The number of Oklahomans traveling over the holiday is also expected to decline, AAA says, with 371,000 taking a trip by auto or by air, a dip of two percent from Labor Day, 2010. The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, Sept. 1 to Monday, Sept. 5.
“AAA is projecting a decrease in the number of Labor Day travelers as many would-be travelers nationwide and here in Oklahoma tell us uncertainty in the nation’s economy and increasing air fares have them re-thinking their holiday travel plans,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma.
The decrease in expected travelers is a result of a mixed economic outlook including recent downturns in economic factors that affect discretionary spending. Real disposal income is up just 1.3 percent, which is being offset by the travel price index rising 6.7 percent since last year, due primarily to rising transportation costs. The housing market remains depressed, with new and existing home prices down 2.4 percent and 3.4 percent, respectively.
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. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA /IHS Global Insight 2011 Labor Day Holiday Travel Forecast can be found at AAA.com/news