The Nebraska Tourism Commission created the Passport Program to encourage participants to explore the hidden gems of Nebraska. Travelers and locals alike visit a variety of museums, parks, restaurants, and more to collect stamps in the Passport Program booklet or through the app, and submit them at the end of the season.
Nebraska Tourism faced several challenges with the app in previous years. The 2018 version of the app was designed by Nanonation to include more features than ever before. Users are able to easily navigate through the app to find destinations by category or view a map with each location pinpointed.
When the user opens the app, it lets them know what Passport Stops are nearby, a brief description of the location, and their hours of operation. The app differentiates between the stops that have already been stamped versus those yet to visit to help participants plan future trips.
The Passport app uses a phone's location services to determine if you are near a Passport stop. Travelers no longer have to worry about poor cellular service while using the app in rural areas. The app will give out a temporary stamp until the user has service again, then each stamp will automatically change to permanent.
Administrators are able to send push notifications to notify participants of important info, such as a change in a stop's hours. "It's working perfectly this year. People are able to get their stamps...and are a lot happier with how to get the information about the passport stops," said Erin Wirth, the Program Coordinator at the Nebraska Tourism Commission.
The Commission reported that between the 49,000 requested paper passports and the mobile app, over 221,000 stamps were received by participants from 46 states and 418 Nebraska communities. The app was downloaded 8,100 times and accounted for approximately a third of submitted stamps!