Local

AAA predicts increase in Fourth of July travel


Published: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 3:54 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 3:54 p.m.

Orlando

AAA las week projected the number of Americans traveling this Fourth of July holiday weekend will increase 17.1 percent from 2009, with approximately 34.9 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home.

Last year, 29.8 million Americans traveled during the same period. The 2010 Fourth of July holiday travel period is defined as Thursday to Monday, July 5.

"While financial markets continue to have volatility related to the European debt crisis, the landscape of the U.S. economy is in a much different place than it was one year ago," said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services. "It is encouraging to see such growth this summer as Americans take to the road to visit family, friends and great vacation destinations."

MacDonell added, "AAA travel agents continue to report double-digit increases in the percentage of travelers making advanced reservations for cruises, and vacation packages and online hotel bookings via AAA.com are up over last year - all of which are positive signs pointing to an increase in the number of Americans traveling this Fourth of July holiday."

As the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico continues, the situation is changing rapidly and the impact on tourism in the Gulf Coast region is still unknown. However, currently most beaches remain open and while AAA offices have reported member inquiries regarding travel to the Gulf Coast, they have not experienced widespread cancellations.

AAA expects the national average price of self-serve regular gasoline to be between $2.70-$2.80 per gallon during this Fourth of July holiday weekend. The average distance traveled by Americans this Fourth of July holiday weekend (617 miles) is forecast to be approximately the same as one year ago (614 miles). Fifty-eight percent of Americans will spend time with friends and relatives over the holiday.

The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2010 Fourth of July holiday forecast can be found at AAA.com/news.

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