Tourists and holidaymakers are still drawn to America’s most iconic road, connecting Chicago and Santa Monica.
Route 66 has been famed in books, music and movies since the first cars made their way up along the highway, and a new study has shown the route is still as popular as ever.
The study – directed by Rutgers University professor David Listokin of the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy – measured the influence tourists have on local economies along the route.
Known as the “Mother Road”, the stretch of highway has come to represent a symbol of twentieth-century American culture, and travellers from all over the world come to the United States to try their hand at the classic American road trip.
The study revealed more than 85 per cent of travellers visited historic sites such as museums as they travelled through communities, and the towns and cities with Main Street preservation projects brought additional wealth into their local economy.
The results of the study also served to reinforce the importance of investment in local communities along “America’s Main Street”.
“We fund the preservation of historic places, museums and cultural institutions because we recognise the critical role that these institutions play in their communities,” American Express Foundation – who supported the study and invest in Route 66 – President Timothy J. McClimon said in a press release.
“This research really showed the potential that Route 66 offers to preserve our cultural heritage, and we look forward to seeing this research create new ways for historic places to drive economic prosperity.”