SOURCE: Automobile Club of Southern California
LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwire – November 19, 2010) – Local residents are expected to continue their return to holiday travel next week and boost their Thanksgiving weekend getaways by 11.2 percent from last year, with an estimated 3.25 million Southern Californians projected to take holiday trips, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Among those taking an overnight trip at least 50 miles away from home, 2.97 million Southern Californians are expected to drive, 187,000 are expected to fly and 90,000 will take a cruise, bus or train to their holiday destinations. A greater percentage of local travelers than usual — 91.5 percent — are choosing to drive rather than fly to their Thanksgiving getaways.
The number of local Thanksgiving drivers is expected to increase by 12.1 percent from last year, while plane trips are expected to increase by 3.6 percent and other travel is remaining almost unchanged from 2009.
Statewide, 5.2 million residents are expected to travel — also an 11.2 percent increase from last year — with 4.78 million expected to drive, 300,000 expected to fly and 144,000 going by other means.
Nationally, AAA expects Thanksgiving travel to increase by 11.4 percent over 2009, with a projected total of 42.2 million travelers.
“As we’ve seen with other holidays this year, travel is recovering from the recession,” said Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel. “Vacation and quick getaway bookings have increased substantially compared to last year, and while people are still aggressively seeking out value, they are more willing to spend money on travel.”
The top five destinations for local Thanksgiving travelers, according to a survey of AAA Travel agents, are:
1) Las Vegas
2) San Diego
3) San Francisco
4) Central Coast (Santa Barbara to Monterey)
In a separate survey released last week by the Auto Club, Southern California consumers indicated they plan to spend more money on their November and December holiday getaways than they did in 2009. Last year, 52 percent planned to spend at least $500 on their November/December holiday travel. This year, that number jumped to 75 percent.
Last week’s survey also revealed that 46 percent of local travelers plan to stay in a hotel or motel on their holiday trips before the end of the year, while 36 percent will stay with family or friends and 5 percent plan to rent a condo or house.
Jeffrey Spring/Marie Montgomery