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Pokémon Go’s 2019 Walking Events Drove $249 Million USD in Tourism Revenue

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Pokémon Go seems to be doing great for revenue of all kinds, including tourism.

On Wednesday, January 22, 2020, Niantic announced the economic impact of its 2019 real-world events for its hit AR game, Pokémon Go. While these massive events clearly draw in plenty of tourism, seeing the actual numbers behind each of these events makes it perfectly clear: any city fortunate enough to host a real-world Pokémon Go Event definitely reaps the benefits.

According to a new report from VentureBeat, the success of Pokémon Go and other such “walking games” has fueled at least $249 million USD in “tourism revenue for the cities on its event list for 2019.” The event list refers to locations where the company holds live events related to those games, which require on-the-ground, geographically-specific interaction from players to accumulate points and other rewards.

Last year, three cities hosted these Pokémon Go Events:

  • Chicago hosted Pokémon Go Fest 2019 and brought in an estimated $120 million USD from the attending players. Over 64,000 players participated in this four-day event, more than triple the previous year. Players also reaped the benefits, walking 290,000 KM and catching over 15 million Pokémon
  • Dortmund also hosted Pokémon Go Fest 2019 and brought in an estimated $56 million USD from the over 86,000 players attending the four day event. Players walked over 400,000 KM and more than 200,000 other Players joined in the surrounding area during the Event.
  • Montréal hosted Pokémon Go Safari Zone that earned an estimated $71 million USD from the more than 39,000 participating players. This event ran for three days and brought it players from every continent, representing 60 different countries. Trainers walked over 166,000 KM during the course of this Safari Zone.




“Over the last 7 years, live, real-world events have been central to Niantic’s goal in leveraging technology to create interactive experiences that foster exploration and discovery, active and healthy lifestyles and lasting friendships,” says Michael Steranka, Senior Manager, Live Events at Niantic.

“Niantic’s large-scale real-world events have had a true and clear positive economic impact on tourism, bringing people from around the world together for a weekend of adventure,” Steranka continued. “We were incredibly impressed by the number and quality of entries in the #NianticLive2020 program and, as a result, are excited to announce the addition of Liverpool, Philadelphia, and St. Louis to our live events schedule in 2020.”

Here is the current schedule for 2020 Pokemon GO events:

  • Taiwan Lantern Festival in Taichung – February 6-9
  • Pokemon GO Safari Zone St. Louis – March 27-29
  • Pokemon GO Safari Zone Liverpool – April 17-19
  • Pokemon GO Safari Zone Philadelphia – May 8-10

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