AAA Estimates Travel Decrease for Memorial Day Weekend
Wednesday May 22nd, 2013 - 11:30AM W
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ORLANDO, FL—AAA Travel projects 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, a 0.9% decrease from the 35.1 million people who traveled for the holiday weekend last year.
According to AAA, the anticipated decline in holiday travel is due predominantly to a decline in air travel of 8% and fee fatigue among travelers. Overall, AAA forecasts that 89% of travelers will travel by automobile, an increase from 31.1 million last year, while holiday air travel volume is expected to decrease more than 6%.
“AAA is forecasting Memorial Day travel to be slightly lower this year due to an up and down economy, the impact of the end of the payroll tax holiday on working families and a 30-year low in the percentage of working age people in the workforce,” Robert L. Darbelnet, president and CEO of AAA, said in a statement. “Additionally, economic growth in the first quarter was strong, but the impact of the sequester is now beginning to be felt resulting in reduced economic growth expectations.”
The average distance traveled by Americans during the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to be 690 miles, which is 48 miles more than last year’s average of 642 miles, according to a survey conducted by AAA.
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When you hear all the lodging industry projections for the months and years to come, much of the robust growth is forecast to be the result of the expected influx of travelers from China. In what could only be seen as good news for the industry, that expectation moved a little closer to reality when President Obama signed a visa waiver extension for Chinese travelers earlier this month.