Pokemon GO and Ingress Prime developer Niantic is working with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to develop augmented reality games for global tourism.
We’re not yet sure exactly what form Niantic’s new games will take, but the developer states in a blog post on its official website that its objectives are to encourage exercise, social interaction, and exploration, as well as promoting the UNWTO’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect sustainable tourism program. The two companies will work together to create different combinations of tourism and AR technology which Niantic promises will “[give] players the opportunity to…discover the incredible history hidden right in their own neighborhoods”.
The initiative is part of the UNWTO’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect program, which officially launched in August this year. Travel.Enjoy.Respect aims to promote sustainable tourism and its impact on international development, targeting tourists and travelers and asking them to respect the culture and environments of the countries to which they travel. Niantic is now officially a UNWTO Affiliate Member, a company whose activities are related to tourism and whose knowledge and expertise will be used to promote sustainable tourism around the world.
Niantic’s Head of Marketing Anne Beuttenmüller says the developer is “looking forward to creating brand new adventures for our players” in order to increase awareness of responsible tourism. UNWTO Affiliate Members Department Director Ion Vilcu, meanwhile, said that the partnership is “a natural fit” thanks to Niantic’s experience in the augmented reality space and its games’ ability to help gamers appreciate their environments.
Again, we’re not entirely sure what form the games will take, nor when they’ll be released. Niantic will post updates on its blog as development progresses, though, so if you’re interested in this issue you can keep up to date over on Niantic’s official website. We will, as usual, have more information on this story as and when it develops.
Are you looking forward to playing some global tourism games? Have any ideas for a tourism game? Let us know in the comments below!