Where U.S. travelers travel outside USA

In the frequent flyer world of Boarding Area and travel bloggers, it may seem like most everyone in the USA is traveling to far flung destinations around the world. Travel statistics show reality is quite a bit different with most travelers who actually leave the USA borders never getting out of North America.

Travel data on where U.S. travelers travel outside USA is from the U.S. Department of Commerce, International Trade Administration, Office of Travel and Tourism Industries (OTTI).

Overseas travel OTTI Jan-June 2014

[click image to see larger version]

U.S. citizen travelers took 32,612,256 trips in the first six months of 2014. This does not mean 32 million U.S. citizens traveled since one traveler may account for multiple trips. The 32 million trips is also not the same as 32 million airline passengers since much of the international travel are road trips into Mexico and Canada.

Mexico = 12,336,701 trips. By air = 3,774,832 trips accounting for 30.6% of travel to Mexico.

Canada = 4,886,184 trips. By air = 1,742,399 trips accounting for 35.7% of travel to Canada.

Mexico and Canada account for 17,222,885 of 32,612,256 trips or 52.8% of all trips outside the USA by U.S. citizens.

Where Americans go for Overseas Travel

Overseas travel accounts for 15,409,371 trips. Here is the breakdown by regions.

  • Europe = 5,670,052 (17.4% market share)
  • Caribbean = 3,750,948 (11.5% market share)
  • Asia = 2,271,575 (7.0% market share)
  • Central America = 1,451,876 (4.5% market share)
  • South America = 895,596 (2.7% market share)
  • Middle East = 884,939 (2.7% market share)
  • Oceania = 307,205 (0.9% market share)
  • Africa = 177,180 (0.5% market share)

Africa is the only region that saw a decline in U.S. travelers in 2014. The Middle East (up 10.8%) and Central America (up 10.2%) saw U.S. travel increase at a rate slightly over 10%, while the Caribbean saw a rise in travel up 9.2%.

Overseas air traffic increased 6.4% in 2014 year-to-year for the same period from January to June 2013.

Full Year 2013 Travel Statistics

Total *Overseas Travel by U.S. citizens = 29,015,463 trips

*(excludes Mexico and Canada travel)

Overseas travel OTTI 2013 year

  • Europe = 11,407,988 (39.3% market share)
  • Caribbean = 6,545,774 (22.6% market share)
  • Asia = 4,327,266 (14.9% market share)
  • Central America = 2,496,061 (8.6% market share)
  • South America = 1,735,188 (6.0% market share)
  • Middle East = 1,579,482 (5.4% market share)
  • Oceania = 571,756 (2.0% market share)
  • Africa = 351,948 (1.2% market share)

For people who travel outside the USA, excluding Canada and Mexico travel, most trips are travel to Europe with nearly 40% of market share. The Caribbean accounts for 23% of overseas travel. 15% of travelers head to Asia. The places far less traveled by Americans are Oceania and Africa.


About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »