The Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association (HEDNA) has joined a partnership with Hospitality Technology Next Generation (HTNG) and The OpenTravel Alliance, to advance distribution technology in the hospitality industry.
In early 2019, HTNG and OpenTravel launched a joint ‘Distribution Pillar’ as a community of interest to advance electronic distribution in the hospitality industry. While the missions of the three associations are different, they all share the goal of improving the traveler experience from the searching and booking process through to the conclusion of the trip.
This extended partnership leverages the strength of HEDNA’s business focus as a third organization in the Distribution Pillar. The Strategy Chair for the pillar is Tom Coulthurst of Oracle Hospitality. There were two existing Strategic Advisors for the Distribution Pillar, Lorie Grant of InterContinental Hotels Group (representing OpenTravel’s Board of Directors) and Brian Kirkland of Choice Hotels International (representing HTNG’s Board of Governors). HEDNA President Sarah Fults, VP Distribution for MGM Resorts International, has been appointed as the third advisor to serve with Grant and Kirkland.
“HTNG, OpenTravel and HEDNA have all played important roles in advancing distribution in the hospitality industry over the years,” HEDNA President Sarah Fults said. “Distribution is the inventory engine that powers hospitality so our involvement in the Distribution Pillar is a natural fit.”
There are currently two workgroups under the Distribution Pillar, the Open Payments Alliance (OPA) Standards Workgroup and the Unique Global Identifier (UGI) Workgroup. HEDNA also has a Connectivity Workgroup which addresses the issue of attribute-based pricing and will benefit from the partnership and expertise of HTNG and OpenTravel members. HEDNA, HTNG and OpenTravel members are all able to participate in these workgroups along with others that may develop under the pillar.
“We’re excited to announce the inclusion of HEDNA in this joint pillar,” said HTNG COO David Sjolander. “The fact that we have a range of expertise from multiple associations coming together will really strengthen the output of the workgroups under the Distribution Pillar.”
“We are seeing changes in not only what defines a hospitality product, but also how those products are distributed,” said Lorie Grant, manager, 3rd party distribution – product management of InterContinental Hotels Group and OpenTravel board member. “It is a very exciting time to be part of the efforts and we look forward to continuing to provide business solutions driven by customers’ expectations and needs of suppliers to most effectively merchandise their products and services.”
In addition to uniting around distribution, HEDNA and HTNG will further their collaboration, including promoting each other’s events and partnering on other future activities.