Holiday travel expected to increase for Independence Day

By Emily Luxen

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - More Alabamians are expected to travel this 4th of July weekend, and AAA says many of them are headed to the Gulf Coast.

AAA Alabama reports a 17.1% increase in holiday travelers from 2009, and that includes an increase locally.

AAA Alabama spokesman, Clay Ingram, said last year the struggling economy kept a lot of people at home. So this year, its not surprising people are anxious to travel.

"We've seen a few cancellations, but honestly, not very many," said Ingram, "I think that is the indicator of all the different things there are to do at the beach, from nightlife to restaurants to golf, shopping, and water parks."

Many travelers said it was important for them to keep their plans.

"We go to the Gulf every 4th of July," said Millie Bond, "We have been calling about the oil, but we don't think it will hurt our plans."

Orange Beach's mayor said he is optimistic about the holiday weekend, and that he appreciates the support of all the travelers.

"We absolutely feel like it will be a good weekend," said Mayor Tony Kennon, "We've got fireworks everywhere.  We got the Montgomery Gentry concert at the wharf.  I think it will be a good weekend, I really do."

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