Pokemon Go poses opportunities, challenges to tourist locales

Published on : Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Pokemon GoPokemon Go, the much sought-after mobile video game whose popularity soared ever since 6th July has been offering challenges as well as opportunities to travel locales.


SensorTower, a research firm has confirmed that this game has at least 15 million installations last week, although it was accessible only to smartphone users based in New Zealand, Australia and the US. This interesting game compels gamers to rush into the streets in order to catch virtual monsters.


People have resorted to spending more time playing Pokemon Go that includes 33 minutes every day as compared to posting pictures on Snapchat (18 minutes) or reading status messages in Facebook (22 minutes).


This video game motivates players to leave their homes and spend their time outdoors, thereby offering opportunities and challenges to tourist destinations.


Brittany Williams, representative of Legoland said that they have been observing an increased number of smartphones being used inside the park to play the game. Certain stores in Manhattan have installed Pokemon characters with their properties to attract new customers.


However, this game have been posing challenges for tourism locales like Holocaust Museum and the 9/11 Museum in New York whose mission is quite solemn.


Pokemon Go involves hunting for cartoon characters that are available in streets. Players keep following GPS maps to Pokestops that include historical buildings or important landmarks. In these places, they collect ‘Pokeballs’ that are utilized to trap the cartoonish characters.


Pokemon Go uses the concept of augmented reality to offer a live view on the smartphone of a player. Therefore, you might just come across a Caterpie worm on top of your dog’s head!


Various Pokemon monsters have been turning up in public places thanks to several Pokestops placed at real-world landmarks, luring players in these places that have been having a noticeable impact on tourist destinations.


Angela Hatke, communications coordinator, Cincinnati Zoo said that five teenagers had turned up outside her office just to seek a Pokemon.


She said that Cincinnati Zoo has several Pokestops based near the cheetah enclosure and Reptile House and welcomes Pokemon Go players warmly. However, the players should look up from their devices and watch out for the barriers or other players so as not to meet with an accident.


The zoo has also been harnessing the benefits of this game. For instance, the employees of an ice cream booth at the zoo is luring visitors to its Pokestop by introducing make-believe monsters there.


Angela Hatke also said that the authorities would make efforts to introduce Pokestops to other pathways inside the zoo, since they have been motivating players to explore new avenues inside the zoo space.


On the other hand, Legoland has prohibited visitors from playing the game while enjoying rides, as it strictly advises people against using cameras and smartphones while on the rides. A few other tourist attractions have objected to the use of this addictive game inside their premises, including the Holocaust Museum.


Virginia’s Arlington National Cemetery and The Auschwitz Memorial in Poland have also protested against the inclusion of this game.


A luxury hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas would conduct a digital detox retreat from 9th till 11th September to combat the Pokemon Go fever and the program is inclusive of spa, meditation and limited or no access to smartphones.


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