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Reducing Standards Duplication with Industry Collaboration

The HTNG Next Generation Distribution Messaging (NGDM) Workgroup’s Recommendations document demonstrates how working together to simplify messaging can serve great value to the hospitality industry.

It is critical to be up-to-date with the latest trends to provide guests with positive and familiar experiences. Personalization and tailored content strongly drive the guest’s experience. Distribution messaging standards seek to build upon guest data already collected and then distribute that information and customize it to the guest. 

When making a reservation, this previously gathered data can be used to tailor offers and ancillaries for the stay. Not only does this benefit the business of the hospitality company, but also enhances the experience for the guest.

Confusion often arises from unclear or conflicting messages. If two sources do not provide identical information, how does one choose which to follow? Collaborating and developing common open standards can fill this void. One set of standards between industry partners will both accelerate the implementation and usage of new offerings while shortening the time to market for these products as well. This is the driver for organizations to work together in order to deliver effective messaging standards to the industry.

• HTNG ( standards have primarily focused on messaging for the hotel industry, in the areas of distribution and on-property technology. Overall, HTNG’s hotel distribution messages are largely built on top of OpenTravel Alliance’s 1.0 Standards. More recently, HTNG’s Lightweight Messaging Workgroup created an XML to JSON Conversion Framework to explain to implementers how XML messages could be transformed into JSON. 

• OpenTravel Alliance ( creates, expands and drives adoption of open specifications for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry. The 1.0 Message Suite is widely adopted within the travel industry and the 2.0 Object Model is advancing in development and implementation.

The 2.0 Object Model introduces the notion of Offers and Orders which brings the industry closer to a world of true retailing. This true retailing enables a richer booking experience and greater opportunities for cross-selling and up-selling, resulting in increased value. OpenTravel isn’t the only organization to introduce Offers and Orders; International Air Transport Association (IATA; delivered this concept to the airline industry as well.

• IATA develops and maintains global commercial standards upon which the air transport industry is built. IATA’s standards aim to assist airlines by simplifying processes and increasing passenger convenience. IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) program developed a suite of XML messages supporting the distribution of airline offers and associated order management.

Bringing these organizations and their standards together demonstrates an obvious connection between the three. Today, everyone strives to be more efficient and absent of error. Now, the HTNG NGDM Workgroup has taken that notion and mirrored it to the travel industry to discover the benefits that will arise from having consistent distribution messaging across different verticals. The workgroup has driven conversations of next steps on how to figure out how these organizations and their standards can logically come together as one while still respecting that each sector may have its own standard-setting development bodies and processes.

The HTNG Next Generation Distribution Messaging Workgroup was led by Co-Chairs David Velasquez of Links Development Solutions and Greg Poirier of Honeywell Hospitality Solutions. The group’s Recommendations can be found at:

About the Author

Emily Wilson, Marketing Communications Specialist, HTNG

Emily is HTNG’s Marketing Communications Specialist with her primary focus being on the organization’s external communications. Emily develops and executes all email marketing campaigns and generates social media campaigns across the organization’s social media channels. Emily also produces company press releases and collaborates marketing efforts with leading industry partners. Emily graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and holds experience from previous marketing and communication roles. Emily enjoys traveling, playing and watching sports and spending time with her family and friends.

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