Turistica students win the Smart Tourism Hackathon

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The first Smart Tourism Hackathon is concluded

Last weekend (24th and 25th February), 16 teams of talented students and individuals from all over Slovenia joined forces to solve challenges in the tourism and IT sector. Among the winners were once again Turistica students, who won one of the 4 challenges of the first nationwide hackathon in the field of smart tourism.

The participants of the hackathon, in which UP FTŠ Turistica participated as a co-organiser and leading academic partner in the field of smart tourism, sought solutions to real challenges in the tourism sector, the integration of educational institutions, public and private sectors and the promotion of advanced and smart solutions in the tourism sector. With the help of mentors from academia and business (including Turistica lecturers Miha Bratec and Tadej Rogelja), the teams came up with a number of innovative solutions and interesting ideas that can help improve tourism offerings and experiences.

After examining the solutions presented, the jury selected the four best teams, which were awarded prizes for the most innovative solutions. Aram Vermishian, Tilen Nipič and Luka Rakovič, students from Turistica Portorož, swept the competition with their idea of a personalised guest experience management app and earned the award for the best solution in the Smart Hotel Experience Challenge. Among the challenges the participants were looking for solutions to were:

  • SMART use of NFT technology in tourism,
  • SMART wellness experience and
  • SMART waste management.

Another brilliant Turistica's team climbed the podium with an excellent second place and will be involved in finding solutions for the challenger, Gostinstvo Jezeršek, in the future.

The first (but certainly not the last) Smart Tourism Hackathon was organised by SRIP Sustainable Tourism, Ljubljana Tourism, UP Faculty of Tourism Studies Turistica and Ljubljana Technology Park.

The event aimed to stimulate creativity and innovation in the field of smart tourism, which is still a relatively unknown area in Slovenia, by encouraging participants to find solutions to real challenges posed by tourism companies. Among others, solutions were presented to improve the user experience of visitors to a tourist destination through the use of NFT technologies, wellness and hotel and optimising waste management in the catering industry, thus reducing the negative impact on the environment.

We believe that the solutions and ideas presented will contribute to the development of smart tourism, to the formation of a smart tourism ecosystem, the framework of which consists of the four co-organisers of the event, and to a better tourism offer and experience for visitors and guests.

The H2020 SMARTDEST project, in which Turistica is a partner, tackles the societal challenge of social inclusion and sustainability in European cities by developing innovative solutions. The Hackathon is part of the project activities of the Ljubljana City Lab, coordinated by Miha Bratec, senior lecturer and researcher at Turistica, where the building blocks of a more innovative and sustainable tourism management are being put in place in Slovenia's leading urban destination through networking and greater involvement of various stakeholders with the aim of stimulating creativity and dialogue in the development of smart solutions for both tourists and local residents.