SOURCE: AAA Texas

August 29, 2007 12:01 ET

Labor Day Travel Numbers Hold Steady, Says AAA Texas

IRVING, TX--(Marketwire - August 29, 2007) - Texans can expect about the same level of crowds on the roads and at the airport as they did this time last year in the run-up to Labor Day weekend, according to AAA Texas. About 2.77 million residents statewide are expected to make end-of-summer getaways this weekend, slightly more than the 2.76 million who traveled last year.

Of this weekend's travelers, more than 87 percent, or 2.4 million people statewide, are expected to go by car to their holiday destinations. Another 141,000 travelers are expected to fly. Overall, Labor Day travel in Texas is expected to increase by less than one-half of one percent.

"Texans still want to travel, but we're not seeing the record increases in the number of travelers that we experienced in 2004 and 2005," said AAA Texas spokeswoman Rose Rougeau. "Those past boom years for travel occurred partly because we experienced pent-up demand for travel that had been delayed after 9/11 and at the start of the Iraq war. Now, we are in a period where travel demand is growing, but at a slower rate."

Some other regions of the country -- including states in the Northeast, Southeast, and Great Lakes areas -- are expected to experience a slight downturn in the number of Labor Day travelers in comparison to 2006. Nationally, Labor Day travel is expected to inch up two-tenths of one percent compared to 2006, with 34.6 million Americans expected to make getaways this weekend.

The top destinations for Texas travelers, according to a survey of AAA Travel agents, are:

1)  San Antonio
2)  Orlando, FL
3)  Grand Canyon/other national parks
4)  Galveston cruises
5)  Mexico

Gas prices in most areas of Texas are at least a few cents lower than they were at this time last year.

AAA Texas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, has been serving Texans since 1902. Today, more than a million AAA Texas members benefit from the organization's roadside assistance service, travel agency, financial products, automotive pricing, buying and financing, trip planning services, and traffic safety programs. Information about these products and services is available on AAA Texas' web site at www.AAA.com.

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