16 November 2010



CONTACT: For your local media contact visit www.AAA.com/Media

Jessica Brady, manager, AAA Public Relations, (813) 288-7294 office, (813) 532-5327 cell, JBrady@AAASouth.com

Leticia Messam, traffic safety manager, AAA Public Relations, (813) 288-7988 office, (813) 786-7830 cell, LMessam@AAASouth.com  




Overall, Tennessee is projected to see an 11.7% increase in total travel with more than 950,000 travelers


TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 16, 2010) — Thanksgiving travel in the state of Tennessee is projected to increase 11.7 percent this year from 2009, with more than 950,000 Tennessee residents taking a trip of 50 miles or more away from home between Wednesday, Nov. 24 and Sunday, Nov. 28. Overall, travel in the U.S. is projected to increase 11.4 percent from last year, with more than 42.2 million travelers.

Thanksgiving travel is mostly comprised of auto travelers, with more than 927,000 Tennesseans traveling by automobile, an increase of 12 percent from last year. AAA expects the average price of regular retail gasoline in Tennessee to be between $2.70 and $2.80 per gallon during the holiday weekend, respectively. Air travel is expected to increase by 3.4 percent in the state however travel by other modes is projected to decrease by 0.2 percent.

"This is great news,” said Brent Hubele, Vice President, AAA Travel. “Not only is travel up across the board, but it’s a sign consumers are more confident and willing to take time off, spend money to travel, and visit with friends and family this holiday weekend.”

Median spending and average distance traveled remain relatively unchanged

Although travel is projected to increase, respondents only expect to spend $1 more this year than last year, with an average median spending of $495. Total spending can be roughly grouped into two categories: transportation and pleasure. Thirty-two percent of total spending is expected to go to transportation costs and 38 percent towards shopping and dining. In addition, the average distance traveled is expected to increase by only one mile, for an average of 816 miles round-trip.

Airfare, hotel rates increase; car rental rates decrease compared to last year

According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, airfares throughout the Thanksgiving holiday are expected to increase four percent from last year with an average round-trip rate of $170. Daily car rental rates are expected to decrease four percent to an average of $42. Hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase six percent from a year ago, with travelers spending an average of $136 per night compared to $128 last year. Travelers planning to stay at AAA Two Diamond hotels can expect to pay four percent more as well, with an average cost of $96 per night.
  • AAA Offers Travelers a Variety of Trip Planning Tools Including:
  • Free printed TourBook guides and maps for members
  • The online TripTik® Travel Planner, available free to all travelers at AAA.com
  • Three free mobile applications that offer on-the-go access to AAA travel information and services:
  • AAA TripTik Mobile iPhone app provides updated gas prices, maps and direction functionality, with information on AAA Approved hotels, restaurants and attractions.
  • AAA Roadside iPhone app, offers AAA members requiring emergency road service the ability to quickly send their location, vehicle description and specific breakdown details directly to AAA without placing a phone call.
  • AAA Discounts iPhone app, which has been downloaded more than 900,000 times, uses GPS technology to identify a user’s location and displays nearby businesses that offer members AAA Show Your Card & Save® discounts. A version of the AAA Discounts app is also available for Android-platform smartphones.
The iPhone apps are available for download from the Apple iTunes Store, and the Android appis available for download from the Android Market.
AAA’s travel projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight. The Boston-based economic research and consulting firm partnered with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has reported on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2010 Thanksgiving holiday travel forecast can be viewed at AAA.com/news.
AAA Auto Club South is the third largest affiliate of AAA, with 79 branch offices serving more than 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, Middle/West Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.


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