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Fourth Of July Travel Dips From Last Year

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LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Fewer Southern Californians are expected to get on the road and hop on airplanes for the Fourth of July holiday this year.

The Automobile Club of Southern California says that after a big jump in holiday travel last year, this year’s Fourth of July travel is expected to dip by 2.3 percent. Nearly 2.9 million Southland residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more over the holiday weekend, a slight drop from last year’s 2.97 million travelers.

Last year, There was a 38.6 percent increase from 2009 in the number of people who traveled for July Fourth, according to the Auto Club.

“Last year we saw a big return of the summer vacation among our members and this year started out well for travel bookings also,” according to Filomena Andre, the Auto Club’s vice president for travel products and services. “High gas prices this spring have started to impact travel, but the good news for consumers is that gas prices are continuing to drop and more vacation bargains are being offered this summer because travel providers have available space they need to fill.”

For those who do plan to travel, 79 percent, or 2.29 million, are expected to drive. About 337,000 are expected to fly, a 1.7 percent increase from last year.

Statewide, 4.66 million people are expected to travel this weekend, down from 4.77 million from last year. Of those, 3.68 million will drive and nearly 542,000 will fly. Nationally, 39 million people are expected to travel, a dip of 2.5 percent.

The top five destinations for Southern California residents are expected to be San Diego, Las Vegas, San Francisco, the Central Coast and Disneyland.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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