More Americans will hit the roads or take to the skies this Thanksgiving weekend, a number that would surpass the levels of the past 12 years. Traveling by car, train or plane is in the cards, courtesy of an uptick in personal income and steady wage growth. Upbeat consumer confidence and a healthier economy are also fueling the travel boom. Lest we forget, airfares are cheap this travel season and gasoline prices are finally declining as hurricane effects wane. Thus, traveling this season won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

Given this upbeat scenario, investing in travel and leisure companies will be judicious. Uptick in travel during the holiday period will certainly boost airlines, while pre-tax profits of all major airlines are already solid. Another profitable investment options are hotel and resort companies. More travel will lead to increased hotel occupancy and in turn revenue per available room.

Thanksgiving Travel to Hit 12-Year High

According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), about 50.9 million travelers are expected to travel 50 miles or more, the highest since 2005. Thanksgiving travel is anticipated to increase 3.3% from last year.

About 89% or 45.5 million travelers are expected to travel by car, hinting at an increase of 3.2% over the last Thanksgiving weekend. Modes of transport including cruises, trains and buses are expected to make up 1.1% of all travel this Thanksgiving, serving around 1.48 million travelers.

However, 3.95 million travelers are expected to opt for flights, which is 5% higher than the year-ago level. Flights are expected to account for 9.9% of all travel this Thanksgiving.

Airports to Be Busy, Pre-Tax Profits Solid

The industry trade organization for U.S. airlines, Airlines for America (A4A) sounded even more optimistic. They expect about 28.5 million passengers to take to the skies over the 12-day Thanksgiving holiday period that stretches from Nov 17 to Nov 28, up 3% from 2016. On average, additional 69,000 travelers are expected to fly each day, compared to the same period last year. The trade organization expects Nov 26 to be the busiest, with an estimated 2.88 million passengers.

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