March 27, 2007 – WASHINGTON, DC - The OpenTravel Alliance, the travel industry’s leading distribution specification development organization, will feature keynote speaker Bob Allen, Chief Storytelling Office of i.d.e.a.s., at its annual Advisory Forum. Mr. Allen will address the value of storying as a practical, feet-on-the-ground discipline that can be used by individuals and organizations alike to enable innovation and transformation.

Following his presentation, Mr. Allen will moderate a panel of four OpenTravel board members as they outline the changes OpenTravel is making to further its own story in the travel industry.

The 2007 Advisory Forum will take place on April 17-18, 2007 at the Hilton Montreal Bonaventure in Montreal, Quebec.

“The board of directors of OpenTravel has spent the last few months formulating new objectives that reflect ‘Travel 2.0,’” said John Turato, vice president of technology at Avis Budget Group and chair of the OpenTravel board of directors. “Consumers have more power, technology has gotten cheaper, business models have changed, and the OpenTravel Alliance is changing too. We’re looking forward to sharing our new story with the travel industry.”

To see a full agenda and with speakers, click here.

Other featured speakers at the Advisory Forum include Geoffrey Lipman, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Office (UNWTO) who will discuss the efforts underway within the UNWTO to bring electronic distribution interoperability to the travel industries in developing countries. Jim Dullum, Vice president and Leader of the Global Transportation Industry at EDS, will address technological trends in the transport and hospitality industry that will affect communications between trading partners, including SOA and other infrastructure and communication approaches.

Other topics to be addressed include mobile distribution, service oriented architecture (SOA), distribution interoperability outside the United States and packaging messages for travel agencies, tour operators and suppliers.

Speakers include executives from OpenTravel member companies, including IBM, Lufthansa Systems, British Airways, Marriott, Cultuzz, OpenJaw Technologies, Worldspan, Accenture, Sabre, Hyatt, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Pegasus, Peak 15 Systems, CarTrawler and Hotel Booking Solutions.

About the OpenTravel Alliance

The OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena.

OpenTravel's mission is to engineer specifications that make data transmission flow smoothly throughout travel, tourism and hospitality. OpenTravel creates, expands and drives 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.

With a diversified membership representing influential names in all sectors of the travel industry, OpenTravel is comprised of representatives from airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, and trade associations. Thousands of OpenTravel message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day.

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