I never thought I would be sitting down to write a blog post combining Pokemon Go and travel, but here we are! This idea first popped into my head when I started to realise how much more I was getting out the house after work. Usually I would come home, do some housework, make dinner, blog a little and then go to bed. Now I’m wandering around parks and streets I never even knew existed in my local area…all because of Pokemon Go.
Proof Pokemon Go has influenced travel
Now I’m not a stranger to a good walk around my local park now and again when the weather permits, but I’ve been noticing an increase in the amount of youngsters out and about (yep that’s right, sadly I’m no longer a youngster!). Take Glasgow Green for example. Glasgow Green is the oldest park in Glasgow and stretches 136 acres through the East End – it’s well known for family play parks, hosting events and when it’s sunny there are plenty of sweet sunbathing spots. Now the only time I see teenagers in the park is to go to the football pitches, and just last Saturday I noticed a group of youngsters huddled under the shelter of the bandstand; and the reason for this: it was a Pokestop (I’ll explain later!).
Noticing the group of kids huddled around their cans of monster sparked this very trail of thought. You’re thinking, OK Emma there were kids hanging about the local park, what else is new? But wait, it gets better. Glasgow Sightseeing Tours has created a bespoke map that highlights all the Pokestops (I promise I’ll explain!) on their Glasgow City Centre Tour (link here!). After noticing a buzz about the number of Pokestops and Gyms on the route, the company decided to go all out and create this unique map to encourage even more people to get involved in seeing the city.
Sightseeing companies are not the only ones looking to capitalise on the popular gaming app. One organisation has even started up a Pokemon Pub Crawl in Glasgow, charging people £5 for a ticket that includes food and drink discounts, and prizes along the way. The crawl up and around Buchanan street, Sauchiehall street and Bath street, allowing attendees to meet new people while walking around their local city.
How is Pokemon Go beneficial to travel?
Now for the explanation of a Pokestop. Pokestops are free item drops that allow you to collect things like pokeballs, revives and razzberry’s which all help you to snare pokemon. These drops are usually public buildings, statues and places of importance. The game requires players to get up close to these local cultural hot spots and tap/spin the pin on the screen to claim their items. Along with the free gaming items, the pin also provides a snippet of information on the site that you are visiting – giving players a cultural background to their game play.
In a nut shell, Pokemon has evidently created a unique outlet that encourages their players to get out and about in their area, with even local business jumping at the chance to create unique social events around the game. And the Pokestop feature that comes with cultural lessons, really does get you thinking about the landmarks that you’ve failed to notice before this game pointed them out to you. After all, the story of Ash Ketchum is that of a literal and metaphorical journey.
I am intrigued to see how far people will go to catch Pokemon, I know I wouldn’t say no to a trip abroad to see what other countries had to offer!
Have you noticed people out in your local area using Pokemon?