Pokemon Go: Good for tourism?

From New York’s Central Park to the little Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota, the phenomenon that is Pokemon Go, is taking over.

Since its release, less than a week ago, the on-line gaming APP has become the best seller on iTunes, has rocketed Nintendo’s stock up in value by 25% and has everyone talking.

Where I noticed it, was on a Monday morning, in a small US city. We were visiting from Canada (where Pokemon Go is yet unreleased) and as tourists we were deliberately in the park to learn and explore. But we couldn’t help but to be distracted by the incredible number of young adults wandering around the park and all engrossed in their phones. They were stumbling about, even some bumping into each other. What was going on? Could the Scandinavian Heritage Park really be such a draw on a Monday morning?

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Nope, it was the game! My teen son alertly recognized this and filled me in. To be certain, I bravely asked a group of guys if they were playing the Pokemon game and they enthusiastically explained it to me and showed me their phones. Apparently, there’s 134 characters to catch and battles that take place in “gyms.” You basically wander about chasing these on-line characters in a hybrid-reality. You can set “lures” to attract character and also other players.

25 foot tall Swedish Dala Horse. A character in the park, NOT the Pokeman game
25 foot tall Swedish Dala Horse. A character in the park, NOT the Pokemon game

But what does it all mean to tourism? Most of these meeting places in the game are public spots…tourist centres, churches, parks and the like. And when you are at a location, little info bubbles pop up on your screen, so as a player if you wanted to learn about where you were located, you certainly could. Of course, you could also actually look up from your phone and see the buildings and sites around you as well.

I chatted with a tourism host at the Scandinavian Heritage Park. She said it was ‘absolutely packed’ on Sunday with Pokemon Go players. She’d never seen so many people. Was that good for business though? Maybe. It was in fact putting this park on the radar of a younger audience. And it was certainly causing a buzz around town, getting the gamers out of their homes and into city streets and public places. But were there increased sales, revenue or even signatures in the guest book? No. Not yet anyways.

What do you think? Is this a new breed of gamer-tourism? Is this going to change the way people travel and interact or are we cluttering public places and creating new obstacles?  Is this the new selfie…being seen in a hybrid on-line/reality game?

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The Gol Stave Church Museum over my shoulder. A Norwegian wood building, made without nails.

Link to a CBC News’ piece on the phenomenon.

 

Bargain Alert! YWG to YVR

****** June 27th Update*****

The hot deals disappeared on Monday. Back to $460 round trip. Had to act quick on that one.

*******

$250, tax incl and return, sound like a nice price from Winnipeg to Vancouver?

Select dates available. (see calendar) 

We have New Leaf Airlines to thank for this. They have inspired Westjet (Prices shown are Westjet) to discount a few flights and match prices on this route.

Other cities included as destinations from Winnipeg are Abbotsford, Kelowna and Toronto.

Bookings available now, for flights July 25th, thru October, including Thanksgiving. Many of the cheap flights to Vancouver are actually non-stop. Bonus!

IF you find the right dates on flights to Vancouver or to Abbotsford you might be able to pair it with a discounted cruise to Alaska. Possibilities here are endless.

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Screenshot from Sunday, June 26th. Westjet’s price calendar.
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Just a couple cruise options from Expedia.ca

Dutch Christmas under $1500

Here’s a bargain I spied today, through Expedia.ca.

Winnipeg to Amsterdam December 22nd to 29th.

Hotel, flights and taxes under $1500pp is very possible, in a 4 star, well rated hotel in Amsterdam. You will fly Delta and Westjet airlines with just  one connection in each direction. Very nice! Tempting isn’t it?

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(as captured June 20th)

Numerous other dates and hotels available!

What a fun looking place & loved by travellers!
What a fun looking place & loved by travellers!

Picnic in Glenboro, Manitoba?

Looking for a day trip from Winnipeg, or perhaps an afternoon out of Brandon?

If you venture down Highway 2, at this time of year, you will marvel at the lush greens of the crops in the rolling hills and valleys. It’s gorgeous! Just 60 kilometres from Brandon, or approximately 160 kilometres from the province’s capital (Winnipeg) and you’ll come across the town of Glenboro.

If you’re looking to stop with your packed lunch, there is a picnic site at Glenboro and right alongside the highway. Can’t miss it! It’s in the shade of their giant statue of a camel, Sara. Be sure to pose for a Sara-selfie! If you didn’t pack a lunch, that’s no worries, there’a  Drive-In serving burgers and shakes a mere half block away.

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This stretch of highway 2 also has designated picnic sites, and highway diners along the way. You may want to stop at Treherne or St. Claude to the east. Just keep your eyes peeled for signs.

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Early June you’ll see thousands of pink wild roses growing along the highway ditches. Late June and early July, you can stop at a Strawberry Farm and pick a pail of the season’s best.  There’s one in Glenboro called Good Earth Gardens & Berries.

Looking for a lake side retreat? You won’t want to miss Pelican Lake in the Pleasant Valley area. Great golfing, sailing and you can even park your RV and stay a few nights. See Pelicanshores.ca for current rates and availability.

Visit Tourism Westman for more area information and to start planning your road trip adventure.

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Area map. Highway 2, is parallel to the Trans-Canada, and is the slightly slower and much more scenic area. Passes through Glenboro

Packing help is just a tweet away

Are your scissors too big? Nail clippers allowed? What about knitting needles? What CAN you take in your carry on bag on the airplane?

Well, your answer is only a tweet away. The agency responsible for air transport safety in Canada (CATSA) will reply to your tweet with a yes or no. It’s that easy.

Tweet them your photo or your question at @catsa_gc

Also available in French @actsa_gc

For additional, and more detailed regulations and a full list of carry on restrictions, to to their website.

There’s also an APP for your phone! Link to it from their main website.

With all this technology at your fingertips, there’s no excuse to pack the 4 inch scissors and the oranges!

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Blogs I’m reading

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Looking for a fresh read? Here’s the fabulous 5 that are open on my desktop right now!

  1. Eatlivetraveldrink.com
    You’ll love Nicki’s Instagram too @eatlivetraveldrink
    Click on this link to see her recent post on Ireland.
  2. 2girlstrippin.com
    Full of sass… grab a seat in their sidecar and buckle up for adventure!
  3. Choosetravelonline.com
    They’ve got 5 reasons to convince you to take on a travel adventure in your gap year.
  4. Whereisnoodles.com
    Well written and always fresh! You could click here to read her tips on travelling to Amsterdam.
  5. Thethirstytourist.com
    A fellow Canadian, Carolynne has been there, and done that, coast to coast. Have you been to Newfoundland? She has. Here’s Hunting for Icebergs.

 

Bonus blog for flair and style: 

Dianaelizabethblog.com

I love her fresh, fabulous style and she has simple, 3 step advice for looking great in your travel photos.

Got a blog we should check out? Do post it in the comments.