AAA: 80% of South Dakotans don’t plan on traveling this Thanksgiving

Some families will skip the traditional, big Thanksgiving dinner this year.
Some families will skip the traditional, big Thanksgiving dinner this year.(WTOK)
Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 2:02 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - A new survey suggests that four out of five South Dakotans will not be traveling this Thanksgiving holiday.

AAA surveyed 1,346 South Dakota residents between Nov. 12-13 to know their travel plans for the upcoming holiday. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2.7%.

“Given the recent surge in COVID-19 and the strong urging of public health officials for everyone to stay home for the holiday, the Thanksgiving travel landscape continues to change,” says Marilyn Buskohl, spokesperson for AAA South Dakota. “With that in mind, AAA conducted a new poll asking South Dakota residents who have decided against traveling for the holiday whether COVID-19, specifically, was the reason - and more than 40% said yes.”

A snapshot of the survey shows:

  • 83% of South Dakota residents surveyed will be staying home for the Thanksgiving holiday… 44% say they are not traveling because of COVID-19 56% say they were not planning to travel anyway
  • 86% of South Dakota residents surveyed said they perceive traveling at this time poses a risk… 34% (more than a third!) calling that risk ‘significant’

Of the survey respondents still planning to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • 94% plan to drive
  • 4% plan to fly
  • 2% - plan to travel by some ‘other’ mode of transportation (bus, train)

Based on mid-October economic forecast models, before the newest surge in COVID cases nationwide, AAA would have expected up to 50 million Americans to travel for Thanksgiving – a drop from 55 million in 2019 – based on previous projections.

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