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Local Thanksgiving car travel could rise 8.8 percent

Posted by Clifford Atiyeh  November 18, 2009 02:53 PM

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An estimated 38.4 million Americans will be traveling 50 miles or more from home over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, up 1.4 percent from last year when concerns about the financial crisis kept many folks home, AAA Southern New England said.

"Much of the increased travel is projected to come from the New England states, which are expected to show an overall increase of 8.8 percent over 2008," a press release from AAA Southern New England said.

AAA said its projections are based on research conducted by IHS Global Insight, a Lexington-based economic research and consulting firm.

In New England, people tend to live closer together, and shorter distances between family and friends often translate into more holiday travel by car. Throw in local unemployment rates that are generally lower than the national unemployment rate, and conditions are favorable for an increase in New England car travel this Thanksgiving holiday, said Christopher Pike, principal of travel and tourism at IHS Global Insight.

In its press release, AAA added: "Last year, Thanksgiving travel fell 25 percent from 2007 in the wake of the ongoing housing and financial crisis. This year’s expected increase in travel reflects improved consumer confidence from one year ago, better financial market performance, and a growing sense among many consumers that the worst of the global economic crisis is behind us."

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Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
AAA's Car Doctor, John Paul John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
In the garage: Hyundai Sante Fe, Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible
Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
In the garage: 1968 Buick Riviera, 1996 Buick Roadmaster, 1974 Honda CB450
Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
In the garage: Mazda 5, Dodge Neon
George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
In the garage: Lifted 1999 Jeep Cherokee
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