Business & Finance

OpenTravel to Host First Team-Based Challenge at Advisory Forum Next Month

The Evolution of Connectivity in the Travel Industry

AUSTIN, TX. September 28, 2017 — OpenTravel Alliance (OpenTravel) will host its first team-based challenge next month on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 from 1:30–5:00 p.m. EST at the OpenTravel Advisory Forum – early bird registration rates and housing reservations are still available through this week. The Evolution of Connectivity in the Travel Industry challenge will evolve OpenTravel’s ability to respond to disruption and innovation in technology. Teams, or individuals, of industry participants will recognize problems in the travel industry, and compete to propose innovative solutions to a panel of judges using OpenTravel standards. Mentors will also be available throughout the challenge to provide guidance and direction to participating teams.

The OpenTravel Challenge will be moderated by Co-founder and former Tnooz CEO Gene Quinn, keynote speaker at the Forum. Quinn is a pioneer in digital media, technology and financial services and e-commerce. He has been a private investor, adviser and chairman to public and private companies in travel, media, marketing, financial services and web technology. Quinn was the first Senior Vice President of Online and Interactive at MTV Networks, home of Viacom’s global entertainment brands MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and TVLand.

Challenge contributors include all registered participants from project managers to developers, innovators, designers, business developers, marketers, revenue managers and more. Interdisciplinary and cross-functional teams will foster innovation and generate winning ideas. Participating teams can be self-formed prior to the event, or formed on-site. A selected team spokesperson will have five minutes to present the group’s findings to the panel of judges. Presentations may take any form, i.e. coded application, mock-up prototype, story board, etc. Resources such as white boards, flipcharts, WiFi, stationery, and a projector will be available for participants to use.

“OpenTravel is excited to host its first interactive Challenge at this year’s Advisory Forum in Florida next month,” said OpenTravel CEO Mike Tinkey. “Industry activists will have the opportunity to collaborate and influence the direction of OpenTravel and its integral role in the travel distribution ecosystem.”

The judge’s panel will consist of 2017 Advisory Forum keynote speakers, other selected speakers and industry leaders. Prizes will be made available to the first place team; the second and third place teams will also be recognized. The criteria for judging will be based upon the solution’s likelihood to be adopted/implemented by a mass of travel participants, ability to solve a “pain point” in distribution, cost effectiveness, efficiency and interoperability. It should also be a driver for membership and participation in OpenTravel Workgroups and Project Teams.

The 2017 OpenTravel Advisory Forum will take place from October 23–25 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in ChampionsGate, Florida USA. The event will be co-located, overlapping one day, with Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals’ (HFTP®) 2017 Annual Convention, running October 25–27. For more information on OpenTravel Alliance’s 2.0 Standards or the OpenTravel Challenge, please contact Sandy Angel ( of OpenTravel Alliance.

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, 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 or email

Coming Up In The November Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Architecture & Design: Authentic, Interactive and Immersive
If there is one dominant trend in the field of hotel architecture and design, it’s that travelers are demanding authentic, immersive and interactive experiences. This is especially true for Millennials but Baby Boomers are seeking out meaningful experiences as well. As a result, the development of immersive travel experiences - winery resorts, culinary resorts, resorts geared toward specific sports enthusiasts - will continue to expand. Another kind of immersive experience is an urban resort – one that provides all the elements you'd expect in a luxury resort, but urbanized. The urban resort hotel is designed as a staging area where the city itself provides all the amenities, and the hotel functions as a kind of sophisticated concierge service. Another trend is a re-thinking of the hotel lobby, which has evolved into an active social hub with flexible spaces for work and play, featuring cafe?s, bars, libraries, computer stations, game rooms, and more. The goal is to make this area as interactive as possible and to bring people together, making the space less of a traditional hotel lobby and more of a contemporary gathering place. This emphasis on the lobby has also had an associated effect on the size of hotel rooms – they are getting smaller. Since most activities are designed to take place in the lobby, there is less time spent in rooms which justifies their smaller design. Finally, the wellness and ecology movements are also having a major impact on design. The industry is actively adopting standards so that new structures are not only environmentally sustainable, but also promote optimum health and well- being for the travelers who will inhabit them. These are a few of the current trends in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.