Some of those will be headed to Mount Magazine State Park, located 19 miles south of Paris. Paris Superintendent Becky Bariola said last week the park will be a busy place over the holiday period, which begins Friday and ends on Tuesday, July 4.
A record breaking number of people will travel over the Fourth of July holiday period, according to AAA. AAA is projecting 44.2 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more away from home, taking to the nation’s roads, skies, rails and waterways to honor the red, white and blue. With 1.25 million more travelers than last year, 2017 will be marked as the most traveled Independence Day holiday weekend ever.
Some of those will be headed to Mount Magazine State Park, located 19 miles south of Paris. Paris Superintendent Becky Bariola said last week the park will be a busy place over the holiday period, which begins Friday, June 30 and ends on Tuesday, July 4.
“Right now, we’re about 70 percent occupied in the lodge,” Bariola said last week. “We’ll get to 100 percent. All 13 cabins are booked for the holiday and the 18 campsites are booked. We’re expecting a crowd, especially in the restaurant.”
Bariola also said attendance in the park has been up this year.
“Visitation has been wonderful so far this year,” she said. “We’re seeing more people.”
AAA based its projection on a survey and officials said increasing travel is the result of lower gasoline prices, a stronger economy and a greater level of consumer confidence.
“Combined, strong employment, rising incomes and higher consumer confidence bode well for the travel industry, in particular this Independence Day weekend,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president, Travel and Publishing. “A historic 44.2 million Americans will travel to celebrate our nation’s freedom this year, adding to an already bustling summer travel season.”
The 44.2 million expected to travel this Independence Day is a 2.9 percent increase over 2016. 37.5 million Americans will drive to their destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year. 3.44 million people are taking to the skies this Independence Day, increasing air travel by 4.6 percent over last year. 3.27 million travelers, an increase of 1.4 percent from 2016, will look to other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses.
The national average gas price is four cents cheaper than this same time last year and a contributing factor to the increase in travelers on the roads this Independence Day. With today’s national average price for a gallon of gas at $2.28, prices remain historically low for the summer travel season.
However, consumers may see prices increase, albeit by pennies, closer to the holiday weekend, similar to the Memorial Day gas price trend.
The vast majority of travelers—37.5 million Americans—will drive to their Independence Day destinations, an increase of 2.9 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 4.6 percent over last year, with 3.44 million Americans taking to the skies this Independence Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 1.4 percent, to 3.27 million travelers.
AAA’s projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.