Travel Service Provider Serko Turns Slight Profit and Gets Ready for Growth

Serko

Serko executives at a trade show. Serko is looking to convert more customers to its Zeno platform to help drive revenue. Serko

Skift Take: By revenue and booking volume, Serko remains a small player among global travel management companies. Its technology prowess, however, has outstripped many of the bigger players, setting it up for future expansion.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Ryan Wolkov

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Disney Makes $15 an Hour Starting Pay Offer for California Park Employees

A worker dressed as Snow White is pictured. Disney has offered to raise starting pay for theme park workers in California to $15 an hour by 2020, earlier than the deadline the state has set.

Skift Take: It’s not a good look for Disney that some park employees struggle to afford housing, as surveys have shown. These negotiations have been tough, and Disney would have to raise salaries to $15 an hour by 2022 anyway. Will this offer be enough to get the union on board?

— Hannah Sampson

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Ryan Wolkov

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United Loyalty Boss Luc Bondar Relaunches Explorer Card to Compete With Premier Rivals

Luc Bondar, United’s vice president of loyalty, believes the relaunched United Explorer Card will be able to compete with more contemporary rivals.

Skift Take: United’s new vice president of loyalty wants to bring more value to MileagePlus customers across a wider spectrum of travelers. He’s starting that process by spearheading an overhaul of the company’s co-branded credit card.

— Grant Martin

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Ryan Wolkov

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Havana’s Big Cruise Ambitions Could Be Too Much Too Fast

Desmond Boylan

The cruise ship Adonia, the first to sail from Miami to Havana after U.S.-Cuba relations thawed, is shown arriving in Havana in May of 2016. Cuba plans to triple the capacity of the port by 2024. Desmond Boylan

Skift Take: No one doubts that Cuba will continue to grow as a cruise destination. The question is how that growth will be managed — and whether the island can cope with the influx of additional daily visitors.

— Hannah Sampson

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Ryan Wolkov

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Skift Tech Forum Preview: Sabre’s CEO on Going Technology-First

Sabre CEO Sean Menke. The company has put more emphasis on its hospitality offerings and airline merchandizing capabilities.

Skift Take: Sabre has slimmed down over the last year and is investing in its airline and hospitality technology products. Find out more from CEO Sean Menke at the Skift Tech Forum on June 12 in Santa Clara, Calif.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Marriott’s Plans for Homesharing, Malls, and All-Inclusive Resorts

The Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho opened in Japan earlier this year. Marriott’s global chief development officer, Anthony Capuano, said Japan is one market the hospitality company is eyeing for future growth and expansion.

Skift Take: Marriott is already dabbling in tours and activities, homesharing, and cruising and soon, potentially, all-inclusive resorts. So, what’s next? Aviation?

— Deanna Ting

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ForwardX Raises $10 Million for Self-Pushing Luggage: Travel Startup Funding This Week

ForwardX Robotics has invented luggage that follows you around thanks to sensors, motors, and a battery. The manufacturer is one of several companies that received funding this week.

Skift Take: Robotic luggage that follows you like a golden retriever. An app for ordering beautiful people to attend your event. A tool for making corporate travel as pleasant as leisure travel. These are the fantastical ideas that got funded this week.

— Sean O’Neill

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Hyatt Enters Business Travel Management Battleground

A Hyatt Hotel in California. The company has made moves to get more involved in business travel management.

Skift Take: In a somewhat bizarre twist, even hotel chains are beginning to provide travel management tools to small businesses. This further underscores how much some growing businesses don’t really want to deal with a travel management company at all.

— Andrew Sheivachman

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Ryan Wolkov

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