AdventureTravelNews

Opentravel Standards Connect Tour Operators and Travel Agents for The First Time

CARLSBAD, CA — PEAK 15 Systems, Inc. announced today that Austin-Lehman Adventures is using the PEAK 15 Tour Operator Software System and its OpenTravel standards-enabled connection to deliver information about their award winning trips directly to more than 6,000 Signature Travel Network Agents. The first-of-its-kind standards-based connection represents a major milestone towards integrating tour operators into the broader online travel market.

As new trips are created by Austin-Lehman inside PEAK 15, or as trip availability or prices change, the information is shared automatically with Signature Travel’s systems allowing agents to confidently browse, search and match their clients’ interests to these hand-crafted experiences without leaving the comfort of their own tools. “Being named the #1 Tour Operator in the World by Travel + Leisure Magazine dramatically increased our profile in the industry, but many potential travelers out there rely on the advice of a local travel agent,” said Dan Austin, Director, Austin-Lehman Adventures. “As a non ‘big-box’ tour operator, we can’t afford to drop brochures into the office of each and every travel agent and then hope a client picks us out off a shelf. With PEAK 15 we can do even better at essentially no incremental cost.”

“As a non ‘big-box’ tour operator, we can’t afford to drop brochures into the office of each and every travel agent and then hope a client picks us out off a shelf. With PEAK 15 we can do even better at essentially no incremental cost.”

The tour operator and outfitter segment of the travel industry has been dubbed the ‘long-tail’ of the online travel industry because the vast majority of the more than 8,000 operators and outfitters in the U.S. and Canada have little or no ability to connect online with other suppliers or distributors. “Within the fragmented tour operator industry the only viable solution is open standards, so, together with a group of other like-minded companies, we worked with the OpenTravel Alliance to develop and publish OpenTravel messages for the tour industry in 2008,” said PEAK 15’s CEO and founder, James O’Leonard. The standard was then built into PEAK 15’s next generation system released in 2009.

“Having a standard is incredibly important. We currently have trip information from over 30 of the largest tour operators in our system today and have created a direct connection with 11 different systems to date,” said Karen Yeates, Vice President of Internet Business Solutions, Signature Travel Network. “With the OpenTravel standard we can not only plug in any other tour operator that is using PEAK 15 but also any other system that implements the standard in the future, which means we can start to work with more and more of these small to mid-size companies.”

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