(Des Moines) AAA forecasts 31.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, a 2.4 percent decrease from the 32.3 million people who traveled one year ago. The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, September 1 to Monday, September 5.
The decrease in expected travelers is a result of a mixed economic outlook, consumer uncertainty regarding the overall economy, and recent downturns in economic factors that affect discretionary income, which is particularly relevant to the travel and tourism industry. Real disposal income is up just 1.3 percent, which is being offset by the travel price index rising 6.7 percent since last year, due primarily to rising transportation costs. The housing market remains depressed, with new and existing home prices down 2.4 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
Approximately 27.3 million people (87 percent of holiday travelers) plan to take to the nation’s roadways this Labor Day holiday weekend. This is a slight increase of 0.5 percent from the 27.2 million Labor Day 2010 auto travelers, and a three percent increase in the share of total holiday travelers from last year’s 84 percent. Automobile travel remains the dominant mode of holiday transportation.
Number of air travelers expected to decrease. Travel by other modes of transportation expected to decrease sharply.
August 24, 2011