Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Travel Technology

Global Brands Gravitate to Sphere’s Exosphere for Las Vegas Grand Prix

2 weeks ago

This weekend, F1 fans can expect a visually enthralling experience, as custom real-time content tracks across the world’s largest LED screen of the Sphere, as part of the official broadcast for the Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Global brands off the mark with Sphere advertising campaigns during the major sporting event include GoogleAmerican ExpressAston MartonPuma, and Mercedes Benz.

In the lead-up to the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix, a highlight of the 2023 Formula One World Championship, Race Week commenced on Wednesday with The Netflix Cup, marking the first live-cued content on the Exosphere, the 1.2 million LED lights on the exterior of the Sphere. This Saturday’s race will continue to see exclusive Sphere Studios content for the race.

Located along the race track, Sphere’s Exosphere will offer unique viewing angles, including an aerial perspective, ensuring an immersive experience for millions of F1 enthusiasts worldwide.

However, as a precautionary measure for drivers, race organizers have reportedlyΒ banned red, yellow, and blueΒ from appearing across the Sphere’s exterior. These colors have been identified as distracting for drivers. It is not ideal for Google, whose logo features those exact colors, but the ban applies explicitly while the race is in action.

The integration of technology, sports, and marketing on such a grand scale is set to redefine the Grand Prix experience, according to Joel Fisher, Executive Vice President of Marquee Events and Operations for MSG Entertainment.

Beyond the color block across the 1.2 million LED lights on the exterior of the Sphere, all 20 drivers and their cars will be showcased, along with F1 helmets, creating a backdrop for fan photos. Fans can also look forward to seeing themselves featured on this gigantic screen, according to the organizers.

“This is the inaugural year for both Sphere and the Grand Prix in Las Vegas. We are ready to showcase Sphere to our global audience via F1 – both in person in Las Vegas and watching around the world – demonstrating the unparalleled technological and creative capabilities of the Exosphere,” said Fisher.

Travel Agents

Millennials and Gen Z Prioritizing Mental Health and Travel: Survey

1 month ago

It’s the season for holiday surveys, with sentiment for exploration and unique experiences abounding.

“Experiences over gifts” continues as a trend in the latestΒ Amex travel spending surveyΒ of U.S. travelers and their choices for the upcoming end-of-year holidays that largely involves classic winter adventures and quality time with loved ones.

72% of Millennial and Gen-Z respondents surveyed said they would rather spend money on a trip to go away with friends or family for the holidays instead of gifts, with snowboarding or ski vacations topping the list. But what’s particularly interesting in this year’s analysis is that more than half of Millennial and Gen-Z respondents said they didn’t travel enough this summer. Wellness and mental health were amongst the top priorities for this group when it came to goal setting for the year ahead.

Amex said it conducted its survey between September 15 – 18 among a sample of 4,017 adults, including 1,824 Gen Z and Millennials. Respondents have a household income of at least $50k+ equivalent and travel by air at least once a year.

Business Travel

American Express Global Business Travel To Debut on Tuesday β€” Interesting Factoids

2 years ago

It’s a holiday weekend in the U.S. so what better time to break up the monotony of barbecues and beach, and burrow into a Securities and Exchange Commission filing about the pending SPAC debut Tuesday of American Express Global Business Travel.

Among the takeaways:

  • The merger of Apollo Strategic Growth Capital and Amex GBT will see Amex GBT’s existing investors, including American Express, Certares, and Expedia Group, among others, controlling 74 percent of the voting power. They’ll have the power to make all of the big decisions, including board of director composition.
  • Global Business Travel Group, as the company will be formally called, will be considered to be controlled by American Express Co., and will be regulated by the U.S. Federal Reserve. As Skift previously reported, Global Business Travel Group can continue doing business as American Express Global Business Travel because of an 11-year trademark pact.
  • Only 15 percent of the company’s stock is expected to be owned by public shareholders.
  • Egencia, which Amex GBT acquired from Expedia Group in November 2021, did $8.4 billion in transactions in pre-pandemic 2019. Expedia Group traditionally disclosed revenue for its corporate segment, but not total transaction value for Egencia. That $8.4 billion would have amounted to roughly 8 percent of Expedia Group’s gross bookings that year.
  • The Egencia business was therefore a significant volumes chunk of Expedia Group, which sold Egencia during a huge business travel downturn in a drive to simplify Expedia’s overall operation. At any rate, Expedia Group got a 13 percent stake in Amex GBT because of the deal.
  • Ovation Travel, which Amex GBT acquired in January 2021, was tiny compared with Egencia in total transaction value, $1.2 billion for Ovation versus $8.4 billion for Egencia.
  • Amex GBT CEO Paul Abbott had 2021 total compensation of $18.4 million compared with $5 million a year earlier.

Tuesday’s stock market coming out party for Amex GBT, trading under the stock symbol GBTG, should be an interesting one to watch in terms of investor confidence in the future of managed business travel.

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