UNWTO has partnered Niantic – the real-world games developer that created Pokemon Go and Ingress Prime – to enhance global tourism through mobile augmented reality (AR) game experiences.
Niantic was recently accepted as a UNWTO Affiliate Member at the 109th session of UNWTO’s Executive Council held in Bahrain last month.
The new partnership is part of the organisation’s ongoing efforts to bring together the actors of the ‘ecosystem’ of tourism technology under its priority of innovation and the digital transformation in tourism.
Commenting on the tourism relevance of Niantic games, Ion Vilcu, director of UNWTO’s affiliate members department, said: “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’s games and global initiatives have been known for gathering players from around the world at real-world events, hence promoting civic engagement and cultural diversity while highlighting local heritage.
With the new partnership, UNWTO and Niantic will curate campaigns around the world that build awareness for the organisation’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect campaign, designed to enhance tourism’s contribution to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Each activity will also be designed to inspire and support exploration, and promote safe and responsible gaming practices for players of all ages.