FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LINCOLN, NE (May 25, 2016)— Based on requests for 2016 Nebraska Passport booklets, the Nebraska Tourism Commission expects a record-breaking number of participants to enjoy the program over the summer months. The annual campaign, which encourages travelers to explore the state while collecting stamps and earning prizes, kicked off on May 1.
The Nebraska Passport program, which runs through September 30, features 80 attractions on 10 themed tours.
Since the beginning of the year, more than 1,100 people have personally contacted the Commission requesting the 2016 Passport booklets. In 2015, only 750 people/organizations made similar requests. This year, requests have come from 17 different states, including Georgia, California, Arkansas and Maryland, and two different countries, Germany and South Africa. In 2015 more than 24,600 travelers participated in the program.
“As we anticipated, the Passport program is continuing to grow year after year,” said Nebraska Passport program coordinator, Amanda Barker. “It’s great to see a record number of travelers embrace the challenge of exploring the whole state.”
In the first two and a half weeks of May, more than 700 people downloaded the mobile app and over 3,000 people updated from last years. App statistics show that Eat Restaurant in Dodge and the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Headquarters in Omaha have given out the most digital stamps, followed closely by the Harold Lloyd Home in Burchard and SchillingBridge Cork & Tap House in Lincoln.
Barker said, “We’re already starting to hear stories of Passport participants who have discovered new places in Nebraska that have been the highlight of their summer.” One traveler, Linda Olson of Norfolk, recently said, “This is the best tourism program that I have ever heard about! My grandkids and I love to travel and get stamps.”
Governor Pete Ricketts just released a video highlighting some of this year’s amazing stops: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVKY8PPUDSY
Passports are available at participating stops. Travelers can also download the free Nebraska Passport mobile app from the Apple App Store and Google Play-- simply search for “NE Passport.” With the app, Passport participants can get digital stamps. Nebraska Tourism encourages all participants to download the app.
2016 Prizes: For each completed tour, participants win 15 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch coupons. Travelers also can receive a 2016 Nebraska Passport T-Shirt (for 10 stamps), a Nebraska Nice travel mug (for 20 stamps), a selfie stick (for 40 stamps), a travel duffel bag (for 60 stamps) and a local first gift basket (for all 80 stamps). Prizes are cumulative.
A grand-prize drawing for an Omaha Steaks Culinary Calendar Package will be held in October. An additional drawing for 300 $1 Nebraska Lottery Scratch tickets will be held for all participants, 19 and older, who turn in prize entry forms with at least one stamp. All prize entry forms must be postmarked by October 1, 2016. The digital Passports through the app must also be submitted by October 1.
The Nebraska Tourism Commission is also partnering with some of Nebraska’s top companies to promote the 2016 Nebraska Passport program to thousands of employees statewide. Participating partners include Bailey Lauerman, Behlen, Chief Industries, Crete Carrier Corp., Lincoln Industries, NEBCO, Nebraska Lottery, NebraskaLand National Bank, Omaha Steaks, Pinnacle Bank, Swanson Russell, The Buckle, Inc., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Nebraska at Omaha and Valmont Industries, Inc.