The Travel Technology Initiative (TTI), which spearheads the development of technology standards in the European travel industry, has announced the formation of a global alliance with US-based counterpart OpenTravel Alliance (OTA).
The move will result in the two high-profile bodies sharing information and working together to improve the way travel companies worldwide use technology, including the development of initiatives to cover online distribution.
The reciprocal agreement will enable executive members of TTI and OTA members to become Affiliate members of each other`s organisation and benefit from their combined work on developing technology standards for the global travel industry.
Links between the two organisations are further strengthened by the election of TTI officer and former Cosmos technology consultant Tony Williams to chair OTA`s Travel Integration Work Group, which develops common XML messages for the travel industry. According to Williams his appointment reflects TTI`s position as champion of European travel technology standards.
Said Williams: “OTA understands that technology standards must have a global reach. My election highlights the importance the OTA attaches to the European travel industry and I look forward to working alongside its members to create worldwide standards.”
TTI is made up of more than 100 travel industry companies across Europe. Companies are drawn from all travel sectors including tour operators, travel agents, cruise and ferry companies, tourism bodies and technology providers.
The OpenTravel Alliance is a self-funded, not-for-profit organization that develops global communication specifications for the effective exchange of travel industry information across the Internet. These specifications form a common e-business language through XML that will encourage the development of systems to create new services and better meet the demands and expectations of travellers and the travel industry. The organization`s members represent leading names in all sectors of the travel industry, including airlines, cruise companies, hotels, rails, car rental firms, agents, tour operators, global distribution systems (GDS), and technology providers.
TTI general manager Mick Mott said: “This affiliation is all about working together for the benefit of one of the world`s fastest growing industries.
“We see real benefits in cooperating and sharing information, as the ultimate goal for both of our organisations is to provide the travel industry with common standards.”
Added OTA President Mike Kistner: “This is a tremendous relationship drawing on the expertise of leading travel industry professionals on both sides of the Atlantic. We have demonstrated here that international collaboration with partners creates global solutions.”
TTI`s enhancements included, in January, the unveiling of a new industry-led standard to facilitate distribution of package holidays across Internet technology. OpenTravel Alliance, meanwhile, continues its global reach with key implementations of its specifications by members and non-members that touches a worldwide audience.
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