Planning a trip along America’s iconic Route 66 just got a whole lot easier thanks to the launch of the new Route 66 digital passport recently launched by the Arizona Office of Tourism.

Route 66 has long held a place in the hearts of travellers near and far, its legendary status catering to lovers of Americana, nostalgia and the feel of the open road. Now the undeniably Instagrammable landmarks and one-of-a-kind experiences that can only be found along Arizona’s Mother Road are being introduced to a new generation of fans via the digital Route 66 Passport from the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT). 

Planning and exploring mythical Route 66

The new Arizona Route 66 passport digital app (Photo: Arizona Office of Tourism)

The Route 66 Passport provides a free digital map highlighting major destinations such as Topock 66 on the Colorado River in the west to The Painted Desert Trading Post in the east plus miles of famous sights, shops, eats and towns in between. There’s even the chance to win prizes by checking in along the route and uploading photos to the passport.

“Route 66’s colourful history, quirky attractions, lively dining and beautiful landscapes are the types of treasures that beg to be shared,” told Debbie Johnson, director of the Arizona Office of Tourism in an official release. “Our latest passport is a perfect invitation to explore it for the first time or get reacquainted and find something new,” she added.  

Access to the free digital map and passport is delivered instantly to phones and mobile devices after a quick sign-up. 

The Route 66 Passport is powered by digital platform content provider Bandwango. The travel technology company empowering event and destination promotes a digital delivery access to places and experiences.

Two more digital passports to explore famous Arizona sites and activities

The Route 66 Passport is not the only Arizona Office of Tourism digital launch. AOT also created the virtual Arizona Wine Trail Passport and Arizona Parks Passport on Bandwango’s platform.

The first one, the Arizona Wine Trail Passport takes travellers along an interactive map which shows over 120 wineries and tasting rooms across the state. There are six regions in the state with tasting rooms for tourists to visit and enjoy.

The second virtual trail, the Arizona Parks Passport highlights one of the favourite reason for travellers to come to the State: its national parks. Arizona’s outdoors are a highlight for many visitors and not only to the Grand Canyon.

Route 66
Grand Canyon (Photo : Courtesy of Arizona Office of Tourism)

Northern Arizona draws guests to its pines and plateaus, while Central Arizona shows off with its red rocks and the lush Verde Valley. Not to be outdone, Southern Arizona greets guests with saguaro-filled landscapes and stunning rock formations above and below ground, and Western Arizona offers some of the best water sports and beaches (yes, beaches) in the state. Rounding out the list, Eastern Arizona sports a little bit of everything, from green forests to petrified wood and petroglyphs.

The app. lists some 55 national, historic parks and monuments, declined through many themes such as biking, trekking, wild flowers, water sports or stargazing.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, tourism employed almost 200,000 locals from Arizona and contributed over $3.5 billion (€3.4bn) in tax revenue to the federal, state and local economies. In 2021, total overnight visitors reached 40.9 million. In 2019, total visitation figures topped 44.6 million including 4.03 international travellers.

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