Well-known international mobile game Pokémon GO has collaborated with Taichung City Government to attend the Taiwan Lantern Festival by unveiling rare pocket monsters during the opening week, attracting domestic and foreign trainers to come to Taichung. According to Information Bureau Director-General Huang Kuo-Wei, despite the impact of COVID-19 on global tourism, Taiwan Lantern Festival has nonetheless attracted 630,000 visitors in 4 days, generating at lease NT$1.4 billion in revenue according to a conservative estimate, thereby successfully taking the world by storm.
According to Huang, after Mayo Lu Shiow-Yen assumed office, she focused on promoting the Esports industry and even invited Pokémon GO to join the Taiwan Lantern Festival from 2/6-9, welcoming global trainers to admire lanterns and capture their beloved pocket monsters in Taichung. Niantic’s official statistics indicate that 234,000 trainers participated in the event during the 4 days, and the city government estimates that the event has attracted 630,000 visitors. Meanwhile, the main lantern exhibition area also saw attendance from over 900,000 people, demonstrating that the popularity of the lantern festival has not diminished significantly due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Coming from Tainan, Mr. Chen commented that he joined the Pokémon GO in 2017, and when he learned that Pokémon GO is coming to Taichung, he immediately decided to participate in the event and brought his family to the Taiwan Lantern Festival. For his enthusiasm, he was rewarded with over 100 pocket monsters including the rare Illumise, which usually only appears in America and Africa, thus he felt a tremendous sense of achievement.
Ms. Ting and her friends came to Taichung to capture pocket monsters. According to her, they captured 500 pocket monsters in the course of 4 days, talk about abundant catch. While playing the game, they can also admire the dazzling array of lanterns at the Taiwan Lantern Festival; she describes the lantern festival as stunning, spectacular, and full of surprises.
Information Bureau commented that the partnership between the Taiwan Lantern Festival and Pokémon GO is not limited to the main exhibition area as rare pocket monsters have been spotted throughout downtown Taichung. Opened in December last year, the secondary exhibition areas of the Taiwan Lantern Festival including Wenxin Forest Park, Calligraphy Greenway Citizen Plaza, and Taichung City Hall Square saw an influx of trainers, and some expert Pokémon GO trainers also pointed out the unique features of the event. Prominent YouTube channel Ryo and Duckandtiger also unveiled game walkthrough videos entitled "Rushing to Taichung for Unown L" and "Taichung Lantern Festival Blitz".
Information Bureau elaborated that the main exhibition area (Houli Forest Park Area, Horse Ranch Park Area) and secondary exhibition area (Wenxin Forest Park) area of the 2020 Taiwan Lantern Festival will be open until 2/23, everyone is invited to visit Taichung and admire lanterns.