OCTO to Advance Technical Connectivity Standards for Tours, Activities & Attractions

April 21, 2023

The new, non-profit industry association aims to make technical connectivity for creators and sellers in the travel experiences sector easier and more efficient

MT. ROYAL, NEW JERSEY, Sept. 20, 2022.  A consortium of leading reservation and ticketing system providers, distributors, experience operators and other companies in the tours, activities and attractions sector of travel and tourism announces the formation of OCTO, a new non-profit association whose mission is to advance technical connectivity standards for travel’s third-largest sector.

OCTO, which stands for Open Connectivity for Tours, Activities & Attractions, provides an open source specification (the OCTO Spec) to enable reservation and ticketing system providers and tour, activity and attraction ticket resellers to connect their systems for more efficient distribution.

“The technology and distribution landscape in tours and attractions is incredibly fragmented, with hundreds of technology providers, in-house technologies and many hundreds of resellers,” said Carrie Keplinger, EVP of Go City and OCTO Vice President. “This has required each company to invest in new API development every time they want to connect to a new partner. A standard specification would significantly reduce the cost for many companies in our industry to connect to more partners and grow the industry.”

OCTO is a non-profit, 501c3 association formed by and for the tours, activities and attractions industry. OCTO’s mission is to make connectivity easier and more efficient by maintaining and advancing an open source technical specification and documentation for the industry.

OCTO does not provide an API, channel manager or connectivity infrastructure or services, nor does it charge for any services. The specification and documentation are freely available on the OCTO website.

The organization is actively seeking members from across the industry to support the advancement of the specification. Members of OCTO have an opportunity to participate in the development of the specification through the Specification Committee and various working groups. OCTO also provides members with implementation support through an online community platform, as well as through online and in-person meetings.

OCTO is also seeking representatives from tour and activity operators and visitor attractions to join and participate on the Operator Advisory Committee and working groups, to ensure that operators have direct input on the direction of the specification.

OCTO provides different levels of membership for technology providers, distributors and tour and attraction operators.  Learn more about OCTO and become a member today.

Members Meeting: The first members meeting will be held on October 10, 2022 from 12:30-2:30 pm at Paris Hotel in Las Vegas at the Arival Las Vegas conference. This meeting is for OCTO members; non-members may attend and observe for a $50 fee at the door, which can be applied to a future membership.

Open Meeting: There will be an Introduction to OCTO session open to all right after the members meeting from 2:30-3:00 pm.

“Tours and attractions is a very competitive sector. As an industry trade association, OCTO is committed to transparency, impartiality and ensuring that the work of the organization benefits all of the industry fairly,” said Stephen Joyce, Head of Solutions at Holibob and OCTO Secretary/Treasurer. “To that end, we have adopted an OCTO Code of Conduct and association by-laws which detail every member's responsibility to fairness and the organization’s commitment to transparency and avoiding conflict of interest.”

The OCTO Board of Directors:
Oskar Bruening, CTO, Peek, and OCTO Specification Committee Co-Chair
Tom Chiarella, EVP, Gateway Ticketing Systems, and OCTO Member Services Committee Co-Chair
Jason Horkin, VP Experience, Related / Hudson Yards, and OCTO Supplier Committee Chair
Stephen Joyce, Head of Solutions, Holibob, and OCTO Secretary/Treasurer
Carrie Keplinger, EVP, Go City, and OCTO Vice President
Oliver Morgan, CEO, Ventrata, and OCTO Specification Committee Co-Chair
Chris Neal, CTO, Redeam, and OCTO Member Services Committee Co-Chair
Douglas Quinby, CEO, Arival, and OCTO President
Christian Watts, CEO, Magpie Travel, and OCTO Membership Outreach Committee Chair

OCTO Executive Management
Talley Management Group

OCTO Founding Members
Gateway Ticketing Systems
Go City
TUI Musement

OCTO Technology Members
Magpie Travel

Operator & Attraction Members
Alaska X
Empire State Building
Extreme Adventure Cancun
Maverick Helicopters
Merlin Entertainments
Nordic Experience
Related / The Edge at Hudson Yards
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance
Speedboat Adventures
Universal Orlando
Vacation Store

For more information, visit www.octo.travel.

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