OpenTravel Alliance Announces First-Ever Virtual Hackathon

More than 80 developers and three winning teams code with APIs from LinksRez, MASAI Mobility Community and IATA NDC

Austin, TX, USA – (June 28, 2018) – The OpenTravel Alliance, the not-for profit responsible for developing and maintaining interoperability for disparate systems in all verticals of the travel industry, has announced three winning teams in the OpenTravel  VHack, its first-ever virtual hackathon to promote innovation in travel applications.

With APIs provided by LinksRez, MASAI Mobility Community and IATA New Distribution Capability (NDC) more than 80 developers from around the world competed for cash prizes and shared their applications via the Devpost virtual community platform.

The OpenTravel VHack was sponsored by LinksRez. OpenTravel recruited several travel industry experts to judge the hackers’ projects. At least one of each company’s APIs was used in the winning projects.

“Each of the hacker teams was challenged to create an innovative solution that enhances the connected traveler’s experience in searching, shopping or participating in a journey,” said Brian Bell, CEO of LinksRez and OpenTravel board member. “Everybody wins – developers learn tools and business practices, API providers receive first-hand feedback on their technology, and OpenTravel promotes its leadership in delivering interoperability in travel.”

Developers were exposed to APIs from three companies:

  • LinksRez – APIs that focus on the areas of hotel, car rental and golf. These APIs allow for searching, checking availability and booking inventory.
  • MASAI Mobility Community – APIs that focus on ground transportation in the areas of long-distance bus, transfers and touristic services, car sharing and co-working space.
  • IATA NDC – APIs focused on air travel

Each winning innovation used at least one of the APIs provided.

The OpenTravel VHack winners were:

  • First Place (US$1,000) – Workspace Surfer by Brian Cottrell and Emily Lam
  • Second Place (US$500) – Carmen Travel by Bryan Knouse
  • Third Place (US$250) – AI Travel Assistant by Martin Minchev and Nadia Kaloyanova

In addition, each of the three winning projects was presented to travel industry leaders during OpenTravel’s Amsterdam Forum in April.  These winners and the other submitted applications can be viewed at:  https://opentravel.devpost.com/submissions

About OpenTravel Alliance
OpenTravel Alliance is passionate about solving the problems inherent with connecting multiple systems within the complex travel distribution arena. Our mission is to enable the future of travel by driving the evolving digital experience for consumers. OpenTravel Alliance creates, expands and drives adoption of open specifications, including but not limited to the use of XML and JSON, for the electronic exchange of business information among all sectors of the travel industry.

OpenTravel Alliance is comprised of companies representing airlines, car rental firms, hotels, cruise lines, railways, leisure suppliers, service providers, tour operators, travel agencies, solutions providers, technology companies and distributors. Tens of thousands of OpenTravel Alliance message structures are in use, carrying tens of millions of messages between trading partners every day.

OpenTravel Alliance is a not-for-profit trade association, founded in 1999 by travel companies, with a primary focus on the creation of electronic message structures to facilitate communication between the disparate systems in the global travel industry. For more information on OpenTravel Alliance membership, new products, or projects, please visit http://www.opentravel.org or email info@opentravel.org.

Sandy Angel
Director of Specifications