AAA Colorado projects Memorial Day travel to decline
Ryan Summerlin May 24, 2013
AAA Colorado projects 600,000 Coloradans, 11.7 percent of the state’s population, will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 0.6 percent decrease from 2012.
Nationwide, 34.8 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, a 0.9 percent decrease from last year. The Memorial Day holiday travel period is defined as Thursday, May 23, to Monday, May 27.
Approximately 528,000 Colorado travelers, or almost nine out of 10 holiday travelers, plan to drive to their destination, the same number as those who drove last year. The automobile remains the dominant mode of travel for all holidays, including Memorial Day, due to its convenience and flexibility. According to the survey of travelers, the average distance traveled by Coloradans during the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to be 803 miles, which is 126 miles more than last year’s average. Air travel is projected to decrease 6.5 percent.
Impact of gasoline prices
A survey of intended travelers found that gasoline prices would have no impact on plans for 62 percent of travelers. Of the remaining 38 percent of travelers who said gas prices would impact their travel plans, 27 percent plan to economize in other areas. Today’s average price for regular gasoline in Colorado is $3.82 compared to $3.77 a year ago.
Median spending during the Memorial Day holiday weekend is expected to be $730, 12 percent more than the $652 median spending last year. Transportation is expected to consume approximately 27 cents of every dollar. Travelers expect to spend 30 percent on food and beverage and 14 percent on lodging.
Outdoor activities popular
During the holiday weekend, more than half of intending Colorado travelers plan to visit with friends/family and more than two-thirds plan to dine out. Other popular activities include shopping (44 percent), hiking and biking (34 percent) and touring and attending festivals and fairs (33 percent). Visits to national or state parks (28 percent) and waterfronts (28 percent) will also be popular Memorial Day activities.