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How will gas prices affect tourism?

Plane crashes. Train wrecks. Cruise ships running aground. Sometimes, the decision to go on vacation can become an exercise in overcoming fears and phobias. Luckily for us, we dont have to depend on scary methods of mass transportation to bring visitors to Lake Placid since the Adirondacks are primarily a drive-to destination. The family car, however, poses a different kind of threatsome say rising gas prices are going to make summer driving a danger to the wallet.

Headlines about gas prices potentially sky-rocketing to $4 a gallon have been popular in the media lately, but the effect higher gas prices will have on travel is still just speculation. But recent research shows that summer drive-to destinations like us dont have anything to worry about. In a recent online article, AAA spokesperson Geoff Sundstrom said that higher gas prices arent going to stop people from taking that traditional family summer vacation.

Were not seeing an adjustment in the amount of gasoline consumed," says AAAs Sundstrom. "I think where we are seeing a change in behavior is in consumer preference for the types of vehicles theyre buying. It seems as though consumers are clearly shifting away from larger SUVs and passenger cars to those that are more fuel-efficient."

Travelers driving more fuel efficient cars is a trend that we like to see here at the bureau, not just because its environmentally friendly, but because it makes sense economically. If visitors dont have to spend as much of their money on getting here, they will be more likely to spend their money during their stay here. Every hybrid owner that comes to the Visitors Bureau in the Olympic Center is rewarded with a souvenir Gold for Green medal and gets their picture added to lakeplacid.com with the growing list of hybrid owners that have visited the Olympic Village.

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