Four Factors Shape Arizonans Labor Day Plans

Nearly 674,000 Arizonans will send off summer away from home

Phoenix. August 21, 2012. Arizonans may be ready to say farewell to summer but not before getting away one last time. Labor Day marks the end of the summer travel season and according to AAA’s annual forecast, holiday travel is set to be up both state and nationwide from last year.

 

“Slight improvements in the economy are giving travelers across the country a boost to take advantage of the final three-day weekend of the summer,” said Amy Moreno, director of travel services for AAA Arizona. “This is especially true in Arizona, as the projected number of Labor Day travelers is set to outpace nationwide travel growth.”

 

The table below illustrates projected 2012 Labor Day travel compared to 2011:

 

Labor Day 2012

Overall Travelers

Auto Travelers

Air
Travelers

Arizona

674,000

564,000

57,000

Change from Last Year (Ariz.)

+3.4 percent

+3.6 percent

+4.2 percent

Total U.S.

33 million

28.2 million

2.5 million

Change from Last Year (U.S.)

+2.9 percent

+3.1 percent

+3.7 percent

 

According to AAA Arizona Travel, there are four factors that will shape 2012 Labor Day travel for Arizonans. Below are these factors and AAA Travel’s insight into each:

  • Household finances. Most travelers – 66 percent – state that their current financial situation will not impact their travel plans.
    • AAA insight: Travelers with financial limitations are still traveling. However, they are economizing in other areas, such as taking shorter trips or staying with family or friends.  
  • Trip distance, spending. Trip distance and spending are projected to be 905 miles and $596. This represents a drop of 7.5 and 14 percent from last year, respectively.
    • AAA insight: Because the school year is already underway, Labor Day trips are more likely to be close to home and less expensive. Southern California is the most popular destination for Arizonans, followed by Northern Arizona. 
  • Travel costs. Labor Day hotel rates for AAA Two and Three Diamond lodgings are expected to increase 4 and 6 percent from a year ago to $117 and $154 per night, respectively.
    • AAA insight: Accommodations over holiday weekends are typically more expensive, especially at popular destinations such as California. However, for in-state travelers, Labor Day marks the final weekend to take advantage of summer rates at Arizona’s prestigious Four and Five Diamond properties. AAA members can save on accommodations by taking advantage of exclusive, member only rates.
  • Rising fuel prices. Across the state and country, the price of fuel has surged over the last month. The nationwide average has climbed more than 26 cents to $3.720 per gallon, while Arizona prices are up 14 cents to $3.457.
    • AAA insight: Pump prices are not expected to have a major impact on holiday weekend travel. Common Labor Day travel activities, such as camping and other outdoor recreation, tend to be budget friendly, and will thereby help travelers offset the recent fuel price climb. 
 
The 674,000 Arizonans expected to travel for Labor Day brings the total number of Arizonans who will travel this summer to more than 2.2 million. Many of these travelers recognized the benefits of using a travel professional when booking vacations. In fact, AAA Travel bookings in Arizona are up 5 percent compared to last year. 
 
“The 2012 summer season is on track to finish as strong as it started,” Moreno said. “This is a very positive trend for consumers, the economy and the travel industry.”
Research for Labor Day travel projections are derived from IHS Global Insight, which conducts special research for AAA. The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as trips that include travel of 50 miles or more during the five-day period from Thursday, Aug. 30, to Monday, Sept. 3. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.
 
AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. 
 

The 674,000 Arizonans expected to travel for Labor Day brings the total number of Arizonans who will travel this summer to more than 2.2 million. Many of these travelers recognized the benefits of using a travel professional when booking vacations. In fact, AAA Travel bookings in Arizona are up 5 percent compared to last year.

 

“The 2012 summer season is on track to finish as strong as it started,” Moreno said. “This is a very positive trend for consumers, the economy and the travel industry.”

 

Research for Labor Day travel projections are derived from IHS Global Insight, which conducts special research for AAA. The Labor Day holiday travel period is defined as trips that include travel of 50 miles or more during the five-day period from Thursday, Aug. 30, to Monday, Sept. 3. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades.

 

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and auto travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.