Nebraska's new travel-for-fun-and-prizes program has more twists than a corkscrew.
The 2012 Nebraska Passport program is expanding to 80 stops in all corners of the state. It is organized into 10 tours: culinary, culture, family fun, festivals, golf, GROW Nebraska, parks, unique accommodations, water adventure and wineries.
The program was created by the Department of Economic Development's Travel and Tourism Division. It encourages travelers to explore Nebraska and take home prizes.
Participants who travel to the featured locations receive a stamp in a passport booklet at each stop. At the end of the summer, visitors send in a tear-out page from the passport.
If visitors complete one of the special interest tours, they get a Passport T-shirt. If visitors collect 25 stamps, they get a $25 GROW Nebraska gift card; if they get 40 stamps, they receive a Canon Powershot digital camera. A grand-prize drawing for an Apple iPad is in October.
More than 170 sites applied to be part of the 2012 program.
Featured stops expose attractions and communities to new visitors, said Shannon Peterson, a tourism division spokeswoman.
Ninety-four percent of previous participants said in a follow-up survey that they visited at least one Nebraska attraction they otherwise wouldn't have because it was a Passport stop, Peterson said.
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