The Pokémon GO App Might Be the Best Thing to Happen to Vacation Rental Owners

If you’ve heard a lot about it, but you’re still not sure what it is, we’re here to help! The Pokémon GO app allows you to capture digital monsters (Pokémons) with your smartphone and get them to compete. But if you’re not into the battles, you can just collect them.


It was officially launched in July 2016, and it became the most popular game in 2016 in the US in just 24 hours! At the time of writing, it had already been installed on 10% of all Android devices in the US – that’s way more than popular dating app Tinder.

With at least 15 million users, it’s no wonder that people have found different ways of taking advantage of the app: drivers offer to take you around the city, selling rare Pokémons, writing a guide to “catch ’em all”, and many others! But how about vacation rentals?

We’ve tested the app and think vacation rental owners have a great opportunity to hop on the Pokémon craze. Scroll down to read more.

Why are people using it?

It may sound like a simple app, but in order for it to work, people have to go out and use their smartphone to discover new places. The app doesn’t come with any missions or challenges, it uses augmented reality to offer you a digital-real-world playground experience.

People are wandering the streets, exercising more and you guessed it – traveling more. The Pokémon GO app placed checkpoints (Pokéstops) all over the world and if players go near them, they get experience points, will most probably find new Pokémons. New York’s Central Park, for example, is a Pokéstop and it’s actually one of the best places in the world to go on a Pokémon safari. But don’t worry, every city has hundreds of Pokéstops and Pokégyms scattered all around. Imagine having your vacation rental near one of those hotspots!

So, why is Pokémon GO good news for your vacation rental?

Although it seems like Pokémon GO can only be used to have fun, it could also be used for your vacation rental business. Here’s how:

1. Flaunt your location:

The location of your vacation rental is more important than ever for these kinds of travelers! Turn on the app, see if you have any Pokéstops nearby and use it to your advantage.

  • Travel Guide: Prepare a quick guide with the best places to go to catch hidden Pokémon. We recommend sharing the guide on your vacation rental website as an extra incentive! Some tourism boards in the US, such as Visit Anaheim and Travel Portland, have published blog posts about the best Pokémons and Pokéstops in their locations.
  • Tours: You can even organize tours for your guests to go Pokémon hunting. Include Pokémon “Lures” (traps you can throw to attract them) and pocket WiFis in the tour package to make it more appealing for them.

2. Use social media:

Now that you know more about the Pokémons around your area and the hottest spots to go hunting, share pictures of them on social media!

3. In-app purchases:

Instead of discounts for your vacation rentals, you can give away coupons for your guests to use on Pokémon GO. All you have to do is purchase Google Play Gift cards so they can redeem their codes, purchase PokéCoins and buy lucky eggs, incense, lure modules, egg incubators, bags, poké balls, and anything they’ll need for their hunts!

This will not only attract your existing target audience, but it will also help you target new types of guests that you wouldn’t have ever thought of.


4. Sponsored locations

So you’re probably asking yourself: “Can I turn my vacation rental into a Pokéstop or Pokémon Gym? Is that a possibility?” Fortunately, Niantic’s CEO John Hanke recently confirmed that they will be accepting sponsored location requests for Pokémon GO in the near future.

You could list your vacation rental properties as Gyms or Pokéstops, very crucial for players and the sustainability of the game in rural and more secluded locations. It could also offer the opportunity to partner with Niantic to get volume discounts on in-app purchases like “Lure Modules” or other personalized promotional activities based on weather, events and your products and services.

The creators of Pokémon GO haven’t made sponsored locations live yet, but they’re already accepting requests. You can submit your property to have it considered as a Pokémon GO Gym or Pokéstop via Niantic’s website.


Are you ready to take advantage of the Pokémon GO craze for your vacation rental business? Leave us a comment below and share your experience with us!

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