Travel and tourism rank as one of the most lucrative parts of our economy. For example, in 2012, more than 1 billion people traveled in the world. These travelers generated some $850 billion dollars in the U.S. in direct spending, almost$90 billion in tax revenue. In addition, travel supported over 2.2 million jobs in the U.S. alone.
Of all these travelers both foreign and domestic, the reason for travel is quite diverse however, the number one reason for domestic travelers in 2012 was travel to visit relatives. No other time of the year is this more obvious than during the holidays.
Each year, the number of people who choose to travel during the holidays fluctuates. Last year alone, the number of Americans who traveled 50 miles or more during the holidays was around 44 million. This number is up from an estimated 32 million from the year before. During the last four years, the number of travelers during the holidays has risen however, this year, the number of travelers is expected to be somewhat less than last year with an expected 43 million travelers.
Gas prices are down to their lowest in 3 years. These prices in addition to the fact that most travelers in the U.S. will be heading to closer destinations such as shopping and to their families means that a majority of these travelers will be going by car. Holiday traffic accidents claim hundreds of lives each year. If you are one of the expected 38 million to be traveling by motor vehicle this holiday remember the following tips when traveling:
- Wear your seatbelt at all times – Not only is this for your safety, it is a law in many states as well. States including North Carolina and California will be participating in the Click It or Ticket Campaign.
- Keep your distance – Tailgating is dangerous. You need to keep at least 2 seconds between you and the car in front of you to be able to stop.
- Slow down – The roads are expected to be bad in parts of the Eastern U.S. and are generally unpredictable in mountainous areas throughout the U.S. Save money on gas and stay safer by slowing down.