Specification were:


Best Western International;

Cendant Car Rental Group;



Hyatt Hotels and Resorts;

Hilton Corporation;

InterContinental Hotels;

Marriott International;

Open Jaw Technologies;

Sabre Holdings;


Sky Tech Solutions; and


The OTA Member Recognition luncheon recognized the Work Group Chairs for 2002-2003 and those volunteer members who had participated significantly over the last year. The luncheon concluded with a new annual award called the Tom Grubbs Chairman’s Award. Paula Heilig of Worldspan became the first recipient of this award. Heilig chairs OTA’s Data Content/Best Practices sub-committee and has co-chaired the OTA Interoperability Committee. Paula Heilig is an active member of Travel Integration Work Group and maintains the OTA Code Tables developed the OTA Specification Versioning Table.

The conference concluded with each OTA Work Group hosting a short meeting followed by a general session that tied together the work group meetings into an action plan for future specification needs and development.