Pokemon Go, the geo-location-based app that has taken the world by storm, is being hailed as a potentially transformative agent for the travel industry, as it encourages players to catch ‘em all.
And while the game has generated no small amount of controversy for popping up in inappropriate places — cemeteries, military bases, New York’s 9/11 Memorial and the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC and subway tracks to name a few — more and more tourist sites and landmarks around the world are capitalising on the phenomenon and inviting players to pay a visit.
Here’s a tour of some iconic places around the world where Pokemon Go is welcome:
US National Parks
Visits to US national parks are reported to have spiked following the launch of the app in the US. And while players are reminded to be vigilant and avoid straying off designated paths while hunting for the elusive characters, they’re also reminded to keep an eye out for real-life wonders like icy tundra, grassy plains, and gleaming mountains.
“We’d like to welcome all you trainers to your national parks, where you might find more than just a new virtual companion,” said Director Jon Jarvis in a Facebook post.
Rio 2016 Olympics
Rio de Janeiro’s mayor Eduardo Paes posted a Facebook plea asking Nintendo to bring the popular app to Brazil in time for the games. While the city has been mapped for the Pokemon Go, no launch date has been announced. The games begin August 5.
National Mall, Washington DC
Not only are players invited to hunt for the elusive creatures across America’s national parks, the US National Park Service went so far as to organize a “Catch the Mall Pokemon Hunt,” led by a tech-savvy ranger last weekend at the National Mall.
In addition to helping players catch elusive Pokemon characters, rangers injected a bit of national park trivia into the hunts.
Sydney Opera House
Earlier this week, the iconic opera house in Sydney attracted hundreds of players to its front steps after organizing a Pokemon Go hunt at lunchtime.
Museum of Modern Art, New York
One of the most popular museums in New York features two Poké Stops, revealed the MoMA in a bid to attract visitors.
Merchant House Museum, New York
The oldest restored townhouse and first landmark in New York City, the Merchant House Museum, told The Independent it welcomes Pokemon Go players to tour the house while capturing the characters. The house is considered one of the best examples of preserved architecture and design from the 19th century and dates back to 1832.
However, the game hasn’t been so warmly received everywhere across the world. Several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Russia, Indonesia, Belarus, Turkey Australia and Portugal have either banned it or issued a fatwa against it or threatened employees with immediate dismissal if seen playing.
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