More than 50 million traveling for Memorial Day

By Jillian Marshall

May 23, 2014 Updated May 23, 2014 at 5:51 PM EST

(WBNG Binghamton) On the heels of President Obama's visit to Cooperstown on Thursday, where he spoke about tourism, millions of people are getting away this holiday weekend.

AAA Southern New York says 53 million people will be traveling this weekend and driving about 650 miles, on average.

"Airfare is up, fees for flying are continuing to climb and we're starting to see some people get back in the car and make those medium and long distance trips," said President of AAA Southern New York Richard Jacobs.

Jacobs said roads are under construction, so drivers need to pay attention and make sure their car is in top shape before pulling out of the driveway.

Getting in a car is not uncommon this year; 90 percent of travelers over Memorial Day weekend will be driving.

Thousands of drivers are on their way into New York to enjoy the Finger Lakes, state parks and more - which is something the state has been promoting.

"We call them the 'drive to' regions in areas around the state. You can still get into your car and drive to upstate New York for a great vacation," said President and CEO of Empire State Development Kenneth Adams.

Jacobs added people are getting in their cars because the price of airfare is so high. He said gas prices are higher than they were last year, but they aren't a big concern to travelers this year.

Friday night, a special report airs at 7:00 p.m. on WBNG-TV.

President Promotes Tourism: The Local Impact takes a deeper look into President Obama's focus on tourism in the US, and how New York and its counties are stepping up promotions.

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