Decline in Labor Day travel in Delaware predicted

AAA Mid-Atlantic’s predictions could be skewed by aftermath of Hurricane Irene.

While Delaware’s beaches are open for business, it’s not known how many travelers will head to the area hit by the storm last weekend.  “Most Delaware tourist areas were spared and are ready for business.  We recommend that travelers check to make sure that their destination is unaffected,” says AAA’s Jim Lardear.

The car club predicts more than 82,000 Delawareans will hit the road this weekend for a trip longer than 50 miles, a 2.3% decline from last year’s numbers.  The drop in travelers was predicted by a survey conducted before Hurricane Irene.  The impact of the storm could keep more of those travelers at home.  “Many Delaware residents are dealing with their own storm effects at home as well, and that could affect their travel plans for Labor Day weekend.

One thing not expected to impact Labor Day travel this year? Gas prices.  The cost of filling up is down nearly 10% since May.  High gas prices were cited by more than 40% of drivers making travel plans for Memorial Day and Independence Day.  Only 29% of Labor Day travelers said gas prices would affect their plans.

Nationally, more than 31.5 million Americans are predicted to take a trip for Labor Day.  That’s down 2.4% from last year.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal