The folks who created the Route 66 Navigation app for smartphones are working on a Route 66 Passport project with two Mother Road enthusiasts.
Touch Media, which developed the app, stated in a news release:
The “Route 66 Passport” with illustrations by artist Joyce Cole will provide Route 66 travelers with a fun, informative and interactive souvenir. As with all Route 66 projects developed by Touch Media, the passport also is designed to provide communities along the Route 66 corridor with a promotional opportunity as well as revenue stream.
As conceived, the traveler would present the passport at select visitor centers for a special souvenir stamp. Through the visitor center the traveler would also receive area information about events, attractions, restaurants, lodging, and additional souvenirs. Visitor centers also would have the option to sell the passports, as well as the Route 66 Navigation app that is available with seven-day or one-year subscriptions.
To develop the passport project, Marian Pavel, CEO of Touch Media, has enlisted the services of several consultants including Dries Bessels. Bessels is a co-founder of the Dutch Route 66 Association, chairman of the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership International Advisory Committee, author of a guide to Route 66 for the Dutch market, and a guide for Netherlands-based U.S. Bikers Route 66 tours.
Also working as a consultant on this project is Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America, a tourism development consultant who is developing promotional projects for the city of Cuba, Missouri, and Grand Canyon Caverns. Hinckley also assists the Route 66 Association of Kingman, serves on the economic development committee for the Route 66 Road Ahead Partnership, and is a member of the Economic Development Advisory Commission for the city of Kingman. He speaks internationally on Route 66 history and the economics of tourism and is the author of numerous books, including “The Route 66 Encyclopedia,” “Travel Route 66,” “The Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas” and “Ghost Towns of Route 66.”
Here’s an example of the Route 66 Passport in a new YouTube video:
It’s not the first time the idea of a passport has hit the Mother Road. A few states — Arizona comes to mind — have published one in previous years. But this is the first that is designed to cover the entire 2,400 miles of Route 66, unless I’m forgetting about one from a long time ago.
Touch Media is owned by Marian Pavel, who’s traveled Route 66 four times and attended a number of Mother Road gatherings, including the second European Route 66 Festival in the Czech Republic and the 2018 Miles of Possibility Conference in Carlinville, Illinois.
(Image of the Route 66 Passport courtesy of Touch Media)