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Signs are tha Americans are giving themselves the ''green light'' for auto travel this summer.

That's bringing smiles in the travel industry, which is counting on families spending even more on travel than the $180 billion they did last year. Gasoline prices 20 percent lower than this time last year and abundant supplies are among the factors behind the optimistic forecast.

Other evidence: The American Automobile Association foresees a 12 percent increase in requests for the trip maps it prepares for motorists. The National Park Service is predicting a 4 percent rise in visits this year. And the Knoxville World's Fair, after a slow start, recently logged its millionth visitor in advance of the projected date.

The industry hopes the uncertainty of future travel costs will spur Americans to splurge on a vacation now.

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