Thursday, April 12, 2007

Smoky Mountains Tourism for summer of 2007

Soaring gas prices across the nation and now more terrorism concerns for Americans traveling oversea spell good news for business that depend on tourism in the NC and TN Smoky Mountains.

Even though local Smokies businesses were worried lasts year that their summer season could be a bust because of the huge post Katrina gas price increases, they found their fears were unfounded.

Higher occupancies in and hotels and motels and vacation rental properties in the Smokies showed that tourists still wanted to get away and the higher gas prices were a small price to pay to enjoy the Smokies.

Many who we asked who normally would have gone cross country or taken longer trips were very satisfied to stay closer to home and explore the Smoky Mountains.

Since the devastation of 9-11 many travelers have also decide to stay at home in the continental US where they feel safer and especially with the recent arrest of an Ohio terrorist who was working to plot attacks against American tourists in Europe this thinking is here to stay.

To combat the higher prices of gas when driving in the Smokies remember these tips:

  1. Don't use premium gas unless your car or truck requires it. Yep this was a shocker to me that you don't get better mileage but using premium gas!
  2. Keep your tires inflated and check them before and during your trip at least once. You can lose a significant amount of gas mileage (about 5%) for every pound of under inflation. Steel belted radial tires increase mileage by around 10%.
  3. Change your oil and air filter if needed before a long trip. High quality synthetic oil can also make a difference.
  4. Tune up your car when needed. Although cars require less maintenance than when they did in the past, you can still waste 25% of your gas with a car that needs a significant tune up.
  5. Avoiding jack rabbit acceleration and driving at a reasonable speed will also make a huge difference to your gas mileage and pocketbook.
  6. Don't let your car sit and idle for long periods if you can avoid it. Expect to waste at least a quart of gas every 15 minutes - more with air-conditioning on!
  7. If you have cruise control on a highway and conditions permit use it. Maintaining an even speed a not having to slow down and speed up to pass slower cars will save plenty of gas.
  8. Coast when you can to save gas if you see a red light or traffic up ahead. Resuming a normal driving speed from 5 MPH rather than a dead stop reduces gas consumption by 20%.

Lastly this won't save you much gas if any but will save your brakes when driving in the mountains. Check your owners manual for details but when driving downhill in the Smoky Mountains use a lower gear rather than just riding your brakes.

No comments: