Catch 'Em All

Should Hotels Care About Pokémon Go?

Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve been hearing a lot – maybe too much – about Pokémon Go. It’s is the hottest thing in video gaming mobile apps since Angry Birds. What’s unique about Pokémon Go is that it’s designed to get gamers outside, walking around outside with the mission of finding and capturing Pokémon creatures of all types and sizes. With a virtual reality-like viewer, the game places the creatures in nature, local venues, businesses, and points of interest.

So what does this mean for the hospitality industry?

It’s too early to say what the long-term impact of Pokémon Go will be for travel. But what we do know is that people are excited about the game and users are engaging with environments and people where Pokémon Go leads them.

For hotels and travel venues that can harness this excitement, there is opportunity to increase visibility and visitation from the players. Some local businesses report as high as 75% increase in traffic by participating with the Pokémon Go phenomenon. The question is – do these feet on the street and in your business – translate into revenue?

A key factor to consider is who is usingPokémon Go? Is it your demographic? Your target guest? According to StartApp, a company that tracks smartphone downloads and social usage, reports that over 40% of users are over 25. When you dig deeper, you’ll see that 58.8% are under 25 years old and 33.2% are in the 25-34 year range. Downloads drop off dramatically after that.

Well, there are two things that hotels and attractions can do to walk before you run with Pokémon Go. First, educate your staff. Make sure they know the basics and can address guests’ questions. And second, have fun with it! Play along and integrate the game (where appropriate) to engage guests, encourage trial of your product/location, and attract more consumers.

To help you navigate this new pop-culture spectacle, check out the ideas below. We’ve put together a few short articles that tell you what you need to know about Pokémon Go, so you’re not left behind!


Now, go “catch ’em all!”