Competition was as fiery as a flamenco dance at the Expedia 2017 Lodging Partner Hackathon.
From April 24 through April 26, Expedia hosted 37 developers from 17 countries representing 15 technology partners to collaborate and compete. The developers worked in teams, supported by an Expedia coach, to build creative solutions using both existing Expedia APIs and other technologies.
Inspiration, spirited discussions and a couple of late nights fueled the innovation that led to many brilliant solutions. Olé!
In the end, a few solutions really wowed the judges and stood out as game changers for improving travel property management. These teams thought beyond traditional property needs and expensive formal data collection to present some simple solutions to complicated problems.
First Place: HotelOga
Problem: In emerging markets, acquiring new customers is time consuming. Property managers know that they need to optimize their property information for online customer acquisition channels, but it requires a different set of technical skills and resources than the local teams often possess.
Solution: The HotelOga team created an easy-to-use mobile app that lets you simply walk through a property and take some images - the tool takes care of the rest! It intelligently interprets pictures to extract the room and property amenities required to onboard a property, including photos, in 3 minutes.
Second Place: HotelSpider
Problem: On-boarding a property for online channel distribution is time-consuming. Many data points need to be created and entered manually.
Solution: The HotelSpider team built a tool to crowdsource content - generating property descriptions, amenities, images and other content from guest review data and other sources. Property managers need to simply verify their auto-generated profile and attributes rather than creating content from scratch.
Third Place: Team Air (combined of 3 companies: Vertical Booking, NextPax, Djubo)
Problem: Vacation Rental properties have different parameters than hotels. Many providers manage thousands of units, so on boarding and content maintenance is not straightforward and can be overwhelming.
Solution: Team Air built a tool that provides a simple, single page overview with action triggers to improve vacation rental specific content for multiple units. They further enhanced the experience by including direct feedback on improvements to the quality score.
Congratulations to our winners!
Thank you to all who participated in the 2017 Expedia Partner Hackathon. We look forward to partnering with you on future solutions to improve the travel industry.