Amadeus is developing a common, open-architecture distribution platform for hotels, similar in approach to its Altéa airline platform. The goal is to address the issue of fragmented hotel technology disparate property management, central reservations, revenue management and customer relationship management systems and to create a platform that distributes hotel inventory through all channels and integrates with all systems.

Amadeus worked with British Airways and Qantas to design the Altéa platform, and it plans to replicate that experience on the hotel side.

It is in discussions with various chains around the world to recruit customers who would act as co-developers, with an eye toward actual deployment in two to three years.

The new distribution platform is behind Amadeus decision to create a new business unit that unites its hospitality distribution and technology services.

It is headed by Antoine Medawar, who is and will remain chief executive officer of Optims, the French hotel technology company that Amadeus acquired earlier this year. Optims provides property management, central reservations and revenue management systems. Its Otedis division provides GDS and Internet connectivity.

Medawar adds the title of managing director, hospitality. Amadeus cruise, car rental, tours, rail, ferry and insurance businesses remain in the Travel Services and Leisure unit headed by managing director Albert Pozo., Amadeus travel agency network in North America, was added to the travel and leisure unit in the reorganization.

No other related management changes are anticipated.

Over the last three years, Amadeus has worked toward taking advantage of the enormous opportunity on the distribution side to increase hotel bookings through its GDS by adding automated commission payment, total pricing, improved hotel information and photographs and other features. At the same time, Amadeus was beefing up its status as a technology provider, most notably with the Altéa airline platform.

The Optims acquisition represented a strategic move to becoming a hotel technology provider on a similar scale.