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AAA: Thanksgiving travel expected to be down this year

AAA: Thanksgiving travel expected to be down this year
Posted November 20th, 2013 @ 11:23am by WTVN Newsroom

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN) -- Fewer people will be going over the river and through the woods this Thanksgiving. AAA forecasting a slight drop this year, but it will still be busy.

"Last year 1.7 million Ohioans traveled. This year we're just slightly below that at 1.68 million Ohioans," said AAA Ohio's Kimberly Schwind. They'll be among 43.4 million Americans traveling more than 50 miles from home over the holiday weekend. That's a decrease of 1.5 percent nationally and 1.7 percent in Ohio.

The recession drove travel volumes down by more than 25 percent in 2008 and 2009, when Ohio’s numbers fell to a decade low of 1.5 million travelers. As the economy began to recover in 2010, so did the travel volumes. This year, due to renewed economic concerns, numbers are slightly below the 2012 peak.

"Consumer confidence is low especially with the government shutdown and sequestration earlier in the year. We're really seeing consumers pulling back a little bit and that's certainly impacting their decision to travel this Thanksgiving.

The vast majority of us, about 90 percent, will hit the highway. That's nearly 40 million people and 1.5 million Ohioans.

"Keep that in mind if you are going to be headed out on the roadway, it's going to be quite crowded, especially Wednesday, November 27 and Sunday, December 1," she said.

AAA estimates that most drivers will experience the lowest Thanksgiving holiday gas prices since 2010.

Air travel has taken a dip of about 4 percent. This year only about 3.14 million Americans, including nearly 122,000 Ohioans, will fly to their destinations. The busiest day at the airport is expected to be Monday.

(Photo courtesy Getty Images)

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