The study comes from the American Automobile Association, which notes that 42.3M will be taking a trip of 50 miles or more, up from 40.3M in 2011, amounting to a 4.9% increase.
“Since July 4 falls on a Wednesday, the calendar will play a role in driving holiday travel volume as the mid-week holiday expands the traditional five-day travel period to six days and provides the option of including a weekend and two week days on either side of the actual holiday,” noted AAA. “When asked about day of departure, fifty-four percent of people intending to travel this holiday plan to begin their trip prior to the start of the work-week that includes July 4.”
Gas prices are definitely a positive factor – the national average is down to $3.50, 44 cents lower than April and 16 cents lower than a year ago.
A positive impact on the economy that goes along with an extended trip, and the impact of the mid-week date was demonstrated by AAA’s survey results on anticipated departure dates.
* 25% – Friday, June 29
* 16% – Saturday, June 30
* 13% – Sunday, July 1
* 11% – Monday, July 2
* 19% – Tuesday, July 3
* 16% – Wednesday, July 4
“AAA’s projection for a decade high number of Independence Day travelers is being fed by Americans’ appetite for travel, a mid-week holiday and lower gas prices,” said Bill Sutherland, vice president, AAA Travel Services. “This is the second holiday this year where travelers indicated a determination to travel while economizing by actively seeking value-added travel options and activities.”
“A healthy travel industry is critical to the overall well-being of our economy and consistent increases in travel are encouraging,” added Sutherland.
RBR-TVBR observation: Billboards are in the news – particularly those owned by CBS – as potential purchase items. Of course, smart radio operators in destination locations know that they are a great way to enlighten visitors to their presence. Otherwise, these poor travelers will have to fumble around to find a good station. A well-placed and informative billboard can seal their choice before your competitors have a chance to even be sampled.