Get ready for a fusion of traditional French tourism and elite sports during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024. A lot of responsibility now rests with new hospitality provider, On Location.
Big ticket sporting events will go hand-in-hand with Emily in Paris-style tourist experiences next year, as the International Olympic Committee and U.S. event specialist On Location team up to launch a new e-commerce website to sell tickets with hospitality packages.
The committee has taken what it characterized as a novel approach to the next Olympics, which takes place across France starting July 26, 2024, by opting for a single, centralized platform — the first time in the Games’ history, it claims.
On Locations’ e-commerce website went live on Tuesday, and got off to a relatively smooth start with waiting times of around one to two minutes to access it.
So what’s being sold exactly? Essentially, packages that bundle a ticket to a sporting event with access to an official entertainment venue such as Clubhouse 24, which is based at contemporary art center Palais de Tokyo, or Salon 24, in the center of Paris.
Taking a leaf out of Airbnb’s book, On Location also offers curated themes such as food and wine, fashion and style, history and culture, and family-friendly. Packages can include hotels and local transport, too.
Visitors can also pay for more costly on-site hospitality in private or shared lounges across competition venues. Packages can be customized, while there is a separate platform for corporate entertainment. Flights are not being sold.
About 90 percent of the Olympic sports competitions are available with a hospitality offer.
“At On Location, we sell much more than tickets, we provide experiences,” said President Paul Caine in a statement. “For many years, hospitality was basically the same: tickets plus services. This is not our vision for Paris 2024. We want to offer emotions and provide stories for travel enthusiasts.”
On Location is perhaps better known for organizing packages around the SuperBowl and New York Fashion Week. Sports and entertainment company Endeavor acquired On Location in 2020.
According to French publication L’Equipe, On Location paris-2024/1323734″>paid nearly $1.5 billion for the rights, which also include selling packages for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, and the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, in the U.S. On Location didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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The committee said the sale of hospitality packages in this centralized manner was a “groundbreaking model” that would ensure “a secure and more accessible way for spectators to experience the Olympic Games Paris 2024.”
However, there are selected sub-distributors, including corporate travel agency ATPI Travel and Events Canada.
Entry-priced packages, with an Olympic Games ticket included, start at below $100. The low cost reflects the organizer’s ambitions to promote accessibility for the historic sporting mega-event, which is concentrated in Paris but also includes Marseille, Lille and overseas territory Tahiti, with mottos like “Games for All” and “Games Wide Open” featuring prominently in the marketing.
Other platforms, from Booking.com to Lastminute.com and Expedia, can of course sell packages to the Olympics, but these won’t include tickets to the competitions.