1.1 Million Plan Memorial Day Travel, Reports AAA Michigan

May 20, 2010

DEARBORN, Mich., May 20 /PRNewswire/ — An estimated 1.1 million Michiganians will travel on vacation during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend, launching the start of the 2010 summer travel season, says AAA Michigan. State travel is projected to be up slightly from last year, while AAA projects 32.1 million travelers nationally, a 5.4 percent increase.

Of Michigan’s travelers, 946,403 — 86 percent – will drive by motor vehicle, on par with last year. They will find gas prices about 40 cents higher than last year ($2.788 on May 20). The number of people flying in Michigan is also similar to last year’s numbers, 5.5 percent, while the rest will travel by train, bus or other mode of transportation.

“With the economy improving, more people will be encouraged to travel this Memorial Day holiday weekend,” said AAA Michigan President Steve Wagner. “Many of our travel industry partners are experiencing improved business conditions this year.”

The average distance traveled by Americans this Memorial Day holiday weekend is forecast to be about the same as one year ago: 626 miles vs. 620 in 2009, AAA reported. Median spending is estimated to be $809 this Memorial Day.

For Michigan AAA members, the 10 most popular driving destinations in Michigan (based on TripTik reports) are:

    1)     Traverse City
    ---    -------------
    2)     Mackinaw City
    ---    -------------
    3)     Petoskey
    ---    --------
    4)     Frankenmuth
    ---    -----------
    5)     Munising
    ---    --------
    6)     Sault Ste. Marie
    ---    ----------------
    7)     Boyne Mountain
    ---    --------------
    8)     Saugatuck/Douglas
    ---    -----------------
    9)     Dundee
    ---    ------
    10)    Lansing

For Michigan AAA members, the 10 most popular driving destinations throughout the United States are:

    1)    Orlando                            Fl
    ---   -------                            ---
    2)    Nashville                          TN
    ---   ---------                          ---
    3)    Chicago                            IL
    ---   -------                            ---
    4)    Myrtle Beach                       SC
    ---   ------------                       ---
    5)    Washington                         DC
    ---   ----------                         ---
    6)    Indianapolis                       IN
    ---   ------------                       ---
    7)    Atlanta                            GA
    ---   -------                            ---
    8)    Las Vegas                          NV
    ---   ---------                          ---
    9)    Cleveland                          OH
    ---   ---------                          ---
    10)   Gatlinburg                         TN

The 78-hour Memorial Day weekend officially begins: 6 p.m., Friday, May 28 and ends at 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 31.

During Memorial Day weekend in 2009, Michigan State Police report 11 people were killed in 10 fatal crashes, down from 12 killed in 2008. Four killed were motorcyclists and two were pedestrians. Of the five killed in vehicles with seat belts available, two were not using them. Alcohol was a factor in four of the fatal crashes.

AAA Michigan will again partner with the Michigan State Police (MSP) in supporting Operation C.A.R.E. (Combined Accident Reduction Effort.) Bright yellow banners will be posted at rest areas statewide, with many sites offering complimentary coffee and refreshments. In addition, Operation C.A.R.E. volunteers will provide traffic safety information during the three summer holiday weekends.

New this Memorial Day weekend, AAA Michigan and the Detroit Tigers are partnering to offer a “AAA and Detroit Tigers Safe Teen Driving Weekend” at Comerica Park on Friday and Saturday, May 28-29. The two organizations are encouraging teens to be safer drivers by giving them the opportunity to win four Tigers game tickets, head down on the field to watch batting practice before the game and throw out the first pitch. The winner each night will also receive an autographed Tigers baseball. Teens should enter for a chance to win by texting AAA to 97136. Entry deadline is May 23.

Additionally, in recognition of “Teen Driving Safety Weekend,” teens and families pay $10 per ticket for seats at Comerica Park in Sections 210-219, $5 off regular price. To purchase discounted tickets, visit: http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/det/ticketing/baseballbuddies.jsp?loc=aaa.

AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during the major holidays. The complete AAA/ HIS Global Insight 2010 Memorial Day holiday forecast can be found at aaa.com/news.


Source: newswire

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