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AAA: Memorial Day Holiday Travel Down

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(Sacramento, CA)
Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The poll from the AAA auto club finds an unexpected 2% drop in the number of Californians intending to travel 50-miles or more over the holiday.

"It's not that alarming, but yes it was sort of a surprise to see a decrease of 2% in travel."

AAA's Cynthia Harris says it's a surprise because it's the first time in nearly four years that holiday travel numbers are down.
Harris says 3.5 million Californians plan to drive - the same number as last year. But there's a 12.5% drop in the number of people flying...
"…and you can attribute that to higher airfares, the fact that just several months ago we had the threat of less aircraft flying because of the air controller cutback."
The survey also found a 14.3% drop in the number of people traveling by train, bus or boat.
Harris says the three day holiday marks the start of the summer travel season.

"This gives the hotel industry, the tourism industry, a view of what they can expect for the rest of the year. Now we are showing a decrease so this could mean that for 4th of July we will show a decrease as well, but not necessarily." 

Harris says the overall dip in holiday travel shows Californians are still cautious about the gradual economic recovery.

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