According to a news release this week, Route 66 Passport’s developers will add 40 locations next year. About 28 participated this past season.
The additional locations will be selected with an emphasis on the availability of tourist services, with priority being given to visitor centers and museums that can support local tourism by serving as a portal to businesses as well as hotels or restaurants.
The news release details why the Route 66 Passport is valuable:
Numerous participants in the program have reported a 40 to 60 percent increase in the number of visitors resultant of the passport. […] The passport has also proven a benefit to the Route 66 community as travelers report planning their itinerary to get all the stamps in their passport and staying overnight in the communities when they arrive after the closure of visitor centers. Other travelers have confirmed they are making plans for a return trip to collect stamps missing from their passports.
Many Route 66 Passport partners that capitalize on the unique promotional tool are accommodating visitors by arranging for stamps at nearby hotels or even at the local police station after scheduled operating hours. Businesses, museums, and other locations not affiliated with the passport program are offering tourists a stamp on a dedicated “Notes” page. Travelers also use these pages to customize their passport by collecting autographs from Route 66 celebrities, authors, artists, and business owners.
Because the passport is an easily identifiable souvenir that tourists buy at the start of their journey, for the first time sales statistics from around 50 selling points will identify where travelers join Route 66. This data is crucial for the development of a better understanding of Route 66 travel which can be used to facilitate the effective adjustment of services offered.
Marian Pavel and Jan Švrček of Touch Media, which developed the Route 66 Navigation app, are traveling Route 66 now to test updates and evaluate additional locations for the passport.
Interested parties can email the developers at hello(at)route66navigation(dot)com or jima(dot)hinckley(at)gmail(dot)com.
(Image of the 2019 Route 66 Passport courtesy of Route 66 Navigation)