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If you haven’t heard of Pokémon, here’s a quick backstory:
The phenomenon comes from a Japanese group made up of Nintendo (game system), Game Freak and Creatures. Satoshi Tajiri created the franchise in 1995 and it centers on creatures called “Pokémon.” Humans known as Pokémon Trainers catch and train to compete against each other for sport.
In 2016, Pokémon Go, a mobile downloadable game, was released and quickly made its way around the world. The game forces people outside to explore “real” locations and search for and catch hidden Pokémon characters.
You probably didn’t expect a game to impact the travel industry, but it has. Keep reading to find out how. Please play responsibly!
These Are the Top Ways Pokémon Go Has Impacted the Travel Industry
Boosted Travel to Certain Destinations
Australia, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, and the U.S. are the most popular destinations to play Pokémon Go. Keep in mind that each country has its own nuances when it comes to playing the game. For example, in Australia you can have fun catching Pokémon water characters around Sydney Harbor.
Cities in the U.S. like Boston, D.C., New York, Seattle, and San Francisco are popular places for Pokémon meetups, pub crawls, and more. Not only are travelers catching the cute characters, but they’re meeting new people from other cities, states, and countries.
Increased Visitors at Cemeteries and Museums
During the summer, museums may see a decreased in attendance. To resolve this, some are cautiously joining the Pokémon Go movement. Museums like Whitney and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are embracing the trend and helping players capture Pokémon; players can find characters inside and outside of the museums. Not only is this is a great way to increase visitor attendance, but it’s a ‘fresh’ way to expose people to art.
However, museums like the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and cemeteries like Arlington National Cemetery are asking the public to stop playing the game on their revered grounds. Tourists and travelers should inquire as to whether or not they can play Pokémon Go in and around museums and cemeteries.
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Hotels and Resorts Welcome Pokémon Go
Ryan Solutions, a CRM company, analyzed 5,000 hotel and resort Twitter accounts. The results showed that between July 6 and July 17, 9.2 percent of them mentioned Pokémon at least once. In fact, 1.2 percent of the tweets mentioned Pokémon Go. Even after this time, mention of the game continued to increase.
Pokémon Go is a trend that isn’t going away soon, so hotels are doing everything they can to capitalize on it. For example, Australia’s Mantra Group started “Pokestop By Our Bar” at its hotel bars in Sydney and Melbourne. This is a great way to drive foot traffic to hotels and their bars, thus possibly increasing revenues.
Theme Parks Host Events
On July 16, 2016, SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida hosted Pokémon Go Lure, a special one-of-a-kind event – they’re the first theme park to do so. Park admission was required. But, pass holders received early access to the park during the event and navigated the less-crowded park while journeying to the 50 Pokestops around the property along with gyms (where you battle trainers).
Other theme parks that hosted or will host events are Fun Spot America, Busch Gardens Tampa and historic attraction Bok Tower Gardens. Keep in mind that admission may be required for some events. However, some theme parks may offer “free” meetups.
Are Your Travel Clients Hooked on Pokémon Go?
In your life, did you ever see a trend take-off as quickly as Pokémon Go? The downside is that some players don’t pay attention to where they’re walking. One person fell into a lake. Others just bump into each other.
Travel agents like it or not, Pokémon Go has morphed into a travel guide and tool that enhances experiences. Your clients may be hooked on the game and could ask you about Pokestops and gyms in and around their destination. Whether your clients board a cruise ship or stay at an all-inclusive resort, make sure they’ll be able to play.