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March/April 2017 Issue

Americans will hit the beach in 2017

Signs are pointing to a busy year for vacationers and the travel industry, with a AAA survey finding that 42 percent of Americans are planning to take a vacation in 2017, with most planning trips to warm weather destinations in the United States and abroad.

According to the survey, approximately one-third (30 percent) of adults in the United States say they are more likely to take a vacation this year compared to 2016, and they’re looking for a new kind of travel experience, including trips that offer a deeper connection to the cultures, people, and traditions of a destination.

“There is a lot of pent-up demand for travel in the new year,” said Bill Sutherland, AAA senior vice president of travel and publishing. “Whether they’re taking a road trip to a well-known domestic destination or visiting an exotic international locale, today’s travelers are seeking experiences that are unique and immersive.”

Warm-weather destinations in the United States and Caribbean are topping most Americans’ travel itineraries for 2017 based on AAA’s travel bookings, including Orlando, Fla., and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Rounding out the top five domestic destinations are Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Anaheim, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; and Las Vegas, Nev. For international destinations, Jamaica’s Montego Bay and Nassau in the Bahamas have been popular with travelers, as have Rome and London.

 


 

More drivers are clicking

Seat belt use in the United States has reached its highest level since the federal government began regular national surveys in 1994.

The new data, drawn from a large-scale observational study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), shows daytime belt use of drivers and right-front passengers of passenger vehicles from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. reached 90.1 percent in 2016, a statistically significant increase from 88.5 percent in 2015.

Seat belts saved nearly 14,000 lives during 2015 alone and an estimated 345,000 lives since 1975, according to the NHTSA.

 

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