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

6 months 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 reportedlyย banned red, yellow, and blueย 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 โ€“ both in person in Las Vegas and watching around the world โ€“ demonstrating the unparalleled technological and creative capabilities of the Exosphere,” said Fisher.

Travel Booking

Pandemic Didn’t Change How Marketers Target Pre-Trip Planning: Tripadvisor Survey

1 year ago

Travelers make multiple purchases in preparation for their trip, a consideration Tripadvisor believes should be noticed by marketers. The company honed in on the purchasing intent of its audience and found that despite rising prices, plans to travel is on par with 2019 levels.

Tripadvisor’s latest research report, with some 5,000 respondents across six countries, indicates purchasing behavior of travelers and its influence across industries is being overlooked.

It’s one thing that the pandemic did not disrupt in travel.

The intent when planning a trip is broader than flights, accommodations, and activities, according Tripadvisor.

“Part of the fun for travelers is the planning (and spending!) before a trip. Consumers find travel is a great excuse to buy new clothes, special toys, or just the right gear.”

Of those surveyed, the most bought item in preparation for a trip is clothes (89 percent), followed by luggage (72 percent), and electronics (62 percent). Tripadvisor stated these are “not one-off purchases, with respondents (luggage being an exception) buying these items at least 2-3 times in the past three years before traveling.”

And while three-quarters of those surveyed do plan to reduce discretionary spending, cuts to travel plans are a no-go “with saving for future vacations the top priority.”

Travel Technology

Software Developer Makes AI Travel Itinerary Tool

1 year ago

During her Christmas holiday, a software developer created a tool to generate and map travel itineraries using generative artificial intelligence (AI). 

The Australia-based developer, Katrin Schmid, posted on Linkedin about the tool she made, called Journeai. It is powered by the generative AI chatbot, ChatGPT, released last year by OpenAi, a San Francisco-based AI research lab that has gotten at least $2 billion in investment.ย ย 

This new subset of AI can generate a new, unique product based on specific rules itโ€™s given, a big leap ahead of the limited way AI has historically used existing datasets to draw conclusions and make predictions. 

OpenAiโ€™s ChatGPT can already create a personalized travel itinerary within seconds. The Journeai tool uses that capability and adds the interactive mapping component through Google Maps โ€” showing how easy it can be to solve a notable issue with generative AI, which is the lack of details like time, date, and geolocation. 

Despite the bugs with generative AI that users continue to point out, this is an early example of how the technology is expected to shake up the travel industry, starting with travel marketing, travel agents, and tour operators. 

There is more to come. 

โ€œBy the end of the year, you wonโ€™t be able to tell the difference between human production and AI production,โ€ said travel industry consultant Peter Syme in a recent interview with Skift

โ€œEvery single tourism business, from a hotel to a tour operator to the most prominent companies, has access to the same power from a content production point of view. Therefore, tour operators should adopt quickly and not lag to ensure the biggest advantage.โ€