Code…don’t sleep…repeat! As previewed on this blog, that’s exactly what happened last week in our Palma office when more than 50 tech gurus came together for our Hack@Travel event, a 24-hour Hackathon to test tech skills and create unique experiences for travellers.
Hack@Travel was a joint event sponsored by Hotelbeds Group and the University of Baleares (UIB). It attracted aspiring students to work alongside some of our company’s top software developers. Teams were asked to come up with innovative technology solutions to address current challenges faced by modern travellers.
Other than the honour of the coders, what more was at stake? Prizes on offer were significant, with special cash awards of up to €6,000 along with additional prizes such as hotel nights and tickets to activities such as theme parks.
Using Hotelbeds technology (APIs) – including Accommodation and Activities (APItude & ACTAPI) as well as public APIs and open data to enrich their developments – participants were divided into 10 different groups. They worked around the clock to create new value propositions within the travel industry and identify untapped business opportunities.
The Best Project award was selected by a panel of judges and went to the ´Pathfinder´ team, whose project focused on offering travellers experiences on the go. Based on the user’s starting point and destination, the mobile application searches for activities while the user is en route, showing accommodation options nearby through the integration with APItude.
Whilst in the People’s Choice category, voted for by the participants, the top award was given to the team ´Trend Travel´, who designed an application that identifies the best destination and activities based on the user’s preference – as well as what is trending on social media. In addition, it displays unforseen factors that could affect the decision-making process such as extreme weather alerts, local violence ratings and air quality.
Throughout the event, our Technology and Product Management Directors, Chris Branagan and Peter Mansour, visited the Hack@Travel area to welcome participants and share their support. Both expressed how thrilling it was to see the teams in action and were inspired by the new ideas and solutions developing at pace and under pressure.
To find out more about how the event went watch this video we´ve uploaded on YouTube.