INDIANAPOLIS — Right now Hoosiers are paying more for gas than they ever have before. In Indiana, the average gallon of gas costs more than $4.50 on Tuesday, according to AAA’s gas price tracker.
With Memorial Day Weekend and summer break coming up, many families are getting ready to pack their bags to hit the roads or head to the airport for vacation. Lisa Wall with AAA said they do not expect these high gas prices to impact travel.
“Everything that we’re seeing is nothing is deterring travel resurgence,” Wall said.
AAA expects more than 39 million people to travel for Memorial Day Weekend, a would-be increase of 3 million people compared to 2021.
“Ninety percent of people are going to drive this Memorial Day Weekend, so that still seems to be the primary way that people are going to get to where they’re going,” Wall said.
Locally, Visit Indy isn’t expecting any drops in tourism in the Circle City.
“As a drivable, centrally located destination we typically do stay healthy even during rise in gas prices,” said Nate Swick, a spokesperson for Visit Indy.
The hope is high gas prices could even lead more people to taking the staycation route or choosing a shorter drive from home for a summer trip.
”There’s definitely a chance we’re going to get more visitors this summer because people might not be making that extended road trip,” Swick said.
Swick said tourism in Indianapolis is about 80 percent of what it was in 2019. They expect that number to continue to grow, especially with exposure from the championship sporting events Indy has hosted in the past few years.
“Our sporting events happened in the winter and early spring and Indy is a completely different place in the summer,” Swick said. “We’re hopeful some of those fans are coming back to give Indy another shot.”
Local travel agent Victoria Fricke said prices for flights are definitely up right now, but she can’t directly tie that to high fuel prices.
“An average trip to Mexico, from my perspective looking for my own tickets, was probably 200 to 250 more dollars than I would typically spend,” Fricke said.
Still, she said her clients are set on taking trips this summer, regardless of the cost, to get where they’re going.
”They would rather make some sacrifices with the length of the trip or what they’re doing activity-wise,” Fricke said.
Wall said Memorial Day Weekend travel is expected to be 92 percent of what it was in 2019.