Record Number Of Travelers To Hit Tennessee Roads This Christmas

Dec 18, 2013

Credit WUOT News, Matt Shafer Powell

If you’re looking for one of the positive by-products of the Great Recession, consider the fact that holiday travel dropped off substantially in 2009.  That means those who did venture out on the open road found it decidedly less crowded.

Those days are gone.

AAA’s National Travel Forecast suggests a record 94.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this holiday season.  That’s a .6% increase and represents the fifth consecutive year of increases in travel volume. 

Regionally, about 2.1 million Tennesseans will do the same, which eclipses the old record by approximately 25,000 travelers.  As is always the case, nearly all will travel by car (2 million).  Nearly 59,000 will fly by air, a slight drop from 2013.

In East Tennessee, those choosing to drive will pay a bit more for gas than they did last year at this time.  The latest AAA fuel gauge report finds the average gallon of gas in Knoxville costs $3.01; a year ago, gas in Knoxville averaged $2.98 per gallon.