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article imageLabor Day weekend travel numbers drop for 2009

By Jay David Murphy     Sep 5, 2009 in Travel
Labor Day holiday travel numbers are off from all time high numbers from 2008. Two factors take a bite out of this year's numbers, the day when school returns and the unemployment rate.
Labor Day holiday weekend travel is predicted to be off by 13 per cent nationwide.
In Las Vegas a quarter of a million people are expected to grab some last-minute vacation and party time. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is expecting 273,000 visitors for the three day weekend.
That’s a big number for any city, but it is not up to snuff for Las Vegas which in years past has been a sellout with a majority of the visitors coming in from California.
As of Friday night only 87 per cent of hotel rooms were filled and that is at top-rate reductions.
Vegas will still make a quick $159 million this Labor Day weekend.
Nationwide, 39 million people are expected to hit the highways which is down 13 percent from 2008.
The numbers could have been a lot worse but the LVCVA dropped a cool $85 million starting back in July. Casino properties have been very aggressive in room pricing and packaging in extras to keep the tourist traffic coming.
Other destinations across the country from Hawaii to Orlando hotel occupancy is 50 to 70 percent off their traditional numbers.
Las Vegas has put a lot of its advertising dollars into foreign markets drawing on its unique and once-in-lifetime experience.
AAA Labor Day numbers expect approximately 39.1 million travelers to take a trip 50 miles or more away from home this weekend. That’s a decrease of 13.3 percent from 2008. That translates into about 12.8 percent of the population of the United States traveling this Labor Day Weekend.
California’s numbers show that 4.7 million people will travel 50 miles or more off 13.1 percent from 2008.
One factor for the drop in travel is the new school year. Last year Labor Day fell on September 1, this year it is September 7 which puts a lot of kids across the country already back in classes for the new school year.
In 2008, 45.1 million Americans hit the highways over the Labor Day weekend, this highest numbers in a decade.
Gas prices could also be a slight factor. Nationwide the average price of a gallon of gas as of August 11 was $3.05 which is up 16 cents from the same period last year.
Digital Journal did come across some conflicting numbers in gas prices. Another statistic shows an average price for a gallon of gas to be $2.59 this year as compared with $3.68 which is dramatically the opposite of the AAA numbers.
AAA numbers are showing that 32.9 million or 10.8 percent of the population will travel by car, while 4 percent of the Labor Day travel will go by plane which translates to 1.5 million or .5 percent of the American population will be airborne over the holiday weekend.
The air travel numbers are showing the lowest Labor Day totals in the last decade.
The bell weather state of California is going to show a drop of 11.2 from last year equaling 3.75 million traveling by car. By air 270,000 Californians will be flying to their holiday destinations a 19.9 percent decrease from 2008.
The real hit seems to be coming from employment which has the American public concerned. In a report issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor it showed the unemployment rate move up to 9.7 percent in August, as employers cut 216,000 jobs nationwide. Analysts are predicting the nations jobless rate will likely top 10 percent by early next year.
The IHS research shows that Americans willingness to travel this Labor Day weekend is directly proportional to the unemployment rate in their state.
The HIS report is showing that the average round-trip this weekend will be 645 miles. More than a third of travelers will stay close to home with round-trip at 250 miles. Some 28 percent will travel more than 700 miles round-trip.
It's also Labour Day in Canada. It is the last big party of the summer, it’s back to school for the kids, and the summer of 2009 wraps up with the Labor Day Weekend and the first decade of this century is almost at an end.
More about Labor day, Travel, Las vegas, Aaa, Jaydavidmurphy
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