Niantic Labs have announced a partnership with the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) so as to help promote global tourism through the likes of Pokemon GO and Ingress Prime, as part of the Travel.Enjoy.Respect program.
According to the announcement, "Niantic will be curating unique campaigns to foster exploration and build awareness of destinations around the world." In other words, we're likely to see some specialised in-game campaigns, aimed at getting as many Pokemon GO or Ingress Prime players to visit various landmarks around the globe. what with the global nature of UNWTO's initiative.
Head of marketing EMEA Anne Beuttenmuller said that Niantic's interactive games already encourage exercise, social interaction and exploration, which lets players discover "incredible history hidden right in their own neighbourhoods". As such, the initiative does indeed look like a logical evolution of the company's offer, no pun intended, since it's definitely most likely to get its players outside - a feat that's unmatched in the current gaming climate.
UNWTO's Travel.Enjoy.Respect program aims to promote sustainable and responsible tourism, which along with Niantic's UNWTO affiliate membership makes the partnership "a natural fit". Director of UNWTO's affiliate members department Ion Vilcu 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."
UNWTO will be relying on Niantic's AR technology, which is at the heart of Pokemon GO and Ingress Prime, as well as the company's upcoming game Harry Potter Wizards Unite. Note however that the statement currently only mentions Niantic's AR tech, without any specifics on which games will be included, but it's fair to assume that it will span the company's entire offer.
Along with the introduction of , Niantic's background step recording program, the company increased the likelihood of Pokemon spawning in parks and natural reserves. In hindsight, it looks like it's been a perfect introduction to Pokemon GO maker's new endeavour.