In travel news for January 31 , 2024 we talk about how the Cruise industry is adapting to the escalating tensions in the Red Sea, the TSA is expanding their use of Facial Recognition technology in airports across the United States, and Las Vegas is setting record room rates for the upcoming Super Bowl.
U.S. Airports Embrace Facial Recognition Tech
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is implementing Facial Recognition technology in U.S. airports, enhancing security measures. The new CAT-2 units, currently in nearly 30 airports, compare travelers' live images with photo IDs, offering an optional alternative to standard ID verification. Despite the technology's efficiency, privacy concerns have been raised. The TSA ensures that images are deleted post-verification, except during limited testing for technology evaluation. Legislators and privacy advocates have voiced apprehensions, leading to proposals for stricter regulations or a ban on TSA's use of this technology. Despite these concerns, TSA and experts view facial recognition as a future norm for Airport Security, though its full-scale implementation requires further refinement, particularly in addressing accuracy and discrepancies related to race and gender.
Cruise Lines Adapt to Red Sea Tensions
The Cruise industry is adapting to escalating tensions in the Red Sea by rerouting or canceling voyages to ensure passenger safety. Companies like Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corporation, and MSC Cruises have altered itineraries, affecting several brands and voyages. Carnival Corporation has rerouted 12 ships across seven brands, with financial impacts expected but offset by robust booking trends and strategic debt reduction. Despite itinerary changes, Carnival reports strong bookings and anticipates outperforming its earnings forecast. The industry's agility in facing geopolitical challenges is evident, as cruise lines prioritize safety without compromising the overall travel experience. This adaptability showcases the industry's capacity to respond to global events, maintaining cruising as an attractive travel option.
Super Bowl Sets Record Hotel Rates in Vegas
Las Vegas is preparing for its first Super Bowl, setting a record for the highest hotel room rates in the event's history at an average of $573 per night. The city expects over 330,000 visitors, contributing to a significant economic boost. However, experiences from the recent Formula 1 event have left some local businesses cautious. The Formula 1 race posed logistical challenges, affecting locals and businesses due to construction and road closures. These experiences have raised concerns about Las Vegas's ability to manage large-scale events. Despite these challenges, the Super Bowl is anticipated to be a major revenue generator for hotels, outperforming the Vegas Grand Prix. As Las Vegas steps into the spotlight, it faces the task of balancing the excitement of hosting such a significant event with the practical challenges involved.