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UNWTO and Niantic partner to push sustainable tourism in real-world games


The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is to work with real-world games developer Niantic in a bid to enhance sustainable global tourism.

Niantic’s games – which include Pokémon GO and Ingress Prime – will be used in different regions around the world to build awareness of UNWTO’s ‘Travel.Enjoy.Respect’ campaign, which aims to enhance tourism’s contribution to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UNWTO has confirmed that players will engage with the real-world locations they are in within the games in a variety of ways, although no specifics have been given as to how this will manifest itself as yet. Equally, it is not clear which Niantic games will be used for the campaign.

“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,” said Ion Vilcu, director of UNWTO’s Affiliate Members Department.

“Niantic is a pioneer 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.”

Anne Beuttenmüller, head of marketing EMEA at Niantic, added: "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 in their own neighbourhoods.

“We’re looking forward to creating brand new adventures in collaboration with UNWTO to increase awareness around their mission of responsible tourism.”

Earlier this month, UNWTO hosted this year’s Minister’s Summit at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London on the topic of Investment in Tourism Technology.

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