2013 brings good news for hospitality professional expecting a boost of tourists this Labor Day weekend. According to AAA Travel (the American Automobile Association, Inc.), the number of Americans hitting the road will reach its highest level since 2008. Compared to 2012, 4.2 percent more Americans plan to travel between August 30 and September 2 2013, the association said.
Labor Day travel is a trend on the rise, according to experts. Five years ago, before the recession crisis, 45.1 million travelers had plans for the Labor Day weekend. This year, the numbers still don’t hit a record high, but there is a 4.2% increase from the 32.7 million people who traveled in 2012.
The AAA released predictions for travel by car and by plane too, all with positive forecasts. Travel by automobile is expected to rise to 29.2 million travelers from 28 million a year ago, despite gas prices remaining at a level most Americans consider too high. Air travel will increase 2.8 percent to 2.61 million from 2.54 million a year ago.
“AAA is forecasting a lift in Labor Day travel this year due to the increasingly positive economic outlook and optimism in the housing market,” said AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet.
It is also expected that hotel rates for AAA Three Diamond lodgings will increase 4%, with guests spending an average $161 per night compared to $154 last year. Total Labor Day weekend spending average will rise to $804 from $749 per trip.