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Online gaming to promote tourist destinations

S. Anil Radhakrishnan
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Close on the heels of a campaign using new-age technology devices such as iPhone and iPad, Kerala Tourism proposes online gaming to promote tourist destinations in the State.

Developed by Zapak.com, gaming company, the online game will have a hand-drawn map of ‘God's Own Country' with trail and markings for important tourist attractions in the State.

“It is for the first time that online gaming is being used for promoting tourist destinations. The online game is ready for launch,” a top tourism official told The Hindu.

The online game will help the online visitor to explore Kerala by tracing the trail through different levels by using various modes of transport—rented cars, tourist buses, rented bikes and traditional boats. On reaching a location, he will come across a treasure — ‘God's Own Treasure' (temple, church, historic monument, beach, national park).

Once the gamer reaches a destination, he or she can handle a camera and get into the photography mode. Good photographs will earn more points for the gamer.

The importance and the description of each of these tourist destinations and places of interest will be available for the gamer.

The environments the gamer will travel through typify the various natural, urban and country settings in the State, sources said.

Good photographs will earn more points and unlock information about the place. The treasure one discovers and the photographs can be shared with friends on Face Book and other social networking sites.

With over 7.5 million registered gamers, Zapak.com is not only the largest casual gaming sites in the country but amongst the top gaming sites in the world.

“The online game will be available on the website of the company and it will be featured as an add-on element in the official website of Kerala tourism,” sources said.

The company, Zapak, owns the largest chain of dedicated gaming cafes in the country — Zapak GamePlex. Zapak Games, licensing and merchandising arm of Zapak, has created one of India's largest retail distribution networks with presence in over 5,000 retail outlets across 135 cities.

Renowned destinations such as Kovalam, Papanasam beach in Varkala, Thenmala, Thekkady, Wagamon, Munnar, Kumarakom, Fort Kochi, Muzhapplinagd, Bekal, Athirapally, Guruvayur, Parambikulam, Kappad and Wayanad are all covered in the online game.

The tourism authorities hopes that the online gaming will attract the young and old to the tourist destinations.

Kerala Tourism was the first brand to focus on an exclusive campaign for iPhone and iPad users. An innovative mobile campaign to showcase unseen destinations in Kerala through a Mobile WAP campaign has also been a big success.

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