News & Events

News & Events

Americans Are Back on the Road

By OAAA Staff

OAAA Lamar Advertising Company

Thanks to cheaper gas prices and an improving economy, Americans are back on the road, searching for tourist attractions and road trip memories. 

This has been good news for the hotels, restaurants, theme parks, and other destinations that depend on travelers - all of which are some of the biggest spenders in OOH.

According to AAA motor club, gas this driving season is cheaper than it has been in 11 years, and the reviving economy is making people more willing to part with their money. However, according to The New York Times, this may be a cultural shift as Americans try to reclaim adventure and memories following the 2008 financial crisis.

“This is great news for the OOH industry,” said OAAA’s Nancy Fletcher. “With more Americans on the road looking to experience family adventures this summer, OOH is ideal for destinations to draw them off the highway.”

Americans last year drove a record 3.15 trillion miles, according to the Department of Transportation, beating the previous mark, set in 2007. So far this year, both travel and gasoline consumption are up again.

Attendance at national parks last year reached 300 million for the first time. Theme parks are also reporting strong business, with attendance up by about 2.5 percent in 2015. Industry experts project a 2.9 percent increase this year over last.

Over the Memorial Day weekend, AAA estimated that 34 million Americans took road trips of 50 miles or more, a 2.1 percent increase over last year and the highest number since 2005.

Research has shown this trend does not exclude generations. While some thought baby boomers had aged out of driving, or millennials were opting for urban escapes, it turns out both are driving more than anticipated. And many are traveling together - family bonding for cross-generational adventures.

OAAA’s Stephen Freitas said, “National brands should also take notice of this renewed trend. This is an opportunity to build brand awareness among multiple generations and cultures.”

Read more about the road trip renaissance and stories from travelers themselves in this New York Times feature.

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