Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

Gas Prices Impact Holiday Travel

Drivers Say Lower Prices Are Encouraging

Memorial Day Travel

May 21, 2012

         SOUTHERN TIER (WENY) --  More travelers are expected to head out this Memorial Day weekend, but many of them say they're sticking closer to home.  AAA projects nearly 35 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more during the holiday weekend -- and increase of 1.2 percent from last year.

        According to their survey, 53 percent of drivers said gas prices would impact their travel plans, even though pump prices have been on the decline.  The national average price for a gallon of gas is about 25 cents lower than this time last year.

        Some Southern Tier drivers say they're hitting the road, while others say staying within budget means staying home. 

       "When gas prices were down like a month or two or go, or even a year ago there was a lot more travel. This upcoming year, I don't see much travel at all," said one Elmira driver.

       "I think the gas prices are outrageous," says another driver.  "But I also think that we're going to still have the travelers and the tourists and all that."

        Although AAA predicts more people will be driving this year, travel agents say airline travel will be down by about 5.5 percent, or 200,000 passengers.