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Created: June 10, 2003.
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OpenTravel Alliance Releases OTA Specification Version 2003A for Travel Related Services.

The OpenTravel Alliance has announced the publication of its OTA Specification Version 2003A which "provides the travel industry and travel related services the ability to deliver new features and enhanced capabilities to travelers, through enhanced XML transactions." OTA is a non-profit organization of more than 150 members from major airlines, hoteliers, car rental companies, leisure suppliers, travel agencies, global distribution systems (GDS), technology providers and other interested parties, working to create and implement industry-wide, open e-business specifications."

The OTA 2003A Specification XML Message Sets package contains 140 XML Schemas corresponding to events and activities in various travel sectors. Sections 2-10 of the principal Open Travel Alliance Schema Descriptions and Examples document describe message sets from several groups and profiles, including the Air Working Group, Car Working Group, Hotel Working Group, Insurance, Package Tours/Holiday Bookings, Travel Itinerary Messages, Rail Messages, Loyalty Messages, and Generic Messages. The Version 2003A specification provides enhancements and introduces three new message pairs: (1) OTA Insurance Plan Search Messages supports a method for insurance agents and third party vendors to obtain a list of available insurance products and perform searches to find insurance products that meet certain requirements, e.g., length of coverage, number of travelers, residence/citizenship restrictions, form insurance company or intermediary; (2) OTA Hotel Request for Proposal (RFP) and Request for Information (RFI) Messages allow for automation of RFP/RFI in the Group/Meeting or Tour/Wholesale business, and for acknowledgement of request receipt; (3) OTA Hotel Reservation Modify Messages accommodates a full overlay of a reservation for the purpose of making a change to an existing confirmed booking. Additional business scenario and instance documents have been supplied to assist companies in implementing the OTA specification.

From the Announcement

The OpenTravel Alliance (OTA) is pleased to announce the publication of the 2003A Specification that provides the travel industry and travel related services the ability to deliver new features and enhanced capabilities to travelers, through enhanced XML transactions.

The 2003A release enhances messages previously released and introduces three new message pairs, two (2) for the Hotel Industry and one (1) for the Travel Insurance Industry. Also new in 2003A, additional business scenario and instance documents have been added to the text section of the Specification. These were added to assist those companies in the implementation process.

OTA would like to thank its 120 member companies, project teams, working groups and committees that worked so diligently to provide a richer, more robust specification and further travel technology and XML development. Thanks to this effort, the OTA is one step closer to its goal of creating a common and complete XML dialect for the travel industry.

The mission of the OpenTravel Alliance is the creation, expansion and adoption of open universal data specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.

The OpenTravel Alliance develops communications specifications to allow for the efficient and effective exchange of travel industry information via the Internet. With over 120 members representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OTA is comprised of representatives from the airlines, car rental firms, hotels, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. OTA working groups, together with an OTA interoperability committee to coordinate their efforts, develop open Internet-compatible messages using XML.

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