OpenTravel Alliance to Transition Association Management Relationship to HTNG in 2019

Michael Blake (HTNG), Susanne Auinger (OpenTravel), David Sjolander (HTNG & OpenTravel), Brian Bell (OpenTravel)

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.”


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