From community outreach to US national parks, a new Niantic partnership is now moving to its next big initiative: global tourism. The AR game developer has joined hands with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in an effort to boost tourism via Niantic’s mobile games.
Niantic and the UNWTO will work together to launch several campaigns and events using both Pokemon GO and Ingress Prime games to draw people to real-world locations. The events will be part of the UNTWO’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect campaign it currently runs.
Details on what these events involve weren’t outright elaborated on, but they’re expected to use the map technology of both titles to draw players to landmarks or other important sites. There’s also mention of utilizing augmented reality, which means the phone camera could be used in some way to get players of Niantic’s games to look up at the locations.
“Our goal at Niantic is to create interactive games that encourage exercise, social interaction and exploration,” said Niantic’s Anne Beuttenmüller. “We’re looking forward to creating brand new adventures for our players in collaboration with UNWTO to increase awareness around their mission of responsible tourism.”
Really, our thoughts on this partnership are no different than the ones we had when Niantic announced collaboration with other organizations trying to leverage AR games to get people to explore their world: this is a great idea and we do hope that the events in question gain a lot of traction and are enjoyable to players.