Developers, start-ups and technology and travel industry innovators from around Asia Pacific gathered in Singapore to code through the night during Sabre Corporation’s (NASDAQ: SABR) first Asia Pacific hackathon, ‘Destination Hack: Singapore’.The challenge? In 24-hours, conceptualise and program a new technology application with the scope to reinvent travel – from the way it’s shopped, sold and managed to how it’s experienced.
The winning App, branded “Moments”, was developed by a Singaporean team of techies and entrepreneurs. Designed to respond to a growing trend for ‘Bleisure’ travel in Asia Pacific, it’s intended to help travel agents plan and book more personalised trips tailored for travellers combining business and leisure in the same itinerary.
The App allows travel agents to access a ‘social profile’ created by the business traveller, shared through Sabre’s travel merchandising platform, to make relevant leisure activity ‘add-on’ recommendations such as tickets for concerts or local exhibitions. Powered by API integrations of existing travel Apps, including Sabre’s travel itinerary management tool TripCase and event booking platforms like Expedia and Eventbrite, these additional leisure bookings can be booked and added into the main travel itinerary, which also incorporates itemised expense tracking to distinguish between business and personal expenses.
Once approved, developers can sell new travel Apps, like the ones designed during this hackathon, through the Sabre Red App Centre which is a B2B App marketplace for travel agents to shop third party Apps that extend the capabilities of Sabre’s travel merchandising platform.
“We loved the idea of an App that addresses a very specific traveller group. A combination of socioeconomic factors and rapidly advancing technological enablement in this region is fuelling a rapid evolution in the way people travel, and we’re seeing a lot of new patterns and preferences emerging. It’s essential that travel businesses have the right technologies in place to adapt to these changing traveller demands,” commented Roshan Mendis, senior vice president for Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific.
Judges from Expedia, Ctrip, DHISCO and Sabre, rated the entries on a combination of technical quality, design, potential and originality criteria.
Greg Schulze, Senior Vice President, Commercial Strategy and Services for Expedia, commented that information is the key to travel selection. “As consumers, we’re getting smarter about travel options, with more information made available at our fingertips. We often ask ourselves at Expedia – how can we leverage our investment in technology and data, so that every traveller can find the trip they want – whether it’s their 1,000th or their first? Many of the ideas we saw during the hack explored ways to filter this information to drive more relevant travel choices, which is where the whole travel experience begins.”
Destination Hack Singapore Winners:
Best New Technology Application – Moments
By Marcos Angeles, Isolda Josy, Paul Amazona and Pranay Roy.
Best Use of VR, sponsored by SabreLabs – TraveGo
Built with the technology used by Pokémon Go, TraveGo lets travellers interact with an avatar to search and review potential destinations interactively.
Chatbot Challenge, sponsored by SabreLabs – Chat Planner
Chat Planner is a Chatbot engine that turns travel conversations into actionable bookings, using AI and natural language processing to make trip planning more intuitive.
Best Widget Idea for the new Sabre Red Workspace Panels – CreditCardsOffer
A widget letting travel agents quickly access a summary of credit card promotions with airlines, hotels and car rental companies, all in one place and from within their workflow.
Best Widget Idea for the new Sabre Red Workspace Decision Support Bar – Travelbrain
A Chatbot-based virtual assistant integrating with Facebook Messenger to analyse customer preferences, helping agents build more personalised itineraries.
Best use of Giata APIs, sponsored by Giata – Stranded Flights
A microsite for airline passengers delivering real-time updates and information during disruptions, from flight details to vouchers for airport services or hotel stays.
Most Likely to Succeed, sponsored by DHISCO – Flightzilla
A Chabot that helps travellers search for flights then share their recommendations with friends to win rewards whenever a recommendation generates a booking.
Since 2015 Sabre has been expanding its dedicated product and technology team in Asia Pacific to capture more innovation from within the region and explore future development opportunities and local collaborations.
“This was our first global hackathon held in Asia Pacific but it was no surprise to see the depth of talent and vision present,” commented Anupam Bokil, vice president of technology for Sabre Travel Network Asia Pacific. “This region is leading the way in terms of digital evolution and adoption, and the travel sector is a prime target for many of the new technologies we’re seeing.”