How travel players could leverage augmented reality applications like Pokémon Go

Ian Van Hove

Western Europe, Middle East and Africa Program Manager, Mobile, Amadeus IT Group

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It’s hard not to notice. You can’t read a newspaper, open a news site, or have a look at your Facebook or Twitter timeline, and not see a post about Pokémon Go. You’re also likely to see people walking around with their nose buried in their mobile phone – even more so than usual – catching the mythical creatures.


With Pokémon Go many pieces come together. Your mobile device, GPS usage on maps, camera, gyroscope, augmented reality, and a very well targeted audience. With all of these elements combined – it’s easy to imagine how travel players could leverage augmented reality type applications to engage travellers.

Applying augmented reality to airports

For example, envision being at the airport and downloading an airline app with augmented reality functionality. Through gamification and incentives – the app could lead you to a duty free shop or restaurant. It could also help airlines and airports engage with travellers by making the travel experience a little more interesting during lengthy layovers. Travel agencies, similarly, could use Pokémon Go-esque apps to attract new customers by making the travel planning experience more interactive and exciting.

Likewise, one could imagine that a hotel chain would strike a deal with Nintendo/Niantic to have certain Pokémon only available in their premises. You probably wouldn’t book a room just to get the Pokémon, but many people travelling with your kids would consider  upgrading to that room for a few bucks more.

Marriott Rewards and Expedia are already leveraging this phenomenon by flying America’s first ‘Pokémon Go master’around the world to catch some of the rare international creatures. Along the way he’ll be writing for Expedia's Viewfinder blogand sharing his experiences on social media – with undoubtedly plenty of brand mentions.

There’s definitely more to come when it comes to leveraging augmented reality and mobile applications like Pokémon Go. In the meantime – stay safe and happy hunting over the summer!