AAA projects 34.8 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 0.9 percent decrease from the 35.1 million people who traveled last year. Eighty-nine percent of travelers (31.2 million) will travel by automobile, an increase from 31.1 million last year. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 23 to Monday, May 27.
“Although first quarter economic growth was strong, the impact of the sequester is now beginning to be felt”, said Jim Hanni, Executive Vice President, Public Affairs, AAA Kansas. “In addition we’re now four years removed from the recessionary declines of 2009 and pent-up demand has been largely satisfied”. Despite the decline, travel volumes are expected to remain above historical averages as millions of Americans kick-off the summer travel season.
“For our part of the country, more of the population is traveling over the holiday. Over 14 percent of our regions will be traveling, v. 11 percent for the U.S.,” Hanni said. Hanni also indicated most of that difference is driven by auto travel. 89 percent of all Memorial Day holiday travel occurs by automobile in Kansas and surrounding states, with nearly 13 percent of the population choosing this mode of transportation, compared to less than 10 percent for the entire U.S.
The average price for a gallon of regular gas in Kansas today is $3.94 a gallon, a 49 cent increase over a year ago, but below the record price of $4.03 reached on July 16, 2008. Yesterday Midwest area AAA representatives received an update from our oil analysts, who reported good news for motorists. AAA analysts feel confident that prices in the Midwest have reached their peak and should begin a slow, but steady, decline. A survey of travelers found that gasoline prices would have no impact on the plans for 62 percent of travelers. Of the remaining 38 percent of travelers who said gas prices would impact their travel, 27 percent planned to economize in other areas.