A Japanese spa resort has come up with an innovative way to boost visitors – ship in gamers looking for a slice of authentic Monster Hunter scenery.

According to The Mainichi Daily News, the Shibu hot spa resort in the mountainous Nagano region has formed a partnership with Capcom due to its similarities to a town in PSP adventure Monster Hunter Portable 3.

A recent Monster Hunter event held there apparently attracted a large number of attendees. One gamer, 26 year old Noriko Hasegawa from Kobe, commented, "I may have stayed out of this town had it not been for the event."

It seems that this sort of thing is becoming a tourism trend. Konami held a special event for its Love Plus dating sim at the Atami hot spa resort in the Shizuoka Prefecture last summer while Colopl Inc struck a deal with the Shakunagenomori botanical park in the town of Mimata to promote its Colony na Seikatsu Plus social game.

British tourism officials might want to sit up and take note. We could see a Dead Rising day-trip to Bluewater being a real money-spinner.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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