STATE – Over 2.2 million New Jersey residents will travel 50 miles or more from home for Christmas and New Year’s, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic projections, a slight increase over last year’s statistics. The 2011 year-end holiday travel period is defined as Friday, Dec. 23 to Monday, Jan. 2.
Nearly all traveling New Jersey residents will drive. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic’s projections:
- 2,045,165 (91 percent of all travelers) will go by automobile, up 0.9 percent compared to 2010.
- 143,293 (6 percent of all travelers) will fly, down almost 10 percent compared to 2010.
- 65,620 (3 percent of all travelers) will use another method, such as railroad, up approximately 3 percent compared to 2010.
“It’s a positive sign for the travel industry that so many Americans are planning to travel this holiday season, collectively contributing to the second-highest year-end holiday travel volume in the past ten years,” says Tracy Noble, AAA Mid-Atlantic spokesperson. “As our lives get busier, it is so important to create opportunities for the rest and rejuvenation that result from vacation travel and connecting with family and friends, especially during the holidays.”
According to a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans during the year-end holidays is expected to be 726 miles, a decline from 2010-11 when travelers planned to log 1,052 miles however, median spending is expected to be $718 up 3 percent from last year. More than half of survey respondents (59 percent) intending to travel feel the economy has either no impact on their travel plans or they feel like things have improved for them.
“Gas prices, while not adding to the merriment of the season, will not be the Grinch that stole holiday travel,” Noble added. “People are heading home for the holidays and prices at the pump will not deter visits with friends and family.” The current price for full-serve regular gasoline in New Jersey is $3.12 per gallon, compared to last year’s price of $2.94, an increase of .18 cents per gallon.
Nationally, year-end travel is forecast to increase 1.4 percent to 91.9 million folks. Last year, 90.7 million Americans traveled during the Christmas holiday season.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends during the major holiday. The complete AAA / IHS Global Insight 2011-12 Year-End Holiday Travel forecast can be found at AAA.com/news.
AAA Mid-Atlantic, serves nearly four million members in parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and throughout Delaware, Maryland and the District of Columbia, and is on the Web at aaa.com/community.
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