Day in and day out, all across the world, HTNG facilitates the collaboration for all things IT within a hospitality property. Reflecting back on 2019, HTNG has traveled to more than 40 places for industry events, speaking engagements, academic advisory forums and more. Each year as the industry progresses, it is HTNG’s job to strategically consider what else can be done to continue its mission of collaboration to benefit members and the public overall.
The organization’s event collaboration really took a leap forward in 2017 with what is now recognized as its flagship event, HT-NEXT. Produced by Hospitality Technology magazine in partnership with HTNG, HT-NEXT has grown into a must-attend event with attendee feedback getting better and better each year. Next year HT-NEXT will unpack how hoteliers can leverage technology strategies to help “Predict the Unexpected” and will be held April 27-30, 2020, in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) is the largest AV and systems integration show in the world. In 2019, HTNG was invited to host a one-day track focused around current AV trends in the hotel industry. Expanding upon this, HTNG will continue its partnership with ISE to put on the 2020 Hospitality Tech Summit next February. This event not only benefits HTNG members by expanding their knowledge of more capabilities in the AV industry, but also the show provides ISE attendees insight to the current AV challenges being faced in the hotel space.
HTNG recently announced a new partnership with Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) to put on HITEC Europe 2020 as well as the first HITEC Asia event. This new collaboration will help elevate the event programs and broaden the show audiences with the goal of having one bigger and better event for the industry.
This past year, HTNG, Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) and the OpenTravel Alliance formed a joint workgroup on Open Payments Alliance (OPA) Standards. OPA’s purpose is to bypass the current flow of reservations to process payments more efficiently and securely. By separating the payment path from the reservation path, significant changes will not be required by global distribution systems (GDS), central reservation systems (CRS), and property management systems (PMS).
Additionally, this will increase security by keeping credit card information in a separate, secure environment. In 2020 the group will create software standards, business rules and best practices so that OPA solutions can be developed and integrated with other key systems using open standards.
Also, this year industry associations HTNG, HFTP, HEDNA and the OpenTravel Alliance created a Unique Global Identifiers (UGI) Workgroup. A UGI can identify and provide information about legal entities within the hospitality industry. UGIs can be linked together to pinpoint relationships such as a hotel with its franchise, chain and member associations. Once registered, any other entity in the industry can query and use the UGI codes to exchange information about the entity and transactions in which they might be involved.
This group will continue its work in 2020 to define the value proposition of a UGI to different constituencies, such as vendors, distributors and other stakeholders. This information will lead to an initial associated business model, a minimum viable product and a governance structure to encourage industry buy-in and collaborative participation throughout the overall system.
HTNG, HEDNA and OpenTravel have all partnered to advance electronic distribution technology in the hospitality industry through an HTNG Distribution Pillar. While the associations have distinct missions, they all share the collective goal of improving the traveler experience from the searching and booking process through the conclusion of the trip. Currently, the OPA Standards Workgroup and the UGI Workgroup filter up to the Distribution Pillar.