It's the first big weekend of summer, right? You're not going to stay home, are you?
Along with 37.2 million other Americans, you're probably going to hit the road, at least for a short trip, adding to the $12.3 billion dollar boost the U.S. economy will get from the surge in holiday weekend travel. On average, each person traveling is expected to generate $330 in revenue for the economy, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
The number of travelers expected this weekend is the highest for Memorial Day in 10 years, and all those people are expected to travel at least 50 miles for the holiday weekend, which is good news for a U.S. travel industry that continues to surge.
"Gas prices are low, the economy is getting better, and people have money to spend and places to go," U.S. Travel Association president and CEO Roger Dow said in a press release. "That’s great for business and great for the economy, but it amplifies anew the crying needs of our transportation infrastructure," he said, advocating for infrasttructure investment to keep people on the move.
"Our economy — and therefore our ability to create jobs — won't continue to see the benefits of these periodic travel spikes unless we fix our surface and air travel systems and keep people moving the way they want," Dow said, pointing to recent research from U.S. Travel finding that travel-heavy holidays are greatly imperiled by lack of advancement on infrastructure.
The association's research shows that, within a decade, the average daily traffic on many of nation's busiest highways will be equal to Labor Day, traditionally one of the busiest travel times of the year. There's similarly bad news for our largest airports, many of which are already experiencing Thanksgiving-like passenger volumes a day or two during the average week.
“Our roads and skies are nearly busting at the seams, and as the economy improves we’re only going to see the number of travelers increase," Dow said. "With many of our national transportation policies set to expire this year, we encourage policy leaders to look to long-term solutions to address these capacity concerns and support legislation which provides for a sustained and robust infrastructure, keeping travelers on the move and our economy thriving.”