26 December 2006


Nancy Cain (313) 336-1514

Contest Encourages High School Students to Improve Travel and Geographic Literacy with More Than $100,000 in Scholarships and Prizes

Dearborn, MI. – Are our kids going places? According to the Travel Industry of America, more than 90 percent of the trips U.S. families take are non-educational. That means that students are learning less about geography and culture than any other civilized nation in the world. AAA Travel, the nation’s largest network of leisure travel agencies, hopes to change that with the annual AAA Travel High School Challenge, a travel-oriented contest that awards $100,000 in scholarships and prizes to high school students. With programs like the AAA Travel High School Challenge, geography and culture, as well as careers in the travel and tourism industry, can become a focus in American education.

There are two types of scholarships available – unrestricted awards for any student with great travel trivia and geography skills, and travel-specific scholarships for those interested in careers in the travel and tourism industry – and every student who enrolls can be eligible for both.

Participating in the AAA Travel High School Challenge is easy – it begins online with one-step enrollment before Jan. 8. Once enrolled, a 15-minute online quiz is taken between Jan. 8 and 16, 2007. State semi-finalists will continue to the state finals, held March 6-8, for written proctored tests at AAA offices. The national finals with each state champion are held May 19-22, at Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla., and provide students an opportunity to compete in a high-stakes, single-elimination bee for a grand prize $20,000 scholarship. Second and third place prizes will also be awarded at $10,000 and $5,000, respectively. In addition, the top five scorers in each state who express interest in travel-related careers will have an opportunity to submit an essay for both a state and national essay competition to win $56,000 in travel-specific scholarships. Students can enroll or learn more at AAA.com/TravelChallenge.

Sponsors of the AAA Travel High School Challenge include Bank of America, Continental Airlines, Hard Rock Live, Marriott, Pleasant Holidays and Universal Orlando.

The AAA Travel High School Challenge is the official scholarship competition for AAA Travel, the largest full service leisure travel agency in North America. AAA Travel has more than 1,000 accredited travel agency locations generating more than $3.6 billion in revenues. AAA Travel provides domestic and international airline tickets, cruises, escorted tours, independent tour packages, hotels, car rentals and other travel products. AAA Travel’s services are available to everyone and are also available on the Internet at AAA.com/Travel.