AAA today projected the number of Americans traveling this Fourth of July holiday weekend will increase 17.1% from 2009. This means about 34.9 million travelers taking a trip at least 50 miles away from home.
Last year, 29.8 million Americans traveled during the same period. The 2010 Fourth of July holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, July 1 to Monday, July 5.
“While financial markets continue to have volatility related to the European debt crisis, the landscape of the U.S. economy is in a much different place than it was one year ago,” said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services. “It is encouraging to see such growth this summer as Americans take to the road to visit family, friends and great vacation destinations.”
As the Deepwater Horizon oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico continues, the impact on tourism in the Gulf Coast region is still unknown. However, currently most beaches remain open and while AAA offices have reported member inquiries regarding travel to the Gulf Coast, they have not experienced widespread cancellations. Travelers visit these communities for reasons other than boating and swimming including visiting family and friends, state and national parks, golfing, shopping, dining and nightlife. Therefore, AAA is projecting an increase in travel in states in the Gulf Coast region as well.