Saturday, May 26, 2012

AAA Predicts More Area Residents Will Travel this Memorial Day Weekend

Washingtonians will take to the beaten track and head out of town in the largest numbers in seven years this Memorial Day holiday weekend, AAA Mid-Atlantic is projecting. 

As proof, a total of 875,000 Washington area residents, an increase of nearly 17 thousand persons over this time last year, will travel 50 miles or more from home during the upcoming holiday weekend, according to the 2012 Memorial Day Travel forecast from AAA Mid-Atlantic. That’s nearly a two percent increase (1.9 percent) in the overall number of Washington area residents who traveled during the 2011 Memorial Day holiday weekend.

It’s the best travel forecast since 2006, a period that includes the “Great Recession,” which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009.

The AAA Travel Forecast reveals that the share of expected travelers in the highest income bracket (over $100,000) is expected to increase over the Memorial Day Holiday weekend. In contrast, the share of expected travelers in the under-$50,000 and $50,000-100,000 household income brackets is expected to slip. However, the recent drop in the price of gasoline will give area residents a greater incentive to hit the highways this holiday weekend.

Nationwide, AAA is 34.8 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, an increase of 1.2 percent – or 500,000 travelers – from the 34.3 million people who traveled one year ago.

Approximately 30.7 million people plan to drive to their destination, an increase of 1.2 percent from the 30.3 million who drove last year. Almost nine out of ten holiday travelers (88 percent) will take to the nation’s roadways during the Memorial Day weekend keeping automobile travel in the traditional lead as the dominant mode of holiday travel transportation.

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