AAA projects that 2.28 million New Englanders will travel this Independence Day holiday period, an increase of 3.2 percent over 2016. Nationally 44.2 million travelers are expected this Independence Day, a 2.9 percent increase over 2016.
“This Independence Day will be historic,” said Dan Goodman, manager of public affairs, AAA Northern New England. “Traveler numbers are up and gas prices are down, adding to what has already been a busy summer travel season.
- Automobile travel in New England will almost reach two million travelers in 2017 (1.97 million), a rise of 3.1 percent. This will be the sixteenth straight year of rising auto travel.
- Air travel is expected to grow by 5.7 percent in 2017, as 143,000 New England travelers will take to the skies.
- Independence Day holiday travel volume will mark the highest on record.
Economic factors influencing the travel forecast include:
- Overall economic growth has been strong, as the real gross domestic product is slated to increase 2.7 percent year-over-year during the third quarter, and unemployment is down to 4.4 percent.
- Boosted by strong employment and rising incomes, spending is expected to rise along with consumers’ rosy outlook, increasing 4.6 percent over last year.
- Consumer measures remain strong. Consumer sentiment rose for the third straight month, with a 0.7 point gain in May. This score is three points higher than the May 2016 reading.
- Gas prices continue to decline.
- New Hampshire’s average current price is $2.20 per gallon, which is 3 cents lower than one week ago and 5 cents lower than one year ago.
- Vermont’s average current price is $2.33 per gallon, which is 2 cents lower than one week ago, and the same price as one year ago.
- Maine’s current price is $2.25 per gallon, which is 3 cents lower than one week ago and 5 cents lower than one year ago.
- Massachusetts current price is $2.28 per gallon, which is 2 cents lower than one week ago and 2 cents lower than one year ago.
For purposes of this forecast, the Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as the five-day period from Friday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 4. The five-day holiday length is consistent with the 2016 holiday period. The Independence Day holiday period has been a five-day holiday since 2012, when the 4th of July fell on a Wednesday, causing a six-day holiday period.
As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 56 million members with travel, insurance, financial, and automotive-related services. Operating 19 offices throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, AAA Northern New England is a not-for-profit, fully tax-paying corporation and serves as an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. AAA Northern New England can be visited on the Internet at www.AAA.com