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AAA expects fewer Labor Day travelers

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Aug. 25, 2011 — AAA is forecasting a 2.4 percent decrease in the number of Americans who will travel during this year’s Labor Day holiday weekend, Sept. 1-5.

AAA predicts that 31.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home, down from the 32.3 million people who traveled one year ago.

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. Real disposable income is up 1.3 percent, but is being offset by the travel price index rising 6.7 percent since last year due to rising transportation costs, according to AAA.

"AAA is projecting a decrease in the number of Labor Day travelers as some Americans react to recent economic uncertainty and increasing air fares," said Glen MacDonell, director of AAA Travel Services. "While automobile travel is expected to increase slightly, if recent declines in gasoline prices continue through Labor Day, we could see an increase in last-minute holiday weekend travel."

AAA's projections are based on economic forecasting and research conducted by IHS Global Insight. Visit AAA.com/news to view the complete AAA / IHS Global Insight 2011 Labor Day Holiday Travel Forecast.

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