CAST Virtual Hackthon | The sustainable tourism challenge
Despite the difficult moments the tourism sector is facing these days, the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN) together with EBN Members WestBIC, CEEI Burgos, CeeIM, CyRIC, Lazio Innova, Media Deals, alongside D2S and Creative Business Cup, all partners of COSME funded project CAST*, have seen this challenge as an opportunity.
While physical events have been cancelled, virtual events have become a staple in our daily lives and CAST Network is no exception! That's how last week we organised the CAST Virtual Hackathon - the sustainable tourism challenges running for 3 days from 1st to 3rd July.
The CAST Virtual Hackathon organised and hosted by EBN, with the support of EBN Member WestBIC and CBN, saw over 130 active participants from more than 26 countries work together over three days with the support of industry expert mentors to create, digital or tech solutions that enable deployment of safe, innovative, and sustainable tourist and traveller experiences.
On Wednesday and Thursday, 40 participants attended in workshops and received support from 19 mentors with extensive industry experience before 8 innovative solutions ranging from gamification, secure destinations, virtual travel tours and IA, were pitched in front of our jury of 6 sustainable tourism experts and investors.
First place was awarded to ‘SafeTourism’ from Algarve DIH, an application which provides tourists with real-time information on the safest tourist activities and businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their solution uses location data and user-sourced ratings to support the safety of tourists by advising if an area is too busy, suggesting quiet alternatives, and informing them of how well businesses follow regulations. SafeTourism helps tourists to stay safe and feel confident during this time – successfully tackling a key challenge to the revival of the tourism sector.
Second place was awarded to Algomo, a solution which provides businesses with an easy set-up multi-lingual chatbot for their websites. Small businesses, such as hotels and restaurants, can use the chatbot to engage with potential customers around the globe as well as to easily manage the increased number of queries that they face surrounding transport, cleanliness, accessibility, and more.
The event was supported extensively by a number of partners including the DG Grow and DG CNECT from European Commission, Digital Innovation Hubs, Booking.com, UNWTO, CAST Consortium and EBN members.
- Digital Innovation Hubs : CoE in Tourism Innovation, DIHBAI-TUR, DIH FIT, DIH Tourism 4.0, DMIW, Tourism 4.0
- CAST Consortium (EBN Members, WestBIC, CEEI Burgos, CeeIM, CyRIC, Lazio Innova and Media Deals, alongside D2S and Creative Business Cup) and more.
- EBN Members: Ances, Angers Technopole, BIC EURONOVA, CEEI Guadalajara, CEEI Asturias, FundacioBit, Malta Innovation Hub, RUSE CCI, TVT Innovation
We would like on this occasion to extend our gratitude to all the speakers, participants, mentors and jurors.
*Creative Accelerators for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) is a 3-year project co-funded by the European Commission COSME programme. The ten partners balanced evenly across the EU bring together extensive experience in working with creative and tourism enterprises across Europe and stimulating their creation, growth and internationalisation. CAST aims to provide incubation & acceleration support to sustainable tourism start-ups and SMEs to grow and scale.
CAST Project is co-funded by the COSME programme of the European Commission under GA n.806917
CAST Hackathon was organised in collaboration with DG GROW, EASME and DG CNECT
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