Within MED GAIMS, Vilanova i la Geltrú carried out the largest gamified tourism promotion project at the Spanish national level
Starting October 2022, Vilanova i la Geltrú launched its Agency of Secrets initiative. This interactive and gamified experience allows the tourists to rediscover the municipality through 10 analogue, digital and virtual reality games. It is the largest tourism promotion project through gamification at the state level, and its main objective is to increase the number of tourists which the municipality receives.
These ten games are developed face-to-face in Vilanova i la Geltrú through mobile applications, board games, physical guides, also, the virtual reality program. The Agency of Secrets is made up of game experiences that are very different from each other yet under one theme. For example, some gamified experiences require walking routes, looking for symbols hidden in the town or in its museums or visiting places that could not be seen without virtual reality glasses. The 10 games can be played individually, but they are all interconnected and form a fictional story, although some parts are inspired by real events linked to Vilanova i la Geltrú. The story is based on the premise that the user is an agent of the Agency of Secrets, an agency dedicated to revealing the town's best-kept secrets.
With this new and innovative tool, since there is no gamified alternative with this amount of games and level of interconnection, we want to create a memorable tourist experience that allows you to get to know Vilanova and la Geltrú. This project was carried out as part of the MED GAIMS project with European funds and with collaboration with partners in Jordan, Lebanon and Italy. It opens the door to new formats of promoting the tourism attractions of a city through the game. Visitors and locals who want to become agents will be able to walk the streets, enjoy the most well-kept corners and travel through time, moving through different eras of the town while playing. The ten games of the Agency of Secrets project encompass 35 km of routes, 267 puzzles and 460 points of interest.
Xavier Associates, Project Manager & Gamification Advisor of MED GAIMS Project, explained that the main objectives of this innovative initiative are "the promotion of gamification to the tourism managers of the destinations; the creation of work through to hackathon processes and external game designers, and to provide new tools to destinations in order to increase tourist flow”. These factors, he points out, "will also help to comply one of the city's strategic challenges, such as deseasonalization of tourism".
For her part, Olga Arnau, mayoress of Vilanova I la Geltrú, emphasized that "we want to offer both visitors and locals a different way of getting to know the history and heritage of Vilanova, which will be a great experience that will give them an incentive to visit us, with the aim also of increasing the flow of tourists to the city".
The Councilor for Innovation and Business of the Vilanova I la Geltrú town hall, Conxi Martínez, has shown her satisfaction in launching this project stating that "since 2006, Vilanova I la Geltrú and its territory of influence has established itself as a place to promote the innovative ecosystem, boost ICT businesses, media and creative industries".
About Agency of Secrets
Agency of Secrets is a brand that identifies a set of game experiences under the same narrative thread, where the city of Vilanova and Geltrú is explored through physical and virtual environments. The Agency of Secrets has been created within the MED GAIMS GAmifIcation for Memorable tourist experienceS project, financed by the European Union ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme.
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