Time is dwindling for Lincoln residents to win a shot at a prize for being a tourist in their own home town.
This is the 10th year for the “Be a Tourist” program, which allows people to accumulate stamps for visiting attractions and restaurants listed on a passport card provided by the Lincoln Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The more stamps collected, the better the prize a contestant is eligible for in a series of drawings to be held in September. Cards must be turned in to the bureau by Sept. 3.
The tourist program, which gets people talking about Lancaster County’s treasures, is one of the ways the local visitors bureau is trying to build tourism and travel, said Jeff Maul, executive director.
Maul said Lincoln tourism trends overall back up statewide findings in a recent financial impact study. That report by the Portland-based Dean Runyan Associates showed that total spending by visitors to Nebraska in 2012 was $3.1 billion, a 6.3 percent hike over the year before.
Maul said lodging taxes collected in Lancaster County have risen nearly 25 percent in the past three years, putting the number at an all-time high for the county.
He said hotel room bookings and travel should push even higher once the Pinnacle Bank Arena is operating at full capacity.
“With the addition of the new arena, these numbers should continue to grow and make Lincoln a must-see destination in the Midwest,” Maul said.