Improving travel interoperability: New partnership
Exposing key influencers for US inbound travel
A new association partnership was announced that will provide fresh collaboration opportunities between the two organizations and member companies, including the ability to participate in respective educational events and work groups, improving travel interoperability.
The OpenTravel Alliance, a not- for profit responsible for developing and maintaining interoperability for disparate systems in all verticals of the travel industry, and the International Inbound Travel Association (IITA), a national nonprofit trade association representing the United States’ international inbound travel industry, have announced a strategic partnership, made public at IITA’s recent 2020 Summit in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Both organizations share the goal of improving travel interoperability, and this partnership exposes key influencers for US inbound travel to OpenTravel standards that will ultimately improve bookings and business.
“We’re committed to providing our members with new benefits that are specific to inbound travel, including advancing technology with the inbound operator’s business needs in mind,” said Lisa Simon, Executive Director of IITA. “The OpenTravel Alliance is the authority on travel data standards, and by providing open-source specifications, OpenTravel provides a level playing field for seamless connectivity throughout the travel distribution system.”
OpenTravel standards are the foundation for tens of thousands of messages on a daily basis. They allow companies from various travel industry verticals, including air, hotel, car, rail, etc., to interact seamlessly, allowing consumer direct bookings.
“IITA has been leading conversations about issues critical to inbound operators and the industry that have resulted in greater collaboration and best practices,” said IITA Chair Gary Schluter, founder of Rocky Mountain Holiday Tours. “How technology is driving change in the distribution system has been at the top of the list and this partnership provides a key opportunity to highlight the solutions-oriented nature of OpenTravel to tour operators, DMOs and suppliers.
In an education series during IITA’s 2020 Summit sponsored by BWH Hotel Group – which is a member of both associations -, Jeff ErnstFriedman, OpenTravel Managing Director, presented on “How Connectivity is Reshaping Travel Distribution” and shared details on the role data standards play in opening up business opportunities.
“It is clear that there is an appetite to understand and leverage technology to meet the needs of a changing industry,” ErnstFriedman said. “By adopting and collaborating on open standards, the industry can compete on providing enhanced customer experiences and find efficiencies by collaborating on the underlining infrastructure.”
“IITA champions a unique perspective of the 80 million travelers coming to the United States,” said OpenTravel Alliance Chair Susanne Auinger. “OpenTravel is excited to be more closely involved, working to improve interoperability and expand the travel ecosystem for those seeking to explore the US.”