A Record Number of Americans Traveled Abroad in 2016
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If you made heavy use of your passport in 2016, you’re not alone. According to recent stats from the National Travel and Tourism Office, the past year saw an increase of more than 8 percent in the number of American citizens jetting off to international destinations. In 2016, a total of 66,960,943 U.S. citizens traveled outside the country, compared to the 61,783,913 who did the previous year. And just where were they going?
For the most part, these travelers didn’t stray too far from home; more than half of the year’s international travelers — 37,403,398 to be exact — stayed within the confines of North America, with Mexico proving to be the year’s most popular destination (25,181,630 trips in total), followed by Canada (which saw about half that traffic, with 12,221,768 visits). Europe was the third most popular destination, with 11,831,870 Americans headed to the region, followed by the Caribbean (6,579,691), and Asia (4,388,391).
Fortune gave a detailed breakdown of where Americans are traveling — and not traveling — in its January issue. In Central America, the Olympics gave Brazil a 10.5 percent boost in tourism, while decreasing crime levels in Colombia saw 10.7 percent more Americans heading there. Conversely, increasing crime in Venezuela, coupled with outrageous flights costs, led to a 7.2 percent drop in vacationers. Japan’s favorable exchange rate helped make it a record year for the country’s tourism, with 16.6 percent more Americans traveling there in 2016. U.S. citizens were interested in Iran, too; travel was up by 11.5 percent, after economic sanctions were lifted in January 2016. Egypt didn’t fare as well: though tourism to the country seems to be getting back on track, it decreased by 16.5 percent last year. Despite devastating terror attacks earlier in the year, travel to both France and Belgium each saw an uptick from American tourists, by 3.9 and 3.5 percent, respectively.
Where will you be heading in 2017? Share your travel plans with us, below.
Featured image of Ipanema Beach courtesy of Shutterstock.
H/T: Travel + Leisure