Aug 092011
 



The Historic Route 66 Passport was recently awarded the prestigious Governor’s Tourism Award during the 2011 Governor’s Conference on Tourism held in Phoenix. For about a year, the passport has been available for fans of the historic landmark at the Williams-Forest Service Visitors Center. Route 66 communities from throughout the state are featured in the promotional tool, including Williams.

The passports are available for free at participating visitor’s centers along Route 66, and for those traveling on the Mother Road can have their passport stamped at each location along the Route. Acquiring all Route 66 stamps qualifies participants for a prize.

Besides having their passports stamped in various Route 66 communities, coupons may also be added to the passports, which can be slipped inside the pages to help draw visitors to particular area businesses.

Williams Main Street Coordinator Sue Atkinson said the passports have been very popular and it has been difficult to keep up with the demand.

Mary Barbee, visitor’s use assistant at the Williams Visitors Center agreed with Atkinson and said the public has had a positive response to the passports.

“They are really liking them,” she said. “We went through them like that.”

The Arizona Historic Route 66 Passport, spearheaded by the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona (Association) on behalf of the Route 66 communities, received the distinguished Cooperative Marketing Award at a luncheon, which recognized 10 individuals and organizations for their best practices, accomplishments, and contributions to the Arizona tourism industry.

The Cooperative Marketing Award is presented to the project that best exemplifies creative partnerships to develop and execute a cooperative marketing initiative. The criteria used by the panel of judges to select the winner included demonstrating an exceptional effort, innovation, uniqueness, effective use of resources, measurable results, and its overall contribution to the tourism industry of Arizona.

According to the Association’s press release, The Historic Route 66 Passport is the first joint marketing effort between all the communities across Arizona’s stretch of Route 66. The Association said while the overall goal for the Passport Program is to increase visitation to the Route 66 communities, attractions, and businesses across northern Arizona, a major objective has been to demonstrate the power of working together.

The Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, founded in 1987 to preserve, protect, and promote Arizona’s Route 66, oversees the Passport Program, however, according to the Association’s press release, it was the financial contributions of so many that made this project a reality.

All communities across the Route were represented in this marketing tool thanks to a grant from the Arizona Office of Tourism, and generous contributions from the Hualapai Lodge in Peach Springs, Hualapai Tourism, the Historic Route 66 Association of Arizona, Kingman Chamber of Commerce, Flagstaff Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Winslow Chamber of Commerce, Williams’ Main Street Association, and the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce.