Serko strengthens ties with Booking.com

Buying Business Travel | October 25, 2019

Corporate travel platform Serko has expanded its partnership agreement with Booking.com and its parent company, Booking Holdings. Booking.com will now offer and promote Serko’s travel booking and expense management tool Zeno to its business traveller customers, while Booking.com content will be displayed on Zeno. Booking Holdings has also invested nearly £9 million in Serko as part of a £22 million capital raising the company has launched in New Zealand to accelerate Serko’s global roll-out of Zeno. In 2018,  Zeno won the BTN Innovate People’s Choice award, and Serko claims it is built around the “unified travel experience” concept of connecting travellers with preferred suppliers at every stage of their journey.

Spotlight

The travel and tourism industry is the world’s largest commercial service sector industry. The World Trade Organization (WTO, not to be confused with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)) is the leading international body that monitors international macroeconomic data.

Spotlight

The travel and tourism industry is the world’s largest commercial service sector industry. The World Trade Organization (WTO, not to be confused with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)) is the leading international body that monitors international macroeconomic data.

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Simplex and TravelX partner to evolve the travel industry into new Web3 era

Simplex and TravelX | December 02, 2022

Simplex, the fiat infrastructure for digital assets globally, announced a partnership with TravelX, a technology company that is working with leading airlines and travel organizations like IATA (International Air Transport Association) to tokenize their inventory by turning them into NFTs (NFTickets). This integration provides customers with easy access to NFTickets through Simplex's on-ramp solution, allowing non-crypto users to purchase seamlessly. "We are honored to partner with Simplex as we create a more transparent, efficient, decentralized and collaborative travel economy. We are very happy to work with one of the world's most important players in digital payments and believe they are the right partner to join us in this journey," -Facundo Diaz, Co-founder of TravelX. NFTickets are the digital representation of regular flight tickets tokenized through blockchain technology. This allows airlines and travel agents to offer more efficient services and ticketing systems, while helping to reduce supplier distribution costs and inefficiencies, ultimately improving profitability. Travelers have more flexibility managing travel assets without support call centers and can easily buy, transfer, trade or sell tickets through blockchain, all on TravelX's marketplace. Distributed through peer-to-peer (P2P) channels, NFTickets unlock a new era of democratization in the travel industry. "We are excited to join forces with TravelX to accelerate their Web3 business with our seamless payment solutions, Together, we are transforming the industry by bridging the gap between traditional and decentralized finance and taking the old ticketing system into the future of Web3 applications." -Dror Ben Eliyahu, Simplex's Head of Business Operations. About Simplex Simplex is the fiat/crypto infrastructure for the entire world. An EU-licensed financial institution, Simplex aims to change the status quo of the current crypto markets by providing simple, seamless, and secure channels to convert over 100+ fiat currencies to 170+ cryptocurrencies. Simplex has been actively supporting existing and new protocols in the industry, nurturing and expanding its portfolio of supported cryptocurrencies and payment methods. About TravelX Led by a team of tech and travel industry veterans, TravelX is building a blockchain-based distribution protocol to create a more secure, decentralized, frictionless, transparent and efficient travel industry. The company's technology allows travel suppliers to tokenize their inventory into NFTs, unleashing distribution capabilities and use cases that enhance both travelers' flexibility and suppliers' profitability. For more, visit www.travelx.io

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TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY,AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS

Alaska Airlines launches first U.S. electronic bag tag program

Alaska Airlines | December 01, 2022

Alaska Airlines became the first U.S. airline to launch an electronic bag tag program, which enables guests to tag their luggage through the airline's mobile app before they even reach the airport. This week, 2,500 Alaska Mileage Plan members will begin receiving their electronic bag tag. Those elite status members included in the first wave of the program are guests who have traveled in the last 12 months, checked-in at least one bag and were among the first to register to use the device."The last thing our guests want to do is stand in line," said Charu Jain, senior vice-president of merchandising and innovation for Alaska. "With the addition of the Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag, our guests can complete almost all of their check-in tasks – from the comfort of their home, at work or on the way to catching their flight." The three-by-five-inch devices are updated with a guest's flight information through the Alaska Airlines mobile app during check-in; essentially allowing travelers to head straight to the bag drop area once they arrive at the airport. The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag is estimated to reduce the time guests spend in airport lobbies by about 40%, including reducing lines and the use of paper bag tags. In addition to the device's impressive lifespan and durability (Alaska Airlines employees tested it by running it over with a truck), the devices don't require charging or batteries. "We've tested our electronic bag tags on countless flights across the country, including international routes where Alaska Airlines flies, and the devices have performed exactly as they're meant to," said Jain. "We'll collect feedback from our first wave of users before the devices become available to purchase to all our guests early next year." The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag will be available for purchase to all guests starting in 2023 and will operate on all Alaska Airlines marketed flights operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and SkyWest Airlines. Along with the hardware, the software for the device is provided by BAGTAG, a Dutch company that is a pioneer in the field of baggage technology solutions. "Alaska Airlines is an excellent example of a carrier on a mission to improve all aspects of their passenger's experience, This vision is leading their choices for innovation such as electronic bag tags and we are very proud to assist them in this project." -Jaspar Quak, BAGTAG managing director Click here to check out how the Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag works and join the notification list when the devices become available for purchase. About BAGTAG BAGTAG was founded in 2014 in the Netherlands, with the purpose of introducing the world's first flexible and secure electronic bag tag solution. Having developed in close cooperation with the world's leading airlines, the company launched its hardware solution in 2018 and is now leading the market for electronic bag tags. About Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines and our regional partners serve more than 120 destinations across the United States, Belize, Canada, Costa Rica and Mexico. We emphasize low fares and award-winning customer service. Alaska is a member of the oneworld global alliance. With the alliance and our additional airline partners, our guests can travel to more than 900 destinations on more than 20 airlines while earning and redeeming miles on flights to locations around the world. Learn more about Alaska at news.alaskaair.com and follow @alaskaairnews for latest news. Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air are subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group.

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DESTINATION AND TOURISM, INDUSTRY OUTLOOK

American Express Travel’s 2023 Trending Destinations Unveils Top Trips for Every Type of Traveler

American Express | November 03, 2022

American Express Travel, , published the 2023 Trending Destinations list1, featuring the ten most popular destinations for travel next year, identified by global American Express Card® Member travel reservations. For each of these destinations, American Express Travel Consultants also created three-day itineraries, providing inspiration on the top places to stay, eat, shop and explore the local culture, including how Platinum Card® Members can spend the “bonus vacation day” they receive with guaranteed 4:00 p.m. check-out when they book a Fine Hotels + Resorts® property through American Express Travel.“When Card Members book trips through American Express Travel, they’re trusting us with their most valuable resource, their time,” said Audrey Hendley, President of American Express Travel. “Our global footprint, over 100 years of travel expertise and deep understanding of our Card Members give us a unique ability to inspire travelers with this year’s list of Trending Destinations, make the planning process easy, and confidently advise them on what to do when they get there.” The latest Amex Trendex2 survey found that 50% of adults say they spend at least five hours planning a vacation. To help travelers save time and make the most of their trips, American Express Travel Consultants crafted three-day weekend itineraries for each of the Trending Destinations to provide inspiration on the best places to stay, eat and activities to explore the local culture. 81% of Amex Trendex2 survey respondents agree they want to maximize every hour of their trips, making the expert guidance in the Trending Destinations itineraries a valuable resource. Whether venturing solo, exploring with a group of friends, or spending time with family, the itineraries include something for everyone, from finding the best churros in Mexico City and engaging with koalas in Sydney to treatments at a luxury spa in Paris and exploring a maple forest in Vermont. Additionally, 88% of survey respondents agree they wish their trips were longer. Platinum Card Members have a guaranteed 4:00 p.m. late check-out benefit when they book a Fine Hotels + Resorts property through American Express Travel. Late check-out, one of the many premium benefits unlocked when booking with American Express Travel, gives travelers a “bonus day” to extend their vacations. The Trending Destinations itineraries highlight ways to spend that time, so Card Members get the most out of their trips, including a master cheese class in Paris, sailing to the Prince’s Islands in Istanbul, and a shopping excursion of authentic Portuguese goods in Lisbon. In addition to top destinations, American Express Travel has identified key trends driving travel in 2023: New adventures are in demand: 70% of respondents agree they want to travel to wish list destinations in 2023 Vacationing with holistic health in mind: 89% of respondents agree they want to go on a trip to escape routine, and 74% plan to travel more in 2023 for their wellbeing Seeking out personalized experiences: 88% of respondents agree they like to seek out local experiences and learn about culture when they travel, and 73% are willing to spend more for the travel itinerary that they want. From New Year’s resolution to summer travel: 43% of respondents agree they want to travel more as their New Year’s resolution, and 50% of respondents have already started to think about where they want to go on their upcoming summer 2023 vacations Spending more for the ultimate getaway: 74% of respondents agree they are more likely to spend more on travel in 2023, and 40% say they are willing to pay more for late check-out when making their travel accommodations 2023 TRENDING DESTINATIONS METHODOLOGY American Express Travel’s 2023 Trending Destinations are selected based on global American Express Card Member bookings through American Express Travel, looking at year-over-year travel growth between 2019 and 2022. SURVEY METHODOLOGY This Amex Trendex online poll was conducted by Morning Consult between September 30 – October 3, 2022 among a sample of 2,000 US travelers who have a household income of at least $70K and are defined as adults who typically travel by air at least once a year. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. FINE HOTELS + RESORTS PROGRAM TERMS & CONDITIONS Fine Hotels + Resorts® (FHR) program benefits are available for new bookings made through American Express Travel with participating properties and are valid only for eligible U.S. Consumer, Business, and Corporate Platinum Card® Members and Centurion® Members (Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Card Members are not eligible). Bookings must be made using an eligible Card and must be paid using that Card, or another American Express® Card, in the eligible Card Member's name, and that Card Member must be traveling on the itinerary booked. The average total value of the program benefits is based on prior-year bookings for stays of two nights; the actual value varies. Noon check-in and room upgrade are subject to availability and are provided at check-in; certain room categories are not eligible for upgrade. The type of experience credit varies by property; the experience credit will be applied to eligible charges up to the amount of the experience credit. Advance reservations are recommended for certain experience credits. The type and value of the daily breakfast (for two) varies by property; breakfast will be valued at a minimum of US$60 per room per day. If the cost of Wi-Fi is included in a mandatory property fee, a daily credit of that amount will be applied at check-out. Benefits are applied per room, per stay (with a three-room limit per stay). Back-to-back stays booked by a single Card Member, Card Members staying in the same room or Card Members traveling in the same party within a 24-hour period at the same property are considered one stay and are ineligible for additional FHR benefits (“Prohibited Action”). American Express and the Property reserve the right to modify or revoke FHR benefits at any time without notice if we or they determine, in our or their sole discretion, that you may have engaged in a Prohibited Action, or have engaged in abuse, misuse, or gaming in connection with your FHR benefits. Benefit restrictions vary by property. Benefits cannot be redeemed for cash and are not combinable with other offers unless indicated. Benefits must be used during the stay booked. Any credits applicable are applied at check-out in USD or the local currency equivalent. Benefits, participating properties, and availability and amenities at those properties are subject to change. ABOUT AMERICAN EXPRESS American Express (NYSE:AXP) is a globally integrated payments company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress. Key links to products, services and corporate responsibility information: personal cards, business cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, Accertify, Kabbage, Resy, corporate card, business travel, diversity and inclusion, corporate responsibility and Environmental, Social, and Governance reports.

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