OCTO to advance technical connectivity standards for tours, activities & attractions

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 has formed 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 Vice President, OCTO. “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 organisation 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. (You can learn more about OCTO and become a member today.)

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.

“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 organisation benefits all of the industry fairly,” said Stephen Joyce, Head of Solutions at Holibob and Secretary of OCTO. “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.”

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