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‘No promotion of Petra Pokestops’

By Sawsan Tabazah - Jul 19,2016 - Last updated at Jul 19,2016

AMMAN — The Jordan Tourism Board (JTB) hopes to entice Pokémon Go players to holiday in the Kingdom, but it will not be promoting Pokestops in Petra, an official clarified on Monday. 

Pokémon Go is an app that uses GPS and maps in mobile phones to allow players to roam streets and parks to catch virtual monsters, called Pokémon, as they “appear” in different areas, and players can collect supplies at designated locations known as Pokestops.

The JTB has contacted the game’s developers and hopes that Pokestops will be located in tourist attractions like the Boulevard in Abdali and the Children’s Museum Jordan to attract young people to the sites, said JTB Managing Director Abed Al Razzaq Arabiyat.

But the board will not be requesting Pokestops in archaeological sites like Petra, as organisations like UNESCO might be hesitant to promote ancient sites through a game, Arabiyat told The Jordan Times. 

“Petra is more valuable than a game,” Arabiyat said, noting that Jordan’s archaeological sites were a unique heritage.  

JTB has e-mailed the developers of Pokémon Go to discuss ways to cooperate to promote tourism in Jordan, but the board has not yet received a reply, the official said. 

While the JTB will not be seeking Pokestops at historic sites, players are still welcome to play the game there, Arabiyat added.

In fact, JTB has launched a competition encouraging Pokémon gamers to visit tourist sites, and players can win a two-day trip to Aqaba if they share photos of Pokémon at tourist attractions on social media with the hashtag #PokeGoJordan.

Pokémon Go, which was released by Nintendo on July 6, has attracted millions of people around the world,  and a Facebook page for the game’s fans in Jordan has at least 10,000 users.

 

Facebook users are sharing hotspots for catching Pokémon in Jordan, suggesting that Jabal Al Qalaa is a good hunting ground for the virtual figures based on a 1990s cartoon series.

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