Memorial Day travel to increase 8 percent

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AAA Colorado projects the number of travelers in the Mountain region this Memorial Day weekend will increase 7.6 percent over 2009 with about 2.5 million residents taking a trip away from home.

Nationwide, 32.1 million Americans will travel over the Memorial Day weekend, a 5.4 percent increase over last year when 30.5 million Americans traveled during the same period.

This is the first nationwide increase in Memorial Day travel since 2005.

At the same time, air and car travel is increasing.

Trips by auto are expected to increase in popularity with 9.6 percent of the mountain region population, or 2.1 million people, reaching their destination by driving. That’s thanks in large part to the price of gasoline which is not expected to top $3 per gallon nationwide.

An uptick in leisure air travel is also expected in the Mountain region with 210,000 holiday flyers expected.  That is a 4.7 percent increase from one year ago.