17 November, 2017
Southern California residents will travel in greater numbers for the Thanksgiving holiday this year than at any time since Thanksgiving 2007, with 3.87 million residents expected to get away for the long weekend - a 3.6 percent increase over last year's 3.74 million travelers, the Automobile Club of Southern California said Thursday.
Statewide, 6.26 million are projected to travel over the Thanksgiving holiday, also a 3.6 percent increase from previous year and the highest number of Thanksgiving travelers since 2007, when 6.44 million Californians took a holiday trip. In the past 15 years, the lowest estimated figure was 39 million in 2009. The majority of traveling Floridians are expected to take to the highways, despite gasoline prices that are expected to be the highest since 2014, AAA said.
The auto club earlier reported that gas prices in the Sarasota-Manatee region surged by 18 cents per gallon since last week and were averaging 41 cents higher than a year ago.
Springfield averages $2.54 a gallon, according to AAA.
"AAA expects drivers will pay the highest Thanksgiving gas prices in three years, thanks to strong demand and higher oil prices", said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman in Tampa. "This should set the table for small discounts at the pump, before the holiday arrives".
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Nationwide, 51 million people will be traveling between November 22-26, AAA predicts.
Nationwide, Thanksgiving travel is expected to grow by 3.3 percent this year - an increase that AAA says is driven by growing consumer confidence. This would be a 3.3 percent increase over a year ago, and be the highest number of travelers since 2005.
"Idaho has experienced a seasonal price drop, but it's been slower than in recent years", Conde said. "And should help fuel consumer spending and generate a strong finish for the travel industry this year".
Two Florida cities - Orlando and Fort Lauderdale - are expected to rank among the county's top 10 Thanksgiving destinations, AAA said.