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AAA Projects Decrease in Labor Day Travel

August 24, 2008 By: Kirk Cassels

For some U.S. travelers, summer will not end with a bang this Labor Day weekend but will just end, according to a AAA report. Nearly 34.38 million Americans will travel 50 miles from home this coming weekend, 320,000 less than the holiday weekend in 2007— a decrease of 0.9 percent. The decline will be the first for Labor Day travel since 2006, and it will be the third consecutive travel period with a projected year-to-year decline.

High gasoline prices, increasing airfares (not including baggage and service fees) as well as a sluggish economy are influencing travelers to take the train, bus or cruise ship to their destinations for the weekend. AAA projects 1.8 million Americans (5 percent of holiday travelers) plan to travel by mode of transportation that is not car or airplane— an increase of 12.5 percent from 2007.

AAA projects that approximately 28.64 million Americans (more than 83 percent of all holiday travelers) will travel by automobile during Labor Day, a 1.1 percent decrease from 2007. Although the average price of a gallon of gasoline dropped 40 cents per gallon since Fourth of July, prices are still nearly 91 cents more than this time last year.

Almost 3.96 million Americans (11.5 percent of holiday travelers) will travel by airplane, a 4.5 percent decrease. AAA’s Leisure Travel Index (LTI) projects air fares over the holiday weekend will be 15 percent higher than last year.

Hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond hotels are unchanged from last year’s Labor Day holiday travel period.


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