AAA says South Atlantic travel forecast down 4.7% - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

AAA says South Atlantic travel forecast down 4.7%

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News release from the AAA 

TAMPA, Fla. (Dec. 16) — The perception of economic recovery is delivering a rebound in holiday travel this year as 87.7 million Americans are projected to travel during the Christmas/New Year's Holiday (Dec. 23 to Jan. 3).

"The 87.7 million who are planning to travel represent 28 percent of the total U.S. population and the overall increase over last year is certainly a positive sign for the economy," said Kevin Bakewell, senior vice president, AAA Auto Club South.

AAA Auto Club South Region

Travelers by Auto  

Travelers by Air

 

PROJECTED TOTAL

 

Florida

4.82 million

255,000

 

5.53 million

Georgia

2.63 million

139,000

 

3.02 million

Tennessee

1.31 million

40,000

 

1.46 million

 

However, Florida and Georgia are projected to show a 4.7 percent decrease in overall travel versus 2008 while in Tennessee a 3 percent increase is projected in holiday travel this year. Regional holiday travel declines are expected to range from 2.4 percent for areas such as the Middle Atlantic region (NJ, NY, PA) to 4.7 percent for the South Atlantic region (FL, GA, SC, NC, DC, DE, MD, VA and WVA) and 4.8 percent for the Mountain region (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, UT and WY).

"Despite the difficult economy, the South Atlantic region is expected to experience a subdued, but still heavy travel volume for the year-end holidays," Bakewell said. "A five percent decline is expected from last year's unexpectedly strong year-end holiday travel, but the volume of travel will remain above, or comparable to, the levels experienced prior to the economic crisis." (Projected numbers this year exceed last year's 84.5 million travelers, but are less than the 88.7 million who traveled during the year-end 2007 Christmas/New Year's holiday.)

"Additionally, for the first time in many years a large segment of the population is making very hard and in some cases last minute choices between traveling during one holiday or another," noted Bakewell. "As a result, consistency between holidays is less likely to be observed, and we see evidence of that now."  

With some 88 percent of all travelers choosing to travel by car, AAA reminds motorists that they can estimate the fuel cost of their holiday trip and access locations and prices at more than 100,000 gas stations by using AAA's web tools located at www.AAA.com/gas prices. 

For those planning to fly, additional airline information and updates may be found at www.AAA.com/airfares.

AAA's holiday travel projections are based on research conducted by IHS Global Insight and D.K. Shifflet & Associates which conducted a national survey of 1,350 U.S. households. The complete AAA/HIS Global Insight 2009 Year-End Holiday forecast can be found at www.AAA.com/news.

AAA Travel, with 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, Western and Middle Tennessee, and Puerto Rico is the largest leisure travel agency in the Southeast United States and is one of the top 10 leisure travel agencies in the nation. AAA is the largest membership travel organization in the world with more than 51 million members in North America.

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