Pent-up demand fuels Thanksgiving travel

Traffic is backed up on a highway in Chicago, a scene expected to be repeated this Thanksgiving holiday.
Posted 11/17/11

PROVIDENCE – For Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day, many decided to stay home. Thanksgiving, however, is a different story.

“AAA is forecasting an increase in the number of Thanksgiving travelers this year, due mostly to pent-up demand from Americans who may have foregone holiday travel in recent years,” said Lloyd P. Albert, AAA Southern New England senior vice president of public and government affairs.

“As consumers weigh the fear of economic uncertainty and the desire to create lasting family memories this holiday, more Americans are expected to choose family and friends over frugality.”

In New England, travel is expected to increase 3.8 percent from a year ago; 12.3 percent of the regional population will travel during the holiday.

Nationally, AAA estimated 42.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, a 4 percent increase from a year ago. Thanksgiving travel is expected to rise for the third consecutive year.

Ninety percent who do travel are expected to do so by car; 8 percent by air; and 2 percent by bus, train or other means of transportation.

AAA’s projections are based on research and forecasting by IHS Global Insight.

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