A new report from the American Automobile Association has predicted that more than 103 million Americans are expected to travel more than 50 miles from home for a year-end holiday with Las Vegas being forecast as among the top destination cities.
The report from the non-profit group calculated that some 93.6 million people will take a holiday road trip between December 23 and January 2, which is a 1.5% increase year-on-year, while a 2.5% rise in air travel is expected with about six million vacationers flying to their destination.
The American Automobile Association explained that holiday travel is set to be driven this year by additional consumer spending, which has come from improvements in the labor market and rising wages.
Moreover, the American Automobile Association stated that lower gasoline prices, which are averaging their second-cheapest since New Year’s Day of 2009, and increased consumer optimism is due to prompt more Americans than ever before to set out on road trips, take to the skies or board trains, buses and cruise ships.
“Tis the season for holiday travel and this year more Americans will travel to celebrate the holidays and ring in the New Year than ever before,” said Marshall Doney, President and Chief Executive Officer for the American Automobile Association. “Rising incomes and continued low [gasoline] prices should make for a joyous holiday travel season.”
The American Automobile Association additionally declared that warm-weather destinations including Las Vegas, San Diego, Anaheim and Orlando are expected to be particularly popular with vacationers although travel by modes of transportation such as cruises, trains and buses is predicted to decrease slightly to about 3.5 million journeys.
Tony Illia from the Nevada Department Of Transportation told the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper that in excess of 300,000 people are expected to visit Las Vegas for the holidays with about 60% of these making the trip by car.
“As always, we encourage people to enjoy the holidays responsibly, so don’t drink and drive,” said Illia.
The newspaper reported that the majority of year-end visitors to the Nevada city are expected to descend on a three-mile stretch of the Las Vegas Strip as this is set to be shut to traffic in order to make room for revelers ringing in 2017.
“Rising incomes and a desire to gather with family and friends should make this the most traveled holiday season ever recorded,” Cynthia Harris, spokesperson for the American Automobile Association, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Amanda Arentsen, spokesperson for the Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority told the newspaper that out-of town visitors are expected to spend about $225 million on food, hotels and gambling to celebrate the New Year while it predicted 2.61 million airline passengers will come through McCarran International Airport during the holiday travel period, which represents a jump of 1.5% year-on-year.
Official figures from the Las Vegas Convention And Visitors Authority show that the Clark County city had welcomed 36.23 million visitors for the year to the end of October, which represents a swell of 1.6% year-on-year, while these helped Las Vegas aggregated gross gaming revenues for the ten-month period to grow by 1.9% to reach $8.07 billion.