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Florida Labor Day travel to rise, AAA projects

More Floridians are expected to travel this Labor Day weekend than last, with 1.6 million to take  a trip of 50 miles or more away from home — up 3.9 percent from a year ago, travel group AAA said Wednesday.

“We’re seeing more people deciding to take one last summer trip before the fall,” said Brent Hubele, Vice President, AAA Travel in a statement. “This is great news, as travel projections are up overall, not only in the state and region, but in the country as a whole.”

Nationwide,  Labor Day travel is expected to jump nearly 10 percent from last year, with more than 34.4 million Americans taking a trip of 50 miles or more this year, the group said. Most will drive, partly to keep expenses in check and avert the rising costs of airfares.

Florida lags the U.S. average because of the weight of the housing slump on jobs and the state economy, experts say.

AAA said survey results show the average distance for trips on the Sept. 2-6 weekend this year will be 635 miles, slightly down from last year. Median spending is expected to be nearly $700, up almost $50 from last year.

AAA’s travel projections are based on economic forecasting and research by IHS Global Insight of Boston.

For the complete AAA/IHS Global Insight 2010 Labor Day holiday travel forecast, visit AAA.com/news.

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