LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - August 29, 2007) - The number of Labor Day travelers in Southern California is expected to increase by less than one percent compared to last year's September holiday, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California.

Nearly 3.1 million Southland residents are expected to take trips this long weekend, and about 80 percent of them, or 2.48 million, are expected to drive to their destinations -- an increase of just under 1 percent compared to last year. Another 520,000 will take plane trips, which is almost a 2 percent increase over last year.

"Southern Californians still want to travel, but we're not seeing the record increases in the number of travelers that we experienced in 2004 and 2005," said Auto Club spokesperson Carol Thorp. "Those past boom years for travel occurred partly because we experienced pent-up demand for travel that had been delayed after 9/11 and at the start of the Iraq war. Now, we are in a period where travel demand is growing, but at a slower rate."

Statewide, nearly 4 million residents are expected to drive to their destinations, another 840,000 are expected to fly, and 110,000 will go by other means to their holiday getaways, for a total of more than 4.9 million travelers throughout California -- an overall increase in travel of nine-tenths of one percent.

Some other regions of the country -- including states in the Northeast, Southeast, and Great Lakes regions -- are expected to experience a slight downturn in the number of Labor Day travelers in comparison to 2006. Nationally, Labor Day travel is expected to inch up two-tenths of one percent compared to 2006, with 34.6 million Americans expected to make getaways this weekend.

Southland residents mainly plan to visit destinations close to home this weekend. The top five Labor Day travel destinations, according to a survey of the Auto Club's AAA Travel agents, are:

  1) San Diego
  2) Las Vegas
  3) Grand Canyon
  4) Northern California (including San Francisco, Monterey and Lake Tahoe)
  5) Baja Mexico cruises

Travelers will experience some relief at the pump when filling up for their getaways. In most areas of Southern California, gas prices are 30 to 40 cents lower than at this time last year.

Auto Club travel projections are based on a national survey conducted for AAA by the Travel Industry Association of America.

Contact Information: CONTACT: Carol Thorp/Marie Montgomery (714) 885-2333