The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has partnered with real-world games developer Niantic, to enhance global tourism through mobile augmented reality (AR) game experiences.

State-of-the-art, planet-scale, augmented reality platform Niantic – the creator of Pokémon GO and Ingress Prime – joined UNWTO as an Affiliate Member on October 31, and will be engaging with the global tourism body to curate unique campaigns around the world that build awareness for UNWTO’s Travel.Enjoy.Respect campaign. The campaign aims to enhance tourism’s contribution to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with each activity being designed to inspire and support exploration.

The two organisations will work together to combine tourism and AR technology to allow players to engage with real-world locations using Niantic’s mobile games in a variety of ways. Director of UNWTO’s Affiliate Members Department, Ion Vilcu, says: “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. 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 Head of Marketing EMEA, Anne Beuttenmüller, adds: “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.”

UNWTO is executing ongoing efforts to bring together the actors of the ‘ecosystem’ of tourism technology under its priority of innovation and the digital transformation in tourism.