Initial OpenAPI Industry Workgroup Meeting Draws Crowd Spanning the Travel Community

Last Wednesday, around 50 travel industry participants joined the initial OAI-Travel Workgroup call, a joint effort between the OpenTravel Alliance and the OpenAPI Initiative. Industry stakeholders met to facilitate collaboration and innovation within the travel industry and promote the adoption of open-source solutions.

Representatives joined from multiple organizations and companies including Amadeus, Blue Cube Travel, the European Tourism Association (ETOA), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), IBM, Hertz, Hilton, LinksRez, the Linux Foundation, PinkBrain, Sabre, SmartBear, Teejlab, Travelport, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) and Yourinsight.

After introductions in the kick-off call, participants were eager to share insight regarding their goals for standardized APIs and how it will drive innovation in the travel industry as a whole. With an industry reeling from the effects of COVID-19, there was consensus around the support to develop interoperability standards to expedite connections and business opportunities. While each participating company has a different background and challenges, common standards around APIs benefit the entire industry.

Noah Kimmel, IBM Associate Partner – Travel and Consulting, shared that by participating in the OAI-Travel Workgroup, IBM is hoping to gain shared knowledge, experience, and new standards on which they can build new business models and ecosystems. “From quantum to blockchain, containers to AI, IBM believes that we can unleash innovation when leading teams collaborate. Within travel and transportation, we support clients with cloud and mainframe infrastructure, application development, personalized experienced, blockchain ecosystems, and self-service powered by Watson AI. We use open standards in many of our solutions as they allow us to innovate with clients at speed and scale.”

Steve Livezey, Director of Software Engineering with Travelport, noted that Travelport is excited about the opportunity for partnership with OpenTravel and OpenAPI. “We’ve invested a tremendous amount of resources into the OpenTravel Alliance 2.0 modeling technology and tools. Since our API specifications are published in the OpenAPI format, the consumers of our APIs are fully positioned to take advantage of tools such as the Swagger Editor and Code Generators. Over time, we would be very interested in developing an implementation guide that could help to get new adopters up to speed quickly.

Frank Dolibois, CEO of YourInsight GmbH, said, “In the German market, open standards like OTDS support growing new business in the dynamic production of travel products and sales channels. As a solution provider for travel tech companies, we have in-depth knowledge of tourism and leisure within our local market and believe standards can push new solutions ahead quickly in the travel industry.”

Jeff ErnstFriedman, OpenTravel Executive Director, said, “We see solid, strategic alignment between the mission of OpenTravel Alliance and that of the OpenAPI Initiative. Our organizations share the common goal of promoting open standards that foster growth in the API economy. Interest poured in from around the globe and from all aspects of the travel industry and we look forward to continued engagement with the community and supporting open-source solutions.”

The OAI-Travel Workgroup will host regularly scheduled meetings focused on different geographies and technical challenges allowing the OpenAPI to continue to draw contributions from around the API community.

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