Location is key to sting of summer gas priceshttp://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/47567377/ns/business-us_business/#.T8TdlI7N5FISummer leads to shifts in economyhttp://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/05/28/BU2F1ONMHB.DTLOrlando tourism businesses look ahead to summer vacation travel seasonhttp://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-28/business/os-summer-travel-orlando-20120528_1_turtle-trek-theme-park-summer-travelJack Darin: Hope for Illinois State Parks and Great Outdoorshttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/jack-darin/illinois-state-parks-budget_b_1543414.htmlShared Heritage Travel Itinerary Serieshttp://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/U.S. Travel Associationhttp://www.ustravel.org/The summer travel season is officially underway, and millions of Americans and international visitors will be trekking across the country to visit Plimoth Plantation, Balboa Park, and thousands of other destinations. Industry data from the Office of Travel and Tourism Industries, a division of the Department of Commerce, shows that approximately 22 percent of all international travel to the United States occurs in July and August. One key factor predicting how much people will travel is, of course, the price of gasoline. The national average price of gas has been declining in the United States for the past six weeks, which bodes well for the tourism sector this summer. Most states are still coping with tremendous budget cuts to their parks and recreation budgets, which may make it hard for tourists to visit their favorite destinations. Writing this week for the Huffington Post, Jack Darin (the director of the Sierra Club in Illinois) noted that "the last decade has been devastating for the professionals charged with protecting our water supply, restoring our natural resources, and maintaining our beautiful state parks."The first link leads to a piece from MSNBC that discusses how gas prices have fluctuated across the United States in recent months and the implications this may have for summer travel. The second link will take interested parties to a fine piece from Tuesday's San Francisco Chronicle about shifts in the economy during the summer months. Moving along, the third link will lead parties to a piece from the Orlando Sentinel about how prominent attractions in Central Florida are preparing for the season. The fourth link will take users to the previously mentioned article by Jack Darin about funding for state parks in Illinois. For those looking to plan a fun and thoughtful summer trip, the fifth link will be quite useful. Here visitors can read about the dozens of Shared Heritage Travel itineraries created by the National Park Service and its partner organizations. Finally, the last link leads to the homepage of the U.S. Travel Association. The site features facts sheets, reports, and video spots for its new tourism campaign.


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