Throughout its history, OTA has been recognized by travel industry business and technology leaders as an important means for transformation of travel industry into one global market of services and products, which is possible through the development of communication process using Extensible Markup Language.
In addition to cooperating with such organizations as the UN/CEFACT and Travel Technology Initiative, OTA has improved its structure for work within the Project Teams, supporting the work completion across travel industry verticals and addressing specific needs across geographic regions. The organization also holds meetings in Europe through the Board meeting and OTA Advisory Forum introduced in 2002. Its conferences are convened at times convenient to various time zones, especially non-US zones. Generally, the OTA's goal is to call meetings in large cities for easy access to all of its members.
In order to use the Internet, the travel industry needs some technical specifications for electronic communication of information. OTA sees its mission in bringing together all of the travel industry sectors to accomplish this. The organization's specifications provide a forum for data exchange among travelers and travel-related businesses.
Such specifications foster development of interoperable systems, capable of creating and supporting new travel services to meet the requirements of the travel industry. Through the OTA Specifications Development Open Travel, the XML together with the Internet provides the travel industry with the opportunity to communicate across multi channels using common language. And despite the fact that developing a specification is regarded as a technical exercise, the active participation of technology, business and industry leaders is required for this development. By working in close collaboration, they help articulate a set of common data elements, able to meet customer and travel industry needs.
The Open Travel specifications perform the function of a common language and an important mechanism for promotion of the information exchange across travel industry segments. Members of the Open Travel Alliance are organizations representing all segments of travel industry.
Being aware of the technical architecture of various computer systems, OTA has established a range of objectives that can be specified as following: to embrace the backbone of the communication protocols on the Internet; to include widely-accepted means of electronic data interchange and travel message sets; to extend the organization's specifications to new uses.
Companies and individuals responsible for supply and distribution of travel services and products are welcome to lead the resolution in the global travel industry by offering their involvement in and support for the Open Travel Alliance. The OTA membership enables all of its members to participate in a number of committees, subcommittees, project teams and work groups.
The organization itself encourages members' active participation in all industry segments of the Alliance.