Fewer tourists compared to last year have booked advance reservations to visit the greater Yellowstone National Park region this summer, but industry leaders hope low gas prices will lure people to drive to national parks and other attractions in Montana and Wyoming, according to USA Today.
Lee Haines, a spokesman for the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo., told the Billings Gazette that museum planners are expecting flat visitor numbers this year with a slight rise possible in recreational vehicle traffic compared to last year. He said because many RV owners are retired, they have more flexible travel schedules that allow them to drive when gas prices are lower.
Rick Hoeninghausen, director of sales and marketing for Xanterra Parks and Resorts, the main lodging company in Yellowstone, told the Gazette that advance reservations so far this year are down 13% from last year. He noted that bookings are good for July and August, but group tours and early season stays are down.