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A podcast created to spread a culture of innovation in Switzerland, seeking to inspire Swiss Travel & Hospitality professionals in shaping the digital transformation of the sector.

Thanks to the Flagship, we believe that we have the tools and means to build a digital community in the travel & tourism industry.

This podcast is the first building block to bring the community around the same table, interviewing industry experts and professionals that share their success stories in innovation, digitization and datafication of the sector.

Season 2 brings international voices together to talk about data and digital transformation in tourism. From experts in global hospitality to renowned academics and data professionals, this season is a gold mine of information and insights for anyone interested in the topic. 

Navigating the Digital Transformation Landscape in Hospitality: Michael Levie's Path to Success

Interview with Michael Levie, Hospitality Executive

In this episode, Michael Levie shares invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of digital transformation within the hospitality industry. The conversation delves deep into the challenges and opportunities presented by technology in hospitality, highlighting the importance of using data and digital innovation. Michael Levie's vast experience and expertise offer listeners a roadmap for success, outlining strategies for leveraging digital technologies to enhance guest experiences, streamline operations, and drive sustainable growth in the hospitality sector. From legacy systems to cutting-edge innovations, this episode is full of recommendations for industry professionals seeking to thrive in the digital age of hospitality.

Michael Levie is a seasoned hospitality professional with over 40 years of experience. He began his career working for various international hotel chains including Sonesta International Hotels Corporation and NH Hotels all over the world. He co-founded Citizen M hotels in 2005. Michael is a trailblazer in the digital transformation of the hospitality industry, emphasizing the strategic use of technology. His visionary leadership at Citizen M and ongoing involvement in hospitality tech showcase his commitment to innovation and shaping the industry's future.

Redefining Hospitality Tech: Insights from Accor's CTO (with Floor Bleeker)

Interview with Floor Bleeker (CTO of Accor Tech)

In this podcast episode, Prof. Maggie Chen engages Floor Bleeker in a discussion centered around Accor's digital transformation. Floor sheds light on two pivotal changes underway at Accor. The first involves a technical change, steering the company from numerous data centers to a single public cloud. This shift aims for heightened agility, centralized management, ultimately enabling the possibility of launching a hotel within a single day. Concurrently, an organizational transformation is happening at Accor. Floor also shares thoughts about the evolving landscape of digital transformation within the hospitality sector, particularly emphasizing the critical role of enhancing guest experiences and engaging staff.
Floor Bleeker is the Group Chief Technology Officer of Accor and is responsible for the global data and IT strategy and execution. Its role is to create a consistent and positive impact on the business success of all Accor brands through the delivery of effective and innovative technology solutions. Floor is part of Accor's global executive committee.

Hospitality Forward: The Seamless Blend of Tech and Guest Services (with Tess Mattisson)

Interview with Tess Mattisson, CEO of Zaplox

In this engaging podcast episode, Prof. Maggie Chen meets Tess Mattison, President and CEO of Zaplox, a leading provider of digital solutions and mobile keys for hotels, casinos, and resorts.

Tess is deeply passionate about the intersection of technology and hospitality, and she brings a wealth of experience from both realms. Tess emphasizes the importance of digital transformation being more than just adopting technology; it's about people, mindset shifts, and enhancing guest experiences. She highlights the need for technology to work seamlessly, be user-friendly, and above all, provide value to both guests and employees.

'You Cannot Manage What You Cannot Measure' in Tourism (with Prof. Marianna Sigala)

Interview with Prof. Marianna Sigala ⁠⁠, Sheffield Hallam University

In this podcast conversation between Prof. Alessandro Inversini and Prof. Marianna Sigala, they dive into the realms of digital transformation, datafication, and their impact on the tourism industry.

Marianna Sigala, a professor specializing in digital transformation, shares her insights on digital transformation, datafication, data collection, resilience and predictive models through the use of digital twins, the future of tourism and more. Overall, the conversation highlights the immense potential of digital technologies and data in transforming the tourism industry while urging a proactive approach towards responsible usage and adaptation.

Vienna Tourist Board's Approach : Going Digital for the People (with CEO Norbert Kettner)

Interview with Norbert Kettner, CEO Vienna Tourist Board

Norbert Kettner has been the Vienna Tourist Board’s Director since September 1, 2007. Norbert Kettner is a member of the board of trustees of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF. He is deputy chairman of the supervisory board of Vienna City Marketing Agency and member of the board of directors and the presidium of Vienna Business Agency as well as member of the City of Vienna’s Economic Council 2030. Kettner is also part of the AviationIndustry Austria (AIA) Advisory Board and member of the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Advisory Board of MODUL University Vienna. ()

In this conversation, Norbert Kettner and Amélie Keller explore Vienna Tourist Board's strategies, with a specific focus on the importance of social design and human centricity in digital transformation, data, and sustainability.
Norbert highlights several digital projects undertaken by Vienna Tourist Board, as well as the importance of "digital humanism" for the city. Norbert reflects as well on the pandemic's impact, accelerating their data-driven transformation and the need to create better experiences for visitors and better quality of life for the local people.

The Transformative Power of AI: Enabling Real-Time Decisions and Hyper-Personalization (with Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis)

Interview with ⁠⁠Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis, Bournemouth University Business School

Professor Dimitrios Buhalis is a Strategic Management and Marketing expert with specialisation in Information Communication Technology, Smart Environments and Interactive Marketing, He is an expert in technology applications in the Tourism, Travel, Hospitality and Leisure industries. He is Professor of Smart Tourism at Bournemouth University Business School.
In this conversation, Prof. Dimitrios Buhalis and Prof. Alessandro Inversini discuss the impact of technology, particularly AI, on the future of travel. Dimitrios highlights AI's role in personalizing experiences, predicting trends, and most importantly, making real-time decisions. He emphasizes the need for responsible implementation, considering challenges like privacy and equitable access to technology. Their discussion centers on the potential for hyper-personalization in travel experiences by 2040, driven by AI's ability to cater to individual preferences in specific contexts.

Diving Into Tourism Data Spaces and Collaborative Initiatives (with Dolores Ordoñez)

Interview with Dolores Ordoñez , Director of and Expert in Smart Cities and Tourism

In this podcast episode , we interview Dolores Ordoñez, expert and leader in European digital transformation and smart destinations. Together, we explore the significance of technology in tourism, emphasizing the need for a human-centric approach alongside data-driven solutions. Dolores plays an important role in the project, a EU project that sets the bases of the European Tourism Data Space. She discusses its role in fostering collaboration and sustainable practices within the industry. The conversation touches on challenges, recommendations, and the future of tourism, envisioning a landscape where data facilitates better experiences while preserving destinations' authenticity and sustainable development.

Exploring Travel Insights : The Power of Data & AI (with Mirko Lalli)

Interview with Mirko Lalli , Founder and CEO of the Data Appeal Company

In this podcast episode, we talk with Mirko Lalli, the founder and CEO of Data Appeal Company. We discuss the digital transformation of the travel sector, the role of data, and how it is changing the industry. Mirko explains his company's focus on making travel destinations and companies more data-driven through AI. Interestingly, Mirko also tells us about his company's efforts to measure destination sustainability through data.
He also tells us that AI will be a significant force in shaping the future of travel, urging listeners to embrace AI and adapt to industry changes.

AI and the Future of Tourism (with Wolfram Höpken)

Interview with Prof. Wolfram Höpken , Professor at the University of Applied Sciences of Ravensburg-Weingarten.

In this episode, we sit down with Wolfram Höpken, a professor in Business Informatics, as well as the director of the Institute for Digital Transformation at the University of Applied Sciences Ravensburg-Weingarten. We talk about the future of the travel industry, exploring the impact of digitalization and AI on the way we experience tourism.

Wolfram sheds light on the profound changes taking place in the world of travel, and shares his insights on how advancements in data science, artificial intelligence, and data-driven services are shaping the industry. Wolfram also brings the role of data and the challenges faced by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in preparing for the entry of tech giants into the tourism market.

Harnessing Data and Digital Innovations for a Sustainable Future in European Destinations (with Eduardo Santander)

Interview with Eduardo Santander, CEO/Executive Director of the European Travel Commission (ETC).

Today, we sit down with Eduardo Santander, CEO of the European Travel Commission (ETC), for an in-depth conversation on the state of European tourism.

Eduardo shares his and ETC's invaluable insights into how digital technologies and data insights are transforming European destinations, and how they contribute to our sustainable future.

In addition, you will discover how ETC is spearheading initiatives to harness the power of data and technology, creating a more connected and sustainable travel ecosystem.

The Evolving Landscape of Travel: Adapting to a Digital World (with Prof. Juho Pesonen)

Interview with Juho Pesonen, Professor at the University of Eastern Finland Business School

In this episode, we delve into the ever-changing world of travel with a captivating conversation with Professor Juho Pesonen. As a leading expert in the field, Juho shares his invaluable insights on the digital transformation sweeping through the tourism industry.

The Role of in Hospitality's Digital Transformation (with Alexei Matouchkine)

Interview with Alexei Matouchkine, Regional Director at

In this episode, we delve deep into the world of hospitality's digital transformation and the pivotal role played by Join us as we explore the evolving landscape of the hospitality industry and discover how's solutions empower hoteliers in their digital journey.
Our guest, Alexei Matouchkine, shares insights into the dynamic relationship between technology and hospitality. With a diverse portfolio of services and a global presence, has been a driving force behind the industry's digital evolution. In addition, discover how they have enabled accommodations providers to adapt, thrive, and embrace sustainability while enhancing the guest experience

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