AAA Southern New England: Holiday travel is projected to rise by 1.6 percent

AAA Southern New England said Thursday that it is projecting that 93.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the holidays, an increase of 1.6 percent from last year’s holiday period.

If that projection holds up, the increase would bring holiday travel figures to within a half million of the decade high mark seen during the 2006/2007 Christmas-New Year’s season.

The New England region is expected to see a 1.4 percent increase in holiday travel from last year, AAA Southern New England said.

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“The Christmas-New Year’s season remains the least volatile of all travel holidays as Americans will not let economic conditions or high gas prices dictate if they go home for the holidays,” Lloyd P. Albert, an AAA senior vice president, said in a statement. “Primary economic indicators all show modest improvement from last year and AAA is projecting an increase in the number of Americans stuffing their stockings with airline tickets and hotel reservations.”

AAA Southern New England defines the 2012 holiday travel season as running from Dec. 22 to Jan. 1.