Holiday travel to reach the highest level on record

DAYTON — More than 103 million Americans—the most on record—are expected to travel for the year-end holidays, according to AAA. This represents a 1.5 percent increase, or 1.5 million more people traveling, compared with last year. This comes despite one fewer travel day this holiday season. The year-end holiday travel period is defined as Friday, Dec. 23 to Monday, Jan. 2, 2017.

The increase in holiday travel this year is being driven by additional consumer spending, a result of improvements in the labor market and rising wages. Additionally, low gas prices and increased consumer optimism will prompt more Americans than ever to set out on road trips, take to the skies, or board trains, buses and cruise ships to celebrate the holidays.

“’Tis the season for holiday travel, and this year more Americans will travel to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said AAA Public Affairs Manager, Cindy Antrican. “Rising incomes and continued low gas prices should make for a joyous holiday travel season.”

Most travelers will drive this holiday season

The vast majority of travelers—93.6 million people—will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase by 2.5 percent, with more than 6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease slightly, to 3.5 million travelers.

Ohio Holiday Travel Numbers:

Buckeye state holiday travel will also reach its highest level on record with more than four million Ohioans expected to travel for the final weeks of 2016 representing a 2 percent increase compared with last year.

Approximately 3.9 million Ohioans will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 2.1 percent over the last year. Air travel is expected to increase by half of a percent, with more than 223,000 Ohioans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase by 2.7 percent to nearly 116,000 Ohioans.

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Staff report