Tourism and innovation: The digital evolution of the industry

Inspired by egg-enter•grow•go

The internet, high-tech applications and the advantages they provide to tourism businesses, as well as to travelers, have set new standards for the industry. 

Moderator: Christina Vidou, Journalist


Sofia Zacharaki, Deputy Minister of Tourism

Ioanna Dretta, CEO Marketing Greece

Kostas Axarloglou, Dean - Professor of International Business and Strategy, ALBA Graduate Business School

Antonis Chalkiopoulos, Co-Founder & CEO Triparound

Michalis Kokkinos, Founder Moptil

To watch the full episode

Tourism and innovation: The digital evolution of the industry

The development of tourism with the use of new digital tools is the topic in question of this ExpertsTalk. Global tourism is considered one of the most valuable industries, worth many trillions of dollars and we live in an era full of new ideas and technological advantages, which bring new opportunities for tourism development as well. The internet, high-tech applications and the advantages they provide to tourism businesses, as well as to travelers, have set new standards for the industry.  
What are these new features? How easy is it for tourism to make the transition to the new digital age? Is it true that if you don’t exist as an internet business it’s like you don’t exist at all? Is there a risk of losing the authenticity and uniqueness of hosting through full use of digital tools? These are just some of the issues that will be discussed. Ways of supporting innovative companies that will modernise the Greek tourism and culture as a product of the country are also examined; for example, ways we can make good use of our country’s competitive advantage, through the use of software, digital content technologies and high-tech applications, which will provide a new "experiential" dimension to tourism experience.  
Journalist, Christina Vidou, in order to give answers to the questions, welcomes the following eminent experts: Deputy Minister of Tourism, Sofia Zacharaki, CEO of Marketing Greece, Ioanna Dretta, Dean and Professor of International Business and Strategy of ALBA Graduate Business School, Kostas Arxaloglou and two representatives of the business world, who base their success on the use of new digital tools, Co-Founder and CEO of Triparound, Antonis Chalkiopoulos and Founder of Moptil, Michalis Kokkinos.  


Christina Vidou

Christina Vidou comes from Tinos and is a journalist. She considers SKAI 100.3 her family, as she took her first professional steps there and continues to do so. She has worked in all the productive sectors of the radio, such as reporting, show production, news bulletins, coffee making and other related positions. 

Since 1998, she’s been daily in the afternoon zone of SKAI 100.3.  

Sofia Zacharaki
Deputy Minister of Tourism

Sofia Zacharaki is a graduate of the Department of English Language and Literature of the Athens School of Philosophy with postgraduate studies in Comparative Education and Administration of European Educational Organisations of the University of Athens. 

She is specialised in teaching English by the Institute of Education of the University of London.  

In 2015 she represented Greece in the IVLP (International Visitor Leadership Program) as a US State Department Fellow on "The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in Reconstructing Economies."

She has worked as a teacher in private and public schools, for the Ministry of Education in the European Union department and in the Secretariat for Lifelong Learning and Youth. She has also been an advisor to the Minister of Development on International and European Relations.

In March 2019 she was appointed Spokesperson of the New Democracy party and in July 2019 she was appointed Deputy Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, in charge of issues of Primary and Secondary Education and Special Education.

In January 2021, she took over duty as Deputy Minister of Tourism.

She speaks English, Spanish and French. 

Ioanna Dretta
CEO Marketing Greece

Ioanna Dretta is the CEO of Marketing Greece, a company of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) aiming to promote Greece. During her 20-year career, she has held senior positions in the private and public sector in different areas of economic activity, and has a proven track record in creating impact in complex environment. Since 2012, she has been serving greek tourism. She holds a degree in Civil Engineering from NTUA, and postgraduate degrees in Imperial College London (MSc) and Harvard Kennedy School (Master in Public Administration).

Kostas Axarloglou
Dean - Professor of International Business and Strategy, ALBA Graduate Business School

KOSTAS AXARLOGLOU, Dean and Professor of International Business and Strategy (ALBA Graduate Business School), Associate Professor of  International Business (Democritus University of Thrace), Michael Gerrits Term Chair Assistant Professor of Economics (Babson College), Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics (Fuqua School of Business, Duke University), Instructor (University of Michigan).

B.A. Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, M.A. University of Michigan, Ph.D. University of Michigan.

Dr. Axarloglou is doing research and consulting work in the areas of International Business (Foreign Direct Investments), Strategy (Strategic Leadersship), and Pricing. His research has been published in leading management and economics journals such as Management Science, the Journal of Business, the Journal of the European Economic Association, World Economy and Managerial and Decision Economics.  He has received several research grants and also participated in numerous international conferences.  Recently, he completed a study for the Athens Academy of Science on “The Lack of FDI Flows in Greece”.  Dr. Axarloglou serves in various company Boards, and has done extensive training and consulting work in numerous multinational corporations such as Carrefour, Eurobank, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen-Cilag, Novo Nordisk, Philip Morris International, PepsiCo, Shell, Titan, Viohalco and Vodafone.

He is also a member of the Board of Directors, Saracakis Group, a member of the Audit Committee, Allianz Hellas, a member of the Academic Council, IMT Dubai, and a member of the American Economic Association          

Dr. Axarloglou, a recipient of the Fulbright scholarship, has extensive teaching experience in all levels of business education and has also received several teaching awards.

Michalis Kokkinos
Founder Moptil

Mr. Michalis Kokkinos is the Founder and Managing Director of Moptil & President of the Hellenic-Spanish Chamber of Commerce. Michalis Kokkinos was born in Athens, in 1974. He is a graduate of the School of Shipbuilding and Mechanical Engineering of the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) (1994-1999). He also holds an MSc in Communication and Signal Processing Systems (University of Bristol, UK) and an MBA (NTUA). Mr. Kokkinos has published articles in Industrial and Scientific Journals and has participated in numerous Scientific and Industrial conferences. Since 2001, his professional experience has been in the field of informatics and telecommunications and he has worked as an engineer, product manager and commercial director in the Greek telecommunications company Space Hellas and other companies. In 2014 he founded his own company Moptil (Mobile Optical Illusions), which is a Scale-Up company that develops applications based on AR and VR technologies in the fields of Tourism - Culture. In 2017 he won the 3rd Erasmus Award for young entrepreneurs in the EU.

He speaks English and Spanish fluently, as well as French and German. He has also been a member of TEE since 2000, President of the Hellenic-Spanish Chamber of Commerce of Greece and a member of the Sectoral Scientific Council of Tourism, Culture and Creative Industries of the Ministry of Development. Mr. Kokkinos participates as a volunteer in Axion Hellas (NGO), an organisation with great humanitarian activity in Greece.

Antonis Chalkiopoulos
Co-Founder & CEO Triparound

Antonis Chalkiopoulos is a co-founder and CEO of Triparound. He is an entrepreneur and software engineer with significant work experience in the IT services industry. He worked for nine years at the Hellenic Center for Marine Research where he participated and coordinated European programs of high requirements and significant funding.
In 2014 he founded his first IT company which, among other things, created the product Tooristas, a well-known and innovative booking platform for providers of tourism activities, that was developed into today's Triparound.   
In 2016, Antonis participated in the egg – enter grow go, the leading startup incubator in Greece, and in 2017 he was selected to participate in MIT’s initiative, StartMIT for young and innovative entrepreneurs, as well as in the MIT Enterprise Forum Startup Competition in Greece. In 2020, he became internationally acknowledged by the PhocusWright as a Young Leader in the field of tourism and in 2021 he was included in the 40under40 list of Fortune Greece, which includes young entrepreneurs who innovate and stand out in Greece and abroad.