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Tourism Dying in America?

June 19, 2008

To many, gas prices are coming full circle with a vengeance. The U.S. Department of Transportation has revealed that Americans drove 1.4 billion fewer highway miles in April than they did in April 2007. Americans have driven nearly 20 billion fewer miles overall this year and nearly 30 billion fewer miles since November. All those miles sound very profound until the government chips in with their percentage statistic.

Vehicle miles traveled on all public roads for April fell 1.8 percent from April 2007. We know how the government loves to play with percentages. It’s difficult to make an argument for anything as paltry as 1.8 percent. However, you will hear no end to the pain that big government is feeling as collectors mourn the loss of revenue. The Highway Trust Fund is sure to suffer according to government revenue mavens, threatening the “integrity” of the huge network of American roads. Life is never good enough. Bean counters are almost always unhappy.

High gas prices are not only playing havoc with the travel plans of Americans. High airline prices are impacting the vacation destinations around the globe. Americans are cautious, opting in some cases to stay home in droves.

Some tourist and travel-related businesses are feeling the pinch. Still, many people think vacations are “a necessity, not a luxury. “Staycations” are all the rage. Instead, Americans that do vacation are staying closer to home. A few rustic locations, like Montana, are actually seeing increases as Americans “rough it” with wilderness hikes and recreation with scenic repose.

Day trips are an increasingly popular choice. Even places with relatively high unemployment, like Michigan, are seeing an increase in business for local bed-and-breakfast hospitalities. The news isn’t all bad. Many Americans still have money to spend to make their life more pleasant.

What’s better is that the devalued dollar offers real potential for European visitors. Foreign visitors aren’t put off by American gas prices and are enjoying a very favorable exchange rate. A silver lining is a good thing to have somewhere in the mix.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 20, 2008 12:53 pm

    You want oil to come in line before winter heating season begins, you d— well better hope the government starts to regulate how ENERGY futures are traded. If they don’t, natural gas is next. Drilling and exploration ships are totaly booked for the next 5 years. You got to find it, drill it, build a platform and lay the pipe to shore. Ten years out, at best. END ENERGY SPECULATION.

  2. June 20, 2008 12:52 pm

    I drive just as much as I ever did, but now I drive a Plug-in Hybrid that gets over 100mpg. On weekends I drive it in all electric-mode so I enjoy “Gas Free Weekends.” What business would not want each of their customers to have a few extra hundred dollars in their pockets when they come in the door because they did not have to spend it on gas? It is not the price of gas that is the problem. It is the amount you use that is the problem. I’m not saying anyone should give up the car, truck, or SUV they love, but it is now a matter of national security that our nation becomes Energy Independent. Electricity is Domestic, and Gas is often Foreign. Drive less, and keep more of your hard earned cash in your pocket for what you want to spend it on.

  3. June 20, 2008 6:51 am

    dont drive like I used to and Im glad they are finally seeing the pinch. Like it or not, Corporate America needs to understand that the American people control the economy.

  4. June 19, 2008 12:49 pm

    I believe that high gas prices serve as a catalyst for change.And Im not just saying that because my car was repo’d. CONsider staying home instead of spending on the excesses of vacationing. There is much to do at home Cleaning and reorganizing the closets could serve as a scavenger treasure hunt.

    You can find what you gave up looking for with a little tidying up. Instead of depending on the convienence of fast foods, clip a few cou… I believe that high gas prices serve as a catalyst for change.And Im not just saying that because my car was repo’d. CONsider staying home instead of spending on the excesses of vacationing. There is much to do at home Cleaning and reorganizing the closets could serve as a scavenger treasure hunt.

    You can find what you gave up looking for with a little tidying up. Instead of depending on the convienence of fast foods, clip a few coupons out otf the Sunday paper and get the essentials, milk, water, eggs, bread. It might be a challenge being that the Burger Bot and Chippey’s
    Pizzeria are convienently wedged on both sides of the supermarket.

    Write in a journal. Create a scrapbook album. Instead of disagreeing arguments with family members, encourage uninterupted dialogue.(novel idea, huh)? Or if you are a bachelor/bacholorette, go to the movies or a walk around the block. Despite what you may believe, people won’t pick on you for going to the movies or restaurant alone. If that idea of what others “may think of you”, bothers you more than the actual experience, there may be some problems. if you can’t appreciate your own company, noone else will. Walking the walk requires no skill or talent. After being convinced that auto is the way to go, I may suggest a refresher course on walking 101. more

  5. thewizard permalink
    June 18, 2008 3:08 pm

    YEP….Americans can shut’er down when given a bad situation to deal with.

    To all the Foreign visitors….Enjoy your visit to America

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