Pokémon Go developer Niantic has teamed up with the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to enhance global tourism and develop "innovative tourism experiences through real-world games".
Described as "the leaders in mobile augmented reality (AR) experiences", Niantic has been tasked with curating "unique campaigns to foster exploration and build awareness of destinations around the world". Niantic and UNWTO plan to collaborate and create tourism and AR technology for players to engage with real-world locations using the familiar interface of Niantic’s mobile games so that players can learn more about the UNWTO, its campaigns, and explore new places via their smart devices. It also hopes to "promote good practices to play games safely and responsibly".
"Our goal at Niantic is to create interactive games that encourage exercise, social interaction and exploration, giving players the opportunity to play together in the real world and discover the incredible history hidden right in their own neighborhoods," said Anne Beuttenmüller, head of marketing EMEA. "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."
"With our ongoing commitment to promote sustainable and responsible tourism, and Niantic having recently become a UNWTO Affiliate Member, this partnership is a natural fit," added Ion Vilcu, UNWTO’s affiliate members department director. "Niantic are pioneers in creating real-world mobile game experiences that not only motivate their players to discover new places, but also to appreciate the culture and beauty of the world around them."
Niantic recently launched a new gameplay system, Adventure Sync, that enables players to count their steps in-game without needing to keep the app open. "This key feature unlocks a wide variety of gameplay opportunities on the Niantic Real World Platform, serving as an efficient and phone-friendly high-engagement tool that inspires players to head out into their local communities," Niantic CEO John Hanke said at the time. "We’re looking forward to finding new and exciting ways to implement it in our other games in the future."