Just a couple of weeks ago, two of our developers at trivago (Moein Akbarof and Margot Bonilla) teamed up with two other developers of Base7booking (Gabriel Garrido and Andrew Zappella) to participate in a very personal venture outside of their work-related endeavours. They joined THack Mallorca, a hackathon dedicated to hospitality solutions and organized by TNOOZ in Palma the Majorca in Spain.

Our fantastic four took the plunge and set out to challenge convention, test their ideas, and try their hand at inventing new digital apps aimed at easing the traveler’s experience online. All the while, these four were competing with over 100 other talented developers.

And this is how Zoe was born, after 30 hours of fun and a challenge.

Zoe is a personal travel assistant that helps you find and book a hotel for your next trip. Zoe is a chat bot that can be used from any messaging app, such as Facebook messenger or Telegram.

The focus of the hackathon was disruption and innovation in the travel and hospitality industries, with an emphasis on mobile applications that enhance traveller experiences.

Zoe wants to remove the tedious experience of looking for a hotel through a mobile application alone. It acts as a benevolent friend trying to look for hotels based on your preferences. If you want to learn more about what Zoe can do, here´s the link to the prototype

But Zoe didn’t come without its challenges.

The three biggest challenges in this hackathon were:

  1. Natural language processing
  2. Understanding users intents, which is really complex
  3. The time limit of 30 hours


The hackathon organizers took a unique approach in planning this particular competition by having student developers alongside professional developers. This is the best way to exchange experiences, get to know people from the same field, drive innovation, challenge yourself, and share know-hows with the newest bright minds in the field.

We’re really proud of the team and want to congratulate Moein, Margo, Gabriel, and Andrew for winning two Awards at the hackathon:

  1. First prize for usage of Hotelbeds API.
  2. First prize (best large team award) from judges’ votes.

Andrea Ricciarelli

Andrea is in charge of Global B2B PR and coordinates national communication activities to support the Industry Management team at trivago. Originally from Tuscany, he spent almost a decade living in Spain and Germany. He previously designed and managed worldwide, and pan-European communication campaigns and events for diverse clients. Now he's committed to empowering hotel managers to perform better online. He's listening to hoteliers' voices from all over the world and sharing their inspiring stories through our channels and with the media.

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