A Change in the Air?

A recent analysis predicts a 40 percent reduction in domestic air travel by 2025 due to high oil prices. Canadian transportation experts Richard Gilbert and Anthony Perl say the US might go from 400 major airports to 50, even with a 50 percent increase in fuel efficiency.

The analysts predict flight will return to the domain of the elite, with most Americans vacationing closer to home in drive-to destinations. They also suggest rising airfares will affect where people choose to live, making people think twice before moving far from family.

Popular tourist attractions accessible primarily by air, such as Orlando, Las Vegas, and Costa Rica, could see visitorship tail off as Atlantic City did when airfares plummeted and east coast residents chose to fly to Las Vegas instead.

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