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Michigan Business Network
June 30, 2017 3:00 PM


Holiday Travel Volume Hasn’t Been This High Since 2002

DEARBORN, MI (June 28, 2017) – AAA projects over 1.48 million Michiganders will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Independence Day weekend, a 3.3% increase from the number of people who traveled last year. The last time the Michigan travel volume for the Independence Day weekend was higher than this was 15 years ago. Kicking off one of the most popular times to vacation in Michigan, over 1.3 million travelers will be driving to their destinations while nearly 65,000 people will travel by air. The remaining 110,000+ travelers will go by train, bus or ship.  

“This Independence Day will be historic,” said Vicky Evans, Assistant Vice President, Travel Sales Development, AAA - The Auto Club Group. “Traveler numbers are up and prices are down, adding to what has already been a bustling summer travel season. “


“Travel bookings at AAA - The Auto Club Group are up nearly 4 percent in Michigan, compared to this time last year. The biggest factors driving growth are low gas prices, strong employment, rising incomes, and higher consumer confidence; but overall Michiganders just love to travel, and want to do something fun for this mid-summer tradition.”

Most-Traveled Summer Holiday The Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as Friday, June 30 to Tuesday, July 4. Independence Day is usually the most-traveled of the “Big Three” summer holidays. While Memorial and Labor Day holidays often attract a similar number of total travelers, Independence Day commonly attracts 12-13% more.

“More people travel for Independence Day, because it falls in the middle of summer when school is out,” Evans said. “Families can easily plan extended vacations for this holiday without worrying about school calendars.”

Fourth of July Fast Facts

• 1.48 million Michiganders are expected to travel → 3.3% more than last year.

• 1.3 million Michiganders will drive → 3.4% more than last year.

• 64,808 Michiganders will fly → 2.3% more than last year.

• 110,184 Michiganders will take other modes of transportation → 1.4% more than last year.

• Travel prices are on par or lower than last year

• Airfares will average $186 → 10% less than last year.

• Daily car rental rates will average $65 → 14% less than last year.

• Hotel prices will average $185 → the same as last year.


Gas Prices to Boost Travel Numbers Gas prices remain slightly below year-ago levels, another factor driving the increase in travelers this Independence Day. During last year’s holiday, Michigan gas prices averaged around $2.34. Low oil prices and increased production have kept gas prices competitive with last summer’s rates, which were the lowest since 2005. As of June 27, 2017, Michigan’s average price for a gallon of gas was $2.34.

More People Will Drive, Fly and Use Other Modes of Travel The vast majority of travelers— over 1.3 million Michiganders—will drive to their Independence Day destinations, an increase of 3.4 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 2.3 percent over last year, with over 64,000 Michiganders taking to the skies this Independence Day. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase 2.2 percent, to 110,184 travelers.

Airfares and Car Rental Rates Swing Lower this Independence Day Travelers can expect lower prices for airfares, car rentals and hotels this Independence Day weekend. According to AAA’s Leisure Travel Index, average airfares for the top 40 domestic flight routes will be 10 percent lower this year, with an average round trip ticket landing at $186. Daily car rental rates will average $65, which is 14 percent less than last Independence Day. Hotel costs are the same as last year, with the average AAA Three Diamond Rated hotel costing $185 per night.

AAA to Rescue More Than 338,000 Motorists this Independence Day AAA expects to rescue more than 338,000 motorists across the country this Independence Day weekend, with the primary reasons being lockouts, flat tires and battery-related issues. AAA recommends motorists take their vehicle to a trusted repair facility to perform any needed maintenance before heading out. Oil changes, fluid level checks, battery tests and tire inspections go a long way toward reducing the chances of a breakdown. AAA members get a free 24-point inspection at approved auto repair facilities (learn more).

Orlando Remains Top Destination for Summer Travel With new attractions debuting at popular theme parks, Orlando claims the number one spot on the list of most-visited locales for 2017 summer travel based on AAA’s summer travel bookings:

1. Orlando, Florida
2. Vancouver, Canada
3. Cancun, Mexico
4. Seattle, Washington
5. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
6. Honolulu, Hawaii
7. Anaheim, California
8. Anchorage, Alaska
9. Las Vegas, Nevada
10. Montego Bay, Jamaica

To help travelers plan their trips to a top 10 destination, AAA’s team of anonymous hotel and restaurant inspectors recently selected a few of their favorite places to stay and dine.

AAA offers the following tools to assist travelers

• AAA mobile app 

• GasPrices.AAA.com 

• AAA.com/AutoRepair

• AAA.com/Travel 

• AAA.com/TravelerReviews 

• AAA.com/Diamonds


AAA’s Travel Forecast and Projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Markit. The London-based business information provider teamed with AAA in 2009 to jointly analyze travel trends during major holidays. AAA has been reporting on holiday travel trends for more than two decades. The complete AAA/IHS Markit 2017 Independence Day holiday travel forecast is available here.

The Auto Club Group (ACG) is the second largest AAA club in North America. ACG and its affiliates provide membership, insurance, financial services and travel offerings to over 9 million members across eleven states and two U.S. territories including Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands; most of Illinois and Minnesota; and a portion of Indiana. ACG belongs to the national AAA federation with more than 57 million members in the United States and Canada and whose mission includes protecting and advancing freedom of mobility and improving traffic safety. Motorists can map a route, identify gas prices, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile. AAA clubs can be visited on the Internet at AAA.com.

AAA in Michigan celebrated its 100th Anniversary - A Century of Service last year and has over 1.4 million members across the state. It is part of The Auto Club Group (ACG). Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Michigan Business Network is an online broadcasting company that provides knowledge, news, and insights into Michigan’s businesses, industries, and economy.