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As part of Travel Hub, an international tourist forum in St Petersburg, the SPB Travel Industry Hack has been held recently.   The theme of this year’s hackathon was ‘Rebooting Inbound Tourism’. 

The event was organised by the St Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development along with the Federal Agency for Tourism. 

There were competitions in the fields of digital design, communication design and service design. They involved solving cases proposed by companies and institutions of tourism development, service and hospitality.  In communication design, the victory went to the Tetra team, composed of the following St Petersburg University students in the Graphic Design programme:  Adeliia Vodolazova, Angelina Kablova, Elizaveta Moskadynova and Nadezhda Demkina. 

The team tackled a problem put forward by the St Petersburg Convention Bureau, in which they were challenged to develop a conception for an exhibition stand and ideas for the city’s communication programme for international exhibitions.  The stand was to reflect the city’s tourist brand, to sound relevant and to mirror the city’s position and its tourist products. 

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One of the members of the Tetra team, Adeliia Vodolazova, noted that the hackathon will provide a new impetus to their professional growth.  ‘At its core, this is an extraordinary event.  The organisers managed to achieve just the right level of comfort and convenience for the participants.  What’s more, this is a perfect springboard to the world of projects,’ she stressed.

Kseniia Pozdniakova, Head of the St Petersburg University Department of Design and supervisor of the DESIS SPbU Design Laboratory, pointed out that participation in the hackathon gives students an opportunity to: work on up-to-the-minute cases for real clients within a short timeframe; gain experience in interdisciplinary teamwork with other designers; and take masterclasses given by experts from the industry and representatives of potential employers.

The most important result of participation in the hackathon is that it gives students a chance to acquire new competencies in developing conceptions to solve what are for them new challenges in design, and to acquire skills in preparing presentations and pitching start-ups for investors and clients.

Kseniia Pozdniakova, Head of the St Petersburg University Department of Design and supervisor of the DESIS SPbU Design Laboratory

‘All of these skills enhance the communicative competencies of student designers and can be applied in their work on their graduation projects and in further professional activity,” Associate Professor Pozdniakova noted.

All told, about 30 teams representing different universities in St Petersburg took part in the hackathon.  Throughout the day of the competition, the teams’ design endeavours were accompanied by lectures and consultations from experts in the tourism industry, design, service and IT.  One of the experts at the forum was designer Egor Vasilev, a graduate of St Petersburg University.

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The results of the teams’ efforts were evaluated by a jury that included representatives of: the Union of Designers of Russia; the International Youth Centre; the Government of Moscow; the State Academic Cappella of St Petersburg; the State Russian Museum; Gromov Art Centre; the Culture of Petersburg portal; Petrocentr AO; and other organisations.