OpenTravel Announces Strategic Organizational Changes


CHICAGO (October 24, 2018)

The OpenTravel Alliance, the travel industry non-profit trade association responsible for developing and maintaining interoperability for all travel verticals, announces strategic organizational changes that will enable the association to continue to serve its members and the travel industry as a whole.

OpenTravel will transition its association management relationship to Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) at the beginning of the 2019 calendar year.

For 19 years, OpenTravel has maintained and continues to provide new avenues for travel industry connectivity. OpenTravel messaging is the standard that has enabled omni-channel booking. The association constantly seeks to improve both travel experience and supplier information flow. Support from HTNG positions the association to respond to growing industry trends and improves OpenTravel’s ability to evaluate and collaborate with other messaging initiatives and the trend toward the use of APIs.

Joint management of the organizations with one staff will improve efficiency and effectiveness for both OpenTravel Alliance and HTNG, as both organizations utilize some of the same resources and share a similar mission to foster the development of next-generation solutions through collaboration.

The members of OpenTravel Alliance will benefit due to the common activities of both organizations, and the robust workgroup management infrastructure and history that HTNG offers. HTNG’s COO, David Sjolander, will serve as Executive Director of OpenTravel along with maintaining his current role at HTNG.

“The OpenTravel Alliance has been, and continues to be, a key enabler in the travel distribution ecosystem,” said David Sjolander. “I am thrilled to become the Executive Director and partner with the board and staff to continue the important work the organization has been doing for almost twenty years.”

As the foundation for consumer direct bookings, OpenTravel supports all travel-related verticals including hotel, rail, car rental, air, golf and leisure. This transition benefits HTNG as it serves as an extension of the work HTNG currently does and supports its recent strategy to expand beyond its traditional core activity in hotels. This expansion will support HTNG members who already operate in these businesses or wish to do so.

“HTNG and OpenTravel have worked hand-in-hand since HTNG was formed in 2002,” said Michael Blake, CEO of HTNG. “Managing the two organizations with common staff while allowing each to retain its identity and governance is a perfect next step.”

“HTNG’s involvement will help accelerate OpenTravel’s industry contributions to the next level,” noted Susanne Auinger, OpenTravel Board Chairperson. “OpenTravel is responsible for tens of millions of messages between travel partners on a daily basis today, and that number continues to increase with the adoption of OpenTravel’s 2.0 Object Model, our next generation of open-source messaging for travel technology.”

The OpenTravel Alliance and HTNG signed an agreement and made the announcement onsite at the 2018 HTNG European Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. HFTP has managed OpenTravel since June 2017, and since has helped it establish a monthly newsletter and produce a European conference and Hackathon. HFTP will continue to actively work throughout year-end to ensure a successful management transition to HTNG.

“HFTP is very pleased to have helped OpenTravel through its transition phase,” said Frank Wolfe, CEO of HFTP. “We support the sharing of resources to manage HTNG and OpenTravel, and believe this is a great outcome for these organizations and our industry as a whole.”


About Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG)

The premier technology solutions association in the hospitality industry, HTNG is a self-funded, nonprofit organization with members from hospitality companies, technology vendors to hospitality, consultants, media and academic experts. HTNG’s members participate in focused workgroups to bring to market open solution sets addressing specific business problems. HTNG fosters the selection and adoption of existing open standards and also develops new open standards to meet the needs of the global hospitality industry.

Currently more than 400 corporate and individual members from across this spectrum, including world leading hospitality companies and technology vendors, are active HTNG participants. HTNG’s Board of Governors, consisting of 24 top IT leaders from hospitality companies around the world, itself has technology responsibility for over 2.5 million guest rooms and world-leading venues. HTNG publishes workgroup proceedings, drafts and specifications for all HTNG members as soon as they are created, encouraging rapid and broad adoption. HTNG releases specifications into the public domain as soon as they are ratified by the workgroups. For more information, visit www.htng.org.

About OpenTravel Alliance

OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. Our mission is to enable the future of travel by driving the evolving digital experience for consumers. OpenTravel Alliance creates, expands and drives adoption of open specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML and JSON, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.

OpenTravel Alliance is comprised of companies representing airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, railways, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, solutions providers, technology companies and distributors. Tens of thousands of OpenTravel Alliance message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day.

OpenTravel Alliance is a not-for-profit trade association, founded in 1999 by travel companies, with a primary focus on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between the disparate systems in the global travel industry. For more information on OpenTravel Alliance membership, new products, or projects, please visit http://www.opentravel.org or email info@opentravel.org.

About HFTP

Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) established in 1952, is an international, nonprofit association, headquartered in Austin, Texas, USA, with offices in Hong Kong, United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Dubai. HFTP is recognized as the spokes group for the finance and technology segments of the hospitality industry with members and stakeholders spanning across the globe. HFTP uniquely understands the industry’s pressing issues and assists its stakeholders in finding solutions to their challenges more efficiently than any organization. It does this via its expert networks, research, certification programs, information resources and conferences/events such as HITEC. HFTP also owns the world’s only hospitality-specific search engine, PineappleSearch.com. For more information about HFTP, email membership@hftp.org or download the HFTP/HITEC media kitvia the HFTP website. Read industry updates on the suite of HFTP hospitality news sites: HITEC Bytes, Club Bytes, Finance Bytes and HFTP News.