With summer fast approaching, many Americans are gearing up for vacations abroad, perhaps in greater numbers than ever. In 2015, roughly 32.8 million Americans traveled overseas — up 7 percent from the previous year.
While Americans might be traveling in record numbers, some regions of the world see much more traffic than others. WanderBat, a travel research site by Graphiq, used data from the Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office to find the places where the most Americans traveled to in 2015.
WanderBat only considered U.S. outbound travel to overseas places, which includes all nations except Mexico and Canada. Moreover, because the National Travel and Tourism Office only included countries that had a sample size of 400 or more in its report, the list is not representative of every country Americans traveled to — only the most popular. The figures (rounded to the nearest thousand) include both leisure and business trips.
The resulting ranking contains 39 places from around the world. European nations were especially popular, taking five of the top 10 most-visited spots. Locations in the Caribbean also proved to be top destinations, likely due to their proximity to the East Coast. China and India were the only two countries outside of Europe or the Caribbean to crack the top 10.
In addition to the 2015 travel figures, WanderBat also included the year-over-year percentage change in number of outbound travelers to each country. Thailand leads the pack in terms of growth, with the number of American visitors rising by 35.4 percent between 2014 and 2015. Brazil, on the other hand, saw the largest dip, experiencing an 8.8 percent decrease. Part of that decline may be explained by the fact that Brazil hosted the World Cup in 2014, which likely elevated its travel numbers. American tourists may have also been waiting until 2016 to visit Brazil for the Rio Olympics.
Note: A country’s market share refers to its percentage of total outbound overseas travel. Ties were broken by the number of travelers in 2014 and then on the total number of travelers to that world region. Year-over-year changes were marked as “N/A” when a country did not have 2014 data.
The 39 countries Americans travel to the most – Lincoln Journal Star