||More Americans Staying Home for Fourth of July Weekend
More Americans are staying home for the 4th of July weekend compared to last year, according to a forecast by AAA released on Wednesday.
AAA predicts that 39 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day holiday weekend, a 2.5 percent decline from the 40 million people who traveled a year ago. The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, June 30 to Monday, July 4.
"AAA is projecting a slight decline in the number of Independence Day travelers mainly due to fuel prices being approximately one dollar per gallon higher than last year," said Glen MacDonell, director, AAA Travel Services. "Increased fuel costs are also responsible for a shift in the demographics of the typical Independence Day traveler, as higher prices impact lower income households more significantly."
The amount of money spent each month on gasoline is unlikely to vary much across household income groups. However, as a share of total spending, fuel is obviously going to consume a larger share of the budget for lower income households. As a result, the percentage of travelers with a household income of $50,000 or less is expected to decrease from 41 percent to 33 percent, while travelers with a household income of more than $100,000 are expected to increase to 35 percent from 26 percent.
Auto travel down, but still most popular mode
Approximately 32.8 million people plan to travel by automobile, a decline of almost a million auto travelers from the 33.7 million who drove last year. Automobile travel remains the dominant mode of transportation (84 percent of holiday travelers) despite gasoline prices about a dollar per gallon more expensive than a year ago in many parts of the country. If current market conditions persist, AAA expects the national average price for regular gasoline to remain between $3.60 and $3.70 per gallon during the Independence Day holiday weekend.
A survey of intended travelers found that 56 percent said rising gasoline prices would not impact their travel plans. For the remaining 44 percent who said rising gas prices would impact their travel plans, seven out of 10 will economize in other areas and three out of 10 are planning to take a shorter trip or travel by a different form of transportation.
Air travel increases
A little more than three million leisure travelers (eight percent of holiday travelers) will fly during the holiday weekend, a nine percent increase from last year's 2.75 million air travelers.
This increase continues a rebound in air travel that began in 2010 following the lowest years for air travel in the past ten -- 2009 and 2008. The rising cost of gasoline is a contributing factor to the increase in air travel, as the increasing cost of travel by car is making air travel a more viable option for some travelers despite recent increases in air fares.
The remaining eight percent of holiday travelers are expected to travel by other modes, including rail, bus and watercraft.
Higher costs expected for airfares, hotels, car rentals
According to AAA's Leisure Travel Index, Independence Day holiday airfares are expected to be 11 percent more than last year with an average lowest round-trip rate of $213 for the top 40 U.S. air routes.
Hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase three percent from a year ago with travelers spending an average of $147 per night compared to $143 last year. Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay eight percent more at an average cost of $110 per night.
Weekend daily car rental rates will average $56, a three percent increase over a year ago.
According to a survey of traveler intentions, the average distance traveled by Americans during the Independence Day holiday weekend is expected to be 573 miles, which is seven percent less than last year's average travel distance of 617 miles. Median spending is expected to be $807, an increase of 25 percent from $644 last year.
(Source: AAA, 06/22/11)
Click here to email to client
Back to Radio Sales Today
Click here to view classified ads in the RAB Job Center.
Deadline for Rising Through the Ranks Scholarship Applications is July 13
This popular two-day training seminar, sponsored by the Radio Advertising Bureau, BMI, and Mentoring and Inspiring Women in Radio Group, is dedicated to the support and advancement of women in Radio sales.
BMI will be providing 25 scholarships for this year's program, scheduled for August 30-31 at the BMI offices in Nashville.
For more information on the seminar, scholarship applications and registration details, go to rab.com.
RAB's In-Person Certified Radio Sales Management Class
RAB invites you to be a part of the in-person "Certified Radio Sales Management" course, July 19-21 at the RAB Training Academy in Irving, Texas.
This intense three-day session will focus on key areas managers need to help keep their stations on a growth track for 2011...and themselves on a growth track for their career! The workshop is intended for anyone who has "manager" on their business card and is responsible for people and revenue.
For more information, contact Rob Boaden at 843/757-5066, or email@example.com.