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(Neb)-Passport Program Numbers Strong For Opening Month  Listen

By: John Axtell Posted at: 06/19/2017 11:29 PM
LINCOLN - May proved to be an amazing first month for the 2017 Nebraska Passport program, which offers prizes for visiting 80 attractions across the state organized into 10 different tours.

     Visits are recorded by stamps in a passport and Nebraska Tourism Commission spokesman Jenn Gjerde says some 24,000 passport booklets were distributed in May.

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Since the beginning of the year, more than 12,346 people from 40 different states and 352 Nebraska communities have personally contacted the Tourism Commission requesting booklets.

     More than 26,000 people participated last year and Gjerde says that record is expected to be easily topped this year. She thinks that's remarkable because the commission doesn't buy much advertising for the passport program.

      Fort Robinson State Park was the #1 passport destination last year, but the top 5 destinations last month on the Passport app were all in the Lincoln and Omaha areas...headed by the Lauritzen Gardens and the Capitol.

      Gjerde thinks that's mainly because school was still in session for some or all of the month for different cities, so it was easier for families in eastern Nebraska to make day trips to sites in those areas. She thinks numbers for Fort Robinson and other western sites will shoot up starting this month.

     The Passport program is also proving to be wildly popular with the businesses, museums and other attractions that are featured. Nearly all the past sites have reported a surge in business as hundreds or thousands of new visitors arrive at their doors.
 
      As a result, there's a lot of competition to be among the 80 selected each year. Gjerde says the Tourism Commission received 187 applications from businesses and other sites that wanted to be part of it this year.


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