Since the advent of non‐proprietary technologies fostered by the internet, the travel distribution model has been subjected to significant changes. One of the primary changes has been the expanding potential of interoperability between systems brought about the advent of extended markup language‐based specifications developed and published by the Open Travel Alliance (OTA). The potential impact of the underlying technology (web services) in use for developing these standards is significant. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate strategic perspectives from key industry players over the potential of this technology and examine the factors pertaining to their adoption.
Data for this came from a series of 30‐45‐minute interviews with senior executives of four major travel suppliers (included three major hotel chains and one leading car rental company) as well as three major intermediaries (comprised two global distribution system companies and one major online travel agency). Interviews were guided using two types of signposts – conceptual and industry‐level phenomena.
Findings indicate that suppliers and intermediaries see distinctive levers of advantage from OTA messaging specifications. While suppliers seek to build flexibility to add/delete channels and subsequently leverage greater control over inventory distribution, intermediaries seek to consolidate on their aggregation capabilities through wider content and enhance dynamic packaging as value for end‐customers.
This is a qualitative study comprising in‐depth interviews with a selected few respondents that limit the generalizability of the results. Additionally, the perspective is limited to the larger players in the travel distribution space.
The study is the first in hospitality/travel marketing literature to examine the issues of interoperability specific to a major initiative such as the OTA.
Nayar, A. and Beldona, S. (2010), "Interoperability and Open Travel Alliance standards: strategic perspectives", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 22 No. 7, pp. 1010-1032. https://doi.org/10.1108/09596111011066653Download as .RIS
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