AAA predicts nearly 3.6 million people will travel in the Empire State for Thanksgiving

BUFFALO, NY —  New York is expected to set a record for number of travelers over the five-day 2022 Thanksgiving holiday period (Nov. 23 – Nov. 27).

AAA and IHS Markit forecast 3,598,428 total travelers for the Empire State. If that holds, it will set a record for Thanksgiving travelers since the onset of tracking in 2000.

This year’s prediction represents nearly 60,000 more travelers in the state than last year. The estimated figure would also surpass the pre-pandemic total of 3,579,453 travelers from 2019.

The majority of New Yorkers, about 89%, will travel by car. Just over 9% will travel by air while just under 2% will travel by other means – including buses, trains, and cruises.
Only California (7,365,019) and Texas (3,956,520) are expected to surpass New York when it comes to Thanksgiving travelers this year.

Nationwide, AAA and IHS Markit forecast 54.6 million travelers during the Thanksgiving holiday period. The 2022 total will mark an increase of 1.5%, or an additional 800,000 travelers, over 2021 and represent nearly 98% of the 2019 volume.

Air travel and automobile travel estimates are up – but the biggest jump, matching the national trend, will come from other forms of travel including buses, trains, and cruises. Nationwide that figure is expected to rise 23 percent this Thanksgiving. In New York the increase is expected to be 18 percent.

There are several factors contributing to the robust forecast. Americans are eager to travel again and spend time with family and friends. With travel restrictions lifted, more people are planning getaways this Thanksgiving.

High gas prices have never stopped Americans from traveling for a vacation and that remains true for Thanksgiving this year. Travelers will budget for gas prices and perhaps cut back on other spending, like dining out. Travel demand is so high right now that despite national gas prices being on average 25 cents higher than they were this time last year, drivers who are looking to get away this Thanksgiving will do so.

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