Increased Labor Day travels projected

Published 4:30 pm Friday, August 24, 2012

This Labor Day, included with the traditional festivities of cookouts and family fun, AAA Travel expects heightened travels this year.

AAA Travel projects 33 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Labor Day holiday weekend, a 2.9 percent increase from the 32.1 million people who traveled last year.

The total number of 2012 Labor Day holiday travelers is expected to reach a new post-recession high, and is the third increase in holiday travel this year, according to the AAA/IHS Global Insight 2012 Labor Day Holiday Travel Forecast.

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AAA’s Memorial Day and Independence Day holiday travel forecasts projected increases of 1.2 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

Drivers should also be reminded of the DPD’s efforts with the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over,” campaign which will run Aug. 17 through Sept. 3, through the Labor Day holiday.

This is a national campaign and the state of Alabama received some funding from Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to be able to put additional officers out on the road during the campaign, which urges drivers to not drink and drive.

Approximately 28.2 million people (85 percent of holiday travelers) will make their Labor Day holiday journey by automobile, considered the most convenient mode of travel for many Americans. This is a 3.1 percent increase over the 27.3 million people who took to the nation’s roadways in 2011.

Labor Day holiday air travel has been fairly consistent since the recession bounce back began for the travel industry in 2010. About 2.55 million leisure travelers (eight percent of holiday travelers) will fly during the Labor Day weekend, a 3.7 percent increase over 2011 when 2.46 million traveled by air.

National gas prices have fluctuated and been particularly sensitive to region variations throughout much of the year. The current average for Alabama is $3.52 per gallon, which is 5 cents more than last year’s price on this day.